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March 18, 2012

Doug McDermott

Greg McDermott

Antoine Young


North Carolina – 87
Creighton – 73

THE MODERATOR:  We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH MCDERMOTT:  First and foremost, I couldn't be more proud of my basketball team and our basketball program.  It's been a remarkable ride.  My good friend Bill Fennelly at Iowa State once told me, I don't know where he got it, but he said don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
And that's really how I feel about this team.  We're disappointed that we lost.  We came here with every intention of winning this game.  You don't get to this point if you don't feel that way, regardless of who you're playing.  Obviously we have tremendous respect for North Carolina, they're a very, very talented basketball team, and we had to hope that they missed some shots today and we had to hope that when they missed those shots they bounced our direction.  Because their ability to rebound the basketball is a lot to overcome.
But I'm proud that we didn't quit, proud that we kept fighting, very proud that we're able to get back in the game before halftime to have a chance.  But the taste in my mouth now is not how I'm going to remember this season and this group of guys.  It's been a special, special year.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Doug, could you talk about the impact of the difference John Henson makes in that lineup?
DOUG MCDERMOTT:  He makes a huge impact.  His length, his athleticism, and the way he runs the floor brings a lot to that team.  And he had a heck of a game, blocked a lot of shots and got a lot of respect for him and a pretty good debut for the NCAA tournament for him.

Q.  Doug, talk about it seemed like the fast start they got off to and it was just tough for guys to recover after that.
DOUG MCDERMOTT:  It was.  They got off to a really good start.  They were hitting shots and we didn't have too many answers.  But we came, in the second half we thought we had a shot.  We put together a game plan, but they continued to hit shots and they're a really good defensive team and we just fell a little short.  It's disappointing but we're just going to move forward.

Q.  How difficult was that bus ride and getting here late and all that?  Could you just discuss how that affected you at all?
ANTOINE YOUNG:  It was a little different in our routine.  Obviously it's something you can't control.  It is what it is.  We got here with plenty enough time to get ready, so.
DOUG MCDERMOTT:  Same thing he said.  We still got here plenty of time.  The game got moved back like 15 or 20 minutes, so we had just as much time as we do any other game.  It's just we came here to play basketball, we fell a little short.

Q.  Doug, tell me how it felt playing a game against Harrison and was there any interaction with you on the court because you have such a background?
DOUG MCDERMOTT:  There wasn't too much interaction.  Right before the game we just shared a moment, but once the game started, we were both competitive guys and it didn't feel weird at all.  I didn't realize I was playing against my former teammate the whole time until the end and he's a really good player.  He played a great game, and he's got a great future ahead of him.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay, guys, thanks.  We'll take questions for coach.

Q.  Your son talked about the second half you tried to make some adjustments, what were you trying to do to try to slow them down?
COACH MCDERMOTT:  Well, we were trying to change up a little bit what we did on ball screens.  Their ball screens were a little deeper probably than what I anticipated in scouting them, and they were coming off just a little too open, so we tried to have a little bit more pressure there.  We decided to push the basketball on every opportunity.  The first half we were just pushing it on misses and turnovers and we're going to walk it up on makes to try to control the tempo a little bit because of the respect we have for Carolina and their ability to get out in transition.  And the reality of it is they don't have anybody you don't have to guard.  And that's‑‑ that makes it very difficult.
I think early in the year it appeared there was a lot of teams in the ACC that were off helping off Kendall and we were afraid of doing that and at times we provided a little help but he made us pay.
But just to add to the question about the bus ride, that really put things in perspective for us and was a great teaching moment for our team because really we can't forget that this is a game.  I don't know Bill's last name, our bus driver, I hope he's doing fine, but that was a scary deal.  His health and how his family's doing is certainly more important than who wins or loses a basketball game.  And I think sometimes we as coaches and players, and fans, even you good folks in the media, get too caught up in the result of the game and it is what it is.  It's just a basketball game and it's one that we love very much and that we invest a lot of time in, but at the end of the day it's just a game.

Q.  You alluded to it earlier about the trying to keep them from shooting a lot of people did you slough off on Kendall Marshall with Zeller and Barnes.  How good is he playing right now because he's really had a lot of double digit scoring games which is kind of an added dimension for that team?
COACH MCDERMOTT:  He just doesn't make bad decisions, he doesn't take bad shots.  The decisions he makes with the basketball and space and off of ball screens are always the right decision and obviously he's surrounded by some very talented guys that are going to have some, have long careers beyond their college careers.  But to me he's the straw that stirs the drink.  He's in total control.  His facial expressions don't change, he's a point guard that plays the game the right way and I have tremendous respect for him and he really made us pay today.  He scored his points.  I don't know.  He ended up with 18 on eight shots.  So that's pretty efficient basketball.
THE MODERATOR:  All right, coach.  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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