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March 1, 2012

UNC-Maryland Postgame Q and A's

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--- Wednesday was a historic night in the Smith Center, as Kendall Marshall established a new UNC single-season assists record in Carolina's 88-64 triumph over Maryland in the regular season finale.

Senior Tyler Zeller, playing in his final game in the Dean Dome, also made some history, setting a new personal record in conference games by scoring 30 points, while being the first Tar Heel in a half century to make 20 free throws in a game.

Read some of what Zeller and his teammates, along with head coaches Roy Williams and Mark Turgeon, had to say in our postgame quotes.


TYLER ZELLER


On establishing a new record for individual scoring in ACC games......

When you get 20 free throws, be able to make 20 free throws, it makes it pretty easy.

On making his free throws......

Part of it was I think I made a lot of good moves. I was able to get the defender off-balance, but I was also kind of frustrated with some of them. I couldn't finish the 'and ones,' which normally I'm very good at, but I kept leaving them.

On his candidacy for ACC Player of the Year......

It would be a fantastic honor to be able to win that, but at the same time it's a team sport, so we've just got to go out and try to help my team win in any way possible.

On playing his last game in the Dean Dome......

It's something that I think I'm going to miss tremendously. The crowd's always great. Being able to play for North Carolina and be on national television, all of that is super. Every time I go out is something I will miss, but I'm glad I got to experience it (being a UNC basketball player), to be a part of it.


KENDALL MARSHALL


On Tyler Zeller as an ACC Player of the Year candidate......

I think if you're going off of team success and what that player means to the team, I think he's head and shoulder above the competition for that individual accolade. It might be a little tough being that we have so many good players on our team that people may look different ways, where other teams may have one key guy who will receive a lot of votes. But in my eyes, it's hands-down Tyler Zeller.

On setting a new UNC single-season assist record in the win over the Terps......

It felt good. It was obviously something I wanted to do. It was something I wanted to do coming into the year, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my eye on it throughout the entire year.

I don't want to be just another basketball player. I want to be legendary. I want to be remembered, and it's something that means a lot to me. This is a small way to be remembered, and I don't want to stop here.


JOHN HENSON


On the nature of the rest of the season......

It's win or go home from now on. Even Saturday night is win or go home. You either win the championship or you go home sad. The ACC Tournament is win or go home. We've got to push forward, and we've got to start, as a team, looking at it that way.

On Tyler Zeller as an ACC Player of the Year candidate......

I think that the performance he put on tonight kind of showed everyone what he can do. He hit 20 free throws, so hopefully we ban bring the Player of the Year back to Carolina.


ROY WILLIAMS


Opening Statement:

I feel great about the win, and great about the seniors for sure. 'Z' (Zeller) was sensational, but we felt like we had a huge advantage inside and tried to go in as much as we could. In the first half I was very frustrated.

We had four pitch-aheads that usually end up in two points, and we had four pitch-aheads and John (Henson) making a bad decision on a fifth one out of five possessions on the fast break, and we got zero points. It was an eleven point game at halftime and it should have been much more. The ball still didn't go in the basket, but we're still winning and doing some good things.

On Tyler Zeller's four years at Carolina......

The most special (thing) is I believe he is the true epitome of a fantastic student-athlete. I cannot think of a better representative of that term. I cannot think of a better representative of the University of North Carolina.

Early entrance into our Business School, he's going to have a degree. He's already the Academic All-America Player of the Year, and he's enriched my life and made me a heck of a lot better coach, but more importantly he's made me a better person.

On Kendall Marshall setting UNC's new assists record for a season......

It's off the charts, when you think about the fact that we haven't shot it very well, to have that many assists. We've had games where we've given him coaches assists, when he passes and makes a play and a guy misses a layup, but Kendall's still done his.

We've had at least two games in the last six or seven where he's gotten credit for 25 assists in the coaches' tally. He's been phenomenal getting the ball to other people, getting the ball to the right people, and again doing that when we haven't shot a great percentage.


MARYLAND HEAD COACH MARK TURGEON


Opening Statement:


I thought Carolina was great, especially Zeller. We couldn't guard him. All night he was drawing fouls on us---he controlled the game at the foul line. With that said, we cut it to six in the second half, then it was eight, and I thought we kind of had control of the game a little bit. Guys were executing and things were going well. Then they continued to get to the foul line a few times in a row and we turned it over three straight possessions and took a bad shot. Then it got away from us.

On the play of Kendall Marshall......

He's really unselfish, doesn't care about scoring. It wasn't his best game tonight, but I could tell he was bored at times tonight, to be quite honest with you. Eight assists and one turnover, that's pretty good. He's special. The guy is great. His pitch-aheads, his vision, he makes some passes you just can't see. I'm a former point guard and thought I could pass pretty well, but he makes passes you can't see.





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