Here is what North Carolina players had to say after Sunday’s 75-73 win over Kentucky in Memphis.
Q. Kennedy and Justin, can you talk about the game plan to make things difficult for Bam Adebayo? And then did you expect for Isaac Humphries to play the way he did even though you all were so effective on Bam?
KENNEDY MEEKS: I feel like our main objective coming into the game was to play them straight up, wall when you got the ball inside, and try to do our best job of boxing him out because he is a strong guy and does a tremendous job of hitting the boards. As the big man, I think we did a tremendous job of executing that game plan. We did a great job of running down the floor like Coach asked us to do, posting up, setting screens for our teammates to get them open. And for Humphries, he’s a great shooter; he definitely — you could tell he works on his shot all the time, and he hit some big-time shots for them to go up.
Not taking anything away from them, but I think we did a great job of execution and being a great defensive team.
JUSTIN JACKSON: I mean, I never really guarded him, but Humphries, he hit some big shots whenever they went on that run. Hats off to Kentucky. That’s a great team with a lot of young guys, and for them to be in that scenario against a team like us that’s a little more mature, hats off to them. But I love these guys. You know, I wouldn’t trade this coaching staff, these knuckleheads of brothers that I’ve got, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Q. Justin, Twitter went on fire when you were talking to Malik Monk, like literally everyone is saying they haven’t seen you so aggressive. What do you say to that, and I’m sure when you get back, they’re going to talk about it, you being so aggressive on the court.
JUSTIN JACKSON: Just a little friendly banter. You know, Malik is a great player. And for me, I was assigned the duty of trying to slow him down a little bit, and so you can get fired up a little bit. That’s rare for me, but at this stage and at this point of the season, I feel like there’s really nothing that you should keep in.
Q. Did you take it as a personal challenge when you scored 47 against you guys last game to not let him take over the game this year, this game?
JUSTIN JACKSON: You know, for me, I knew he’s a great player, so I tried to slow him down and limit his touches as much. I’m sure when the coaches go back and look at film, there’s going to be a lot of bad defenses of no helping. But for me, I just tried to limit his touches as much as possible because once you let him get it going a little bit, it’s hard to stop him.
You know, for me, that’s all I was really trying to do, and like I said before, there was no reason to try to keep anything in, so I just tried to stay on him as much as possible.