A Quick Update
Sorry for the late post, folks. Had to churn out an advance for tomorrow's print edition right after this afternoon's media availability. In any event, here are a few comments from Gary Williams, Dave Neal and Landon Milbourne, who each spoke with a handful of media a few hours ago at Comcast Center. I'll have more tomorrow leading up to the game.
On the challenges of defending against the North Carolina offense:
"If you look at the last game (a 108-91 loss Feb. 3 at Chapel Hill), we had the same number of field goals, but they really were on fire from the three-point line, so you see that," Williams said. "But if you worry too much about that, then you’ve got (Tyler)Hansbrough and their other inside players who are very capable of scoring. There’s no easy way to play against a good team."
Indeed, Maryland and North Carolina both made 36 field goals the last time the two teams met. The difference was that the Tar Heels were sinking threes, while the Terps were answering with quick layups. North Carolina shot 64.0 percent from beyond the arc that night against Maryland.
"We were so focused on trying to get everybody back to the paint that we just forgot about the perimeter," Milbourne said.
Milbourne acknowledged that some of the defensive miscues that led to Clemson's second half outburst Tuesday night were the same that allowed North Carolina to pile up so many points against the Terps a few weeks back.
"Sometimes you might catch yourself just looking in one area of the court and not seeing the open guy, and by the time he gets the ball it’s too late for you to fly out," Milbourne said. "It’s easy to say, but it’s hard to do out on the court. But our guys are tough and I think we’ll execute well."
As for tomorrow's approach for round two against the Tar Heels, Neal said it's all about remaining calm, as difficult as that might be against such a high-octane opponent.
"We’re going to try to stay as composed as possible, and I think the first six minutes of this game are going to be key," Neal said. "If we can stay within a decent amount of points, I think we’ve got a great chance to steal a victory here."
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