UNC-Virginia Tech Post-Game Quotes – University of North Carolina Athletics
Saturday March 12, 2022
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Tar heels from North Carolina
Post-match press conference
Virginia Tech – 72, North Carolina – 59
THE MODERATOR: We’re now joined by the North Carolina head coach Hubert Davisstudent-athlete Armando Bacot. We’re going to go ahead and open up the word to questions.
Q Coach, that 9-0 run early in the second half seemed kind of like a bang on your heels and it was pretty hard to recover from that. What happened in that spurt and what do you think of your team not recovering there?
HUBERT DAVIS: We just — in the second half, we talked about the half, just coming out strong on both ends of the floor, just getting defensive stops, getting the shots we want on the offensive end, just doing a better job executing. I felt like everything was difficult in the first half, everything was tough and we were all very encouraged to go into the second half and try to change things. It just didn’t happen.
We made some mistakes defensively. On offense we were spinning the ball and not getting the shots we wanted and they were able to capitalize. I really have to congratulate Virginia Tech. They played extremely well tonight and were the better team tonight.
Q Hubert, I know they also did that during the regular season when Virginia Tech switched screens. How did that affect your team shooting 3 out of 26 out of 3?
HUBERT DAVIS: Well, especially in the first half, I felt like the three of us looked good. We just missed her. Then in the second half I got the feeling that a lot of our three-pointers were contested and forced. They changed a lot. Her physicality bothered us.
One of the things we talked about was attacking the basket by post or penetration. Because they changed so much, we felt like we could attack the basket, score or get fouled and get to the free-throw line, and we couldn’t either.
So at the start of the game, after 16 minutes, I said to the guys, okay, let’s calm down. I had a feeling that maybe they were a bit nervous. Then there were parts of the game, maybe I felt like they were a bit tired.
But one of the things I said after the game is I don’t want them to be discouraged, I want them to be encouraged. I know we’re disappointed that we didn’t play better and didn’t win tonight, but over the last month and a half, two months I can’t tell you how proud I am of this group. I mean, I told them that I remember the bus ride from Wake Forest and I think that group, led by Armando, won 12 out of 15 at that point. Just as a team, perseverance and struggle and I’m proud to be their coach.
Q I know you strayed from three-point shooting and lost a sizable lead early in the second half. But was there a moment when you decided to give up the three-point game, or was that something you had to live and die for at that point?
HUBERT DAVIS: No, I don’t think there was a situation to give up the three-point shot. We were just trying to get good shots. It was just really difficult against Virginia Tech’s defense to get good shots consistently. I mean Armando was 9 out of 10 off the field but it was just really difficult to get the ball in him. They did a great job dealing with him physically and as soon as they realized it they did a double team – and that was the first time they did that to us. In the previous two times, their doubles team came from the opposite side of the baseline.
Sometimes that bothered us and we will learn from it and grow from it and get better when another team does that.
Q Armando, kinda piggybacked on that, can you explain to us what it was like when they came with the doubles? How hard was it to predict where the pass would go or who would even come to make that double?
ARMANDO BACOT: Yes, it was a bit weird. From what I saw it was more of a unique doubles team, just they came from the baseline and then they sort of zoned to the weak side. A lot of my early reads messed up my timing on passes and such just because they did a good job on the weak side playing between two men. It’s quite difficult, and I really like going to the baseline, so it definitely influenced a lot of things that we wanted to get into.
Q Hubert, what was it about Virginia Tech’s four-man lineup that gave you a challenge tonight?
HUBERT DAVIS: With their small lineup, there was always an occasion when one of our big ones was guarding their guards. And Virginia Tech is a bit different than where they got the switches, and their guards aren’t necessarily one on one and running you on the line. Now Armando, now Brady, has to guard the perimeter players coming from downed screens and DHOs. Those are things they don’t necessarily do very much.
So that put us in a different situation, put our bigs differently in guarding. So sometimes we had to stay small, but I love Brady and Armando in the game and that’s why this small lineup bothered us.
Q Armando, can you describe the disappointment of getting eliminated, especially after playing so well in the last few games?
ARMANDO BACOT: Yes, it was disappointing just because we came with the idea of winning the championship. But like Coach said, I’m still encouraged because we’ve done a good job all year just responding to adversity. We are all convinced of ourselves. We’re just moving to the next step and we’re ready for the tournament. We come prepared.
Q Hubert, you mentioned that you feel that the guys might have gotten a bit tired. Did you mean that more in the physical sense of exhaustion and the need to play back-to-back games, or more in the emotional sense of what the past week has meant to you, or a bit of both?
HUBERT DAVIS: No, it was all physical. The starters are playing big minutes and high level back-to-back games aren’t really friendly to starters playing big minutes. Also, the two teams we played against, both from an attacking point of view, have a lot of movement and no quick shots. So you play long defensive possessions.
So we played two incredibly good opponents back to back, our starters played great minutes. And those two teams are probably the worst two teams we can play against because of their movement and how much, how hard you have to work on every possession. That’s just it – but again, I want to congratulate Virginia Tech. They were the better team tonight and they just were.
Q Armando, you’ve scored nine points in a row and cut the lead to 11 with a lot of time left. Then Mutts scored and Maddox had the four-point game. Could you sort of go through that sequence, and how draining was that, getting that to almost 11 and then getting it back to 17 so quickly?
ARMANDO BACOT: Yes, it was difficult at the moment because we were trying to make a run. But Virginia Tech, I said it earlier this year, ACC Media, I thought they were a top three team in the conference. I think they are a tournament team. So when you play against such good teams, sometimes they just hit shots and react well.
It’s something to learn from, but hey, it is what it is.
Q Armando, you played confidently in the regular season. Do you think tonight is affecting any of that, that confidence going into the NCAA tournament and how would you say the general attitude of you guys is going into this next part of the season?
ARMANDO BACOT: No, I don’t think it affected our confidence. You just made a great game. They made shots. You are a strong team. It’s hard to beat a good team three times in a row but we feel good where we are at the moment. We’re ready for Sunday to find out what we can play and I feel like we’re in a good place.
Q Hubert, you’ve already mentioned a few things, but anything else that you think Tech did better or differently in the two regular-season games?
HUBERT DAVIS: Well, I thought your bench played a lot better. I don’t know the exact stats, but despite Darius Maddox being an outstanding player, they haven’t really beaten us in the first two games from the bench. So 30-6 bank points, that’s significant. I don’t know if that was Maddox’s career peak, but it must be close.
When you came off the bench with that kind of performance you talked about us getting it down to 11 and he hit that four point play on the threes, he was really good tonight and I thought, that was a big difference this time at Virginia Tech compared to the first two times we played.
Q Armando, you’ve had some great fights with Keve Aluma over the past few seasons. I was curious, is there anything in particular about his abilities that you noticed that makes him a tough opponent?
ARMANDO BACOT: I would say he does a good job of drawing fouls. Often it puts me in a difficult position to protect him because when I play direct he does a good job using his body and making me foul him. Also, so much misdirection to get him the ball like cross screens and he can shoot the ball too. It’s very different to protect him than many other players.
FastScripts transcript from ASAP Sports