March 12, 2009
2009 ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT POST-GAME QUOTES
GAME 3 - No. 7 Maryland vs. No. 10 NC State
Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams:
"That was a great win for us. Just to come down here and play with that energy, I'm proud of the team. I told them, early when they were down some, that we played too hard all year not to play with the same energy - and I wasn't talking about making shots or anything like that, just in terms of our energy level - and we really turned it on, and I think these two guys here (Vasquez and Hayes) have done that all year for us. In other words, given us the impetus, to really get into the game, in other words, they don't have any fear when we get behind or whatever, they get the other guys to work as hard as they do. Once that happens, we got back into the game, and I knew we would be competitive the rest of the way. Give NC State credit because they showed up and played hard. In other words we didn't beat a team today that wasn't ready to play. They were very well-prepared and ready to go. They almost blew us away there early in that game, so we had to fight hard to get back. That's what makes this win special is when you play against a team that's playing pretty well and we were able to get back into it and stay tough to win the game."
On taking a two-possession lead
"NC State shoots 3-s so well and they're not afraid to fire from about four different guys out there in the court at the same time. They made some great shots in the second half just like we did. We knew we had to play defense even though we got up by four, even though we did have a slight cushion at that point."
On Eric Hayes' performance
On Dino Gregory's performance
"I'm not sure we would have ever recovered from the way that game started if [Eric] Hayes doesn't come in the game. Greivis [Vasquez] found him a couple times and Hayes hit some big time shots in situations. Sometimes that's all it takes, you make one or two shots and everybody relaxes. It's a team thing when Hayes hit those shots. We wanted to win the game, we just had to get off to a start somehow. Grieves and Hayes in those couple of plays where they got those 3-s was the key for the whole time."
"He was great. He's been great for us all year. He doesn't get a lot of credit because he doesn't have a lot of statistics next to his name at the end of the game. The minutes he plays against the other teams' tough inside players allows us to hang in the game. That's what you want. You want a shot at the game in the last few minutes. Dino's done that for us quite a few times this year."
Maryland Guard Greivis Vasquez
Thoughts on the tournament
"We're playing for Sunday. We're on a mission. We knew if we won the game we were going to have a chance to play Wake Forest. We're happy but we're not satisfied. We're going to really prepare ourselves to have a good game tomorrow."
On his performance
"I wanted to be aggressive and play for my team and my teammates. I was just trying to find people and I got to the lane with the idea that I was going to kick it out. It worked for us and we got the win."
Maryland Guard Eric Hayes
On his aggressive play early on
"When I came in the game I wanted to be aggressive coming in. Early, Greivis drove to the basket and got me a lot of good looks. Once I knocked that one down I felt pretty good about my shot for the night. Greivis did a good job of finding me whenever I was open and I was able to knock them down."
NC State Head Coach Sidney Lowe
"I thought our guys played pretty solid, played a pretty good game. We had a stretch in the second half that we missed several defensive assignments and they made us pay. A player like [Greivis] Vasquez is going to make you pay. He was going to score or get someone else a shot. I think that was the difference in the game."
On decision to play Julius Mays after not playing him in a couple weeks
"It was a discipline thing with Farnold [Degand] didn't play and Julius [Mays] has been playing very well in practice and showed his great work ethic today. He has always kept his head up and did a nice job for us. He didn't turn the ball over and made some shots. I thought he was solid for us. He missed a couple of assignments late and that cost us. Other than that, he played a good ballgame."
On the amount of three-point shots
"I thought a couple of our guys settled and the guards jacked them up. We wanted to continue being patient. When we were patient, they got it inside and made things happen. Even if it came back out for a shot, we were pretty good. A couple of times, we swung it around the horn and had a guy take a quick shot. 27 three-point attempts is a lot for me, especially when we have guys like Ben [McCauley] and Tracy [Smith] inside. When we went in there, we got something good."
On the run by Maryland late that put the game away
"That was the point where we missed a couple of assignments. We were supposed to do certain things on ball screens and guys forgot to do it and it cost us. We had to take a timeout, make some subs and adjustments."
On chances of postseason play
"We hope we can play. We are certainly capable. These guys play hard and we have been in pretty much every game this year. There are some games we have been unable to close out the way we need to, but hopefully we can go on and play somewhere else. I'd like to continue the career of Ben McCauley and let this young man continue his career and see if we can win something."
On why Tracy Smith only took six shots
"The plan was to be patient and get it inside. When we were patient enough, we were good but we had a guy or two that took quick ones and that's not what we wanted. From that aspect, we weren't disciplined enough. We saw the shot there and there was a reason why it was there. They wanted us to just swing it around and take a quick shot. I don't think they wanted us to pound it inside. We took them and didn't make a high enough percentage, obviously."
NC State Center Ben McCauley
On prospects of this being his last game
"Initially, it is a lot of disappointment. I thought we could come into this game and play much better than we did the last time against them and continue on in this tournament. Unfortunately, we didn't and now we have to sit back and see how things play out and hope we are lucky enough to play on. I love playing for this school and don't want it to end. If it is my last game, I had a great career and I am not going to forget anything."
On what made the offense click when Julius Mays was in
"He's such a smart player and so deliberate with all of his passes. He knows where the open guy is and doesn't force anything. For being so young, he is really a smart player. He got us moving and made sure we ran our offense thoroughly and made the extra pass. He was showing so much confidence out there that it really trickled down throughout all of us. When you have a point guard like that, it really helps out."