Tuesday, January 13, 2009

UNC's Green: 'We've got to be hungry again'

CHAPEL HILL — Two days after his team fell to 0-2 in the ACC, UNC forward Danny Green (above) spoke to several reporters on Tuesday about the state of the No. 5 Tar Heels as they prepare for Thursday's game at Virginia.

Q: What is the mood on this team right now?

A: Everybody is disappointed in ourselves because we know what we're capable of and we know that we're not playing our best basketball. Last game, we competed, though. But even when we compete, we know that's not good enough, because we still didn't come out with a win. But we've just got to be hungry again -- somehow, some way, find that hunger again to come out, be motivated to dominate other teams and play other teams and play better basketball and execute offensively and play better defense. That's the main thing -- play better defense, boxing out and limiting other teams to one shot.

Q: Does 0-2 make you hungry?

A: I think we should always be hungry. Every game I come out, I feel like it's an opportunity, and I try to take advantage of it as much as possible. But we need everybody on the same page, and I feel like not everybody's on the same page, and not everybody's clicking. And a lot of times, you're not going to have everybody clicking. But it helps when everybody's on the same page. If shots aren't going in and not everybody's clicking offensively or defensively, if you're on the same page and the chemistry's going wrong, I think things will turn out a little bit better. I think last game, we got a little frustrated with each other a little bit, and not everybody shot well. And when you're not shooting the ball well, and the other team's shooting well, not many times you're going to come out with a win.

Q: What's the vibe around this team? Is it as tight-knit as last year's was?

A: Definitely, it's the same team. Chemistry is fine, I think we just got too comfortable, and right now, we're going to try to pull it together a little bit. Right now, I can see guys thinking about it a lot, watching film on their own; I notice guys came to the gym last night, people were rehabbing, people were working on their game. But it just comes down to the desire to want to win, and want to play defense -- that's really all that defense is about, having the will and the desire to stop somebody. So if we just find that hunger again, we'll be fine.

Q: Do you remember times (tough losses) like this in the past?

A: My freshman year ... there were a lot of tough losses in the beginning of the year. We were young, we were thrown out there, we were just thrown into the fire, and we just had to learn as we went along. I know this team, and I'm not doubting our character or our chemistry or talent. We'll come together , and we'll get it together soon.

Q: Obviously, what happens in March is most important, but is there anything about losing in January that stresses you out now?

A: Every stress kind of stresses us out a little bit; we shouldn't lose, we want to go out and win every game possible. We know it's going to happen ... each loss, we try to learn from it, but we feel like if we play to the best of our ability and execute the way we're supposed to, we feel like nobody can beat us. The last couple games, we haven't been doing that, so....

— Robbi Pickeral