March 11, 2006
ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH Al Skinner On how it feels to be in the championship game SKINNER: We came down here with a purpose and right now we've placed ourselves in a position to win the thing. Obviously, we're very pleased with that, but our goal is not over yet.
On making the big plays down the stretch to solidify the win SKINNER: There's a lot of ways to win basketball games. The easiest way is to score points, but when you don't do that, there are other things you can do. Hustle plays like the tip-in or offensive rebounds on the free throws, plays like that can make a difference and they did for us this afternoon. That's the one thing I am most pleased about with this team. They've found different ways to win. There have been games where we haven't shot free throws well, or maybe not rebounded it well, but we've done some other things to help us win games.
On Tyrese Rice's 3-pointer to end the first half SKINNER: That shot at the end of the half really helped lift us and took us into the locker room on a positive note. I don't know a better way to lift a team. Even though we had scored 40 points, I don't think it all came smoothly and I thought in the second half we did a much better job with our offense. It was clearly a big lift for us and gave our guys a lot of confidence.
On the ACC Tournament compared to the Big East SKINNER: The level of competition is fairly equal. I think there is a lot of credibility that goes with both tournaments. For us, the location is what the difference is, but now is the time where you just focus on what's going on on the floor.
They're both extremely intense, well-attended, and tremendously exciting as far as the fans are concerned, and I think today they saw a very fine game.
On crashing the Duke-UNC championship party SKINNER: I don't think we're crashing their party. We're all part of a new league and you might as well get used to this. There are some new people in town and you will hopefully welcome us with open arms. I'm not just talking about BC, but Miami and Virginia Tech. This league has evolved and hopefully we bring some credibility to it and people will appreciate the quality of basketball we're playing, as well as the other two schools.
BOSTON COLLEGE SENIOR Craig Smith On the hustle involved in the play in which Jared Dudley saved possession for Boston College by catching an air ball and throwing it off of North Carolina's Reyshawn Terry SMITH: I think it gave us a little bit of momentum, obviously. With the shot clock going down, I don't know who shot the ball (Louis Hinnant), but Jared (Dudley) made a great play. It gave us a little motivation for the next play.
On what Smith was thinking as he looked at the Boston College fans in the stands at the end of the game SMITH: I was thinking we won a hard-fought battle. Obviously I ended up getting the ball, and I just had a little celebration.
On how it feels to be heading to the ACC championship game SMITH: It's pretty exciting. Overall we've done a fine job so far, but we've still got business to take care of.
BOSTON COLLGE SENIOR Louis Hinnant On the play and maturity of Tyrese Rice HINNANT: More than the big shots, because he's been doing that all year. He likes to take those kinds of shots. I think he's starting to understand situations in the game a little better. What plays to run when the game's maybe not going our way or when it is going our way. He understands when to go for a quick-hitter play or when we would like to run the flex or when we want to do things like that. As the year has progressed he's starting to understand the situations of the game a little better, and that's all we needed him to do. From day one, he could play the game with the best of them, so he's just starting to understand a little better what we want to do as a team.
On playing in an arena in which there is very little fan support for Boston College HINNANT: I think some of the guys on our team, they look forward to situations like this. We tend to play better in a road-type of atmosphere for some reason. I don't know. We came out here looking forward to this tournament. We knew that most of the North Carolina schools are within a good radius of this building, so we knew we weren't going to have a lot of fan support. The fans that did come, they're doing a great job of just trying to make it as equal as possible. People were just looking forward to this. They understand that we are kind of the underdogs. Nobody in this building is really rooting for us. I think guys use that as a motivating factor.
NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS
We congratulate Boston College on the win. They were a load for us today, no question about that. They shot 61% and that may be the worst we've been out-rebounded all year. We were good at times, but they made the plays when they needed to make them.
Craig Smith was sensational, but really it was their whole club - they're just a heck of a team. I know they got off to a little bit of a slow start at 0-3 in the league, but they've played as well as anyone since then.
They are extremely efficient offensively. (Boston College head coach) Al (Skinner) does a great job and they do a great job of executing. They've been doing that all year long.
From our standpoint, we just can't make the key mistakes we made - the shot that came too quickly at the end of the half, the defensive lapse on the out-of-bounds play late. Those are things that you think about driving back to Chapel Hill. But sometimes you've just got to give credit to the other team. It's not always North Carolina didn't do this or North Carolina didn't do that. Sometimes you just give credit to the other team and I feel that way today.
On impact of Reyshawn Terry's fourth foul early in second half
It changed the game a great deal. He's been playing very well for us. Danny (Green) got cut above his eye so we had to go even smaller.
On upcoming NCAA Tournament play
This team is very focused and has done an excellent job of playing very close to its potential. I will expect and I will demand that we continue to do so the rest of our season.
NORTH CAROLINA SENIOR DAVID NOEL Was there a breakdown on the layup with two seconds left on the shot clock?
NOEL: It was a breakdown. I actually told the whole team that we were going to switch everything, but I guess the communication factor didn't pull through as well as I thought it was and Craig (Smith) got open for the layup.
When you say switch, what do you mean? NOEL: Any screens. A man was coming out so I switched out and Craig just ran to the goal and was able to get the layup.
On Boston College shooting a high field goal percentage against North Carolina NOEL: They take a lot more shots inside. They definitely do inside-out first. I think that's the biggest thing for them. Once they get their inside game established, they kick the ball out to their shooters. Luckily for them tonight, they were knocking down 3s.
What will you do to help get the team ready for the NCAA Tournament? NOEL: We're going to go back and watch film, see exactly the easy plays that we gave up and just learn from it. We're not going to put it behind us; we're going to learn from it and make sure that it doesn't happen in the tournament because if we lose in the tournament then it's go home and there's no tomorrow. I'm just going to tell the guys that it's put up or shut up now.