Associate Head Coach Andrew Calder says he understands the depth and talent in the ACC. Carolina’s No. 6 seed in the Tournament says it all, but Coach Calder says his team knows it can beat “anybody, anywhere.”
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“The conference, as we know, is very strong. With the addition of Notre Dame, it’s even stronger. We’re just trying to get better every day. We’ve been up and down, and I accept responsibility for the down parts there. We’re talented. We feel like we have a chance to beat anybody, anywhere. We’re looking forward to getting better, playing in the Tournament and showcasing our skills,” Coach Calder says.
Coach Calder says the extreme youth of the Tar Heels is overcome by their immense talent. He says the coaching staff doesn’t even consider them to be freshmen.
“Obviously they’re very talented. As coaches we know, in the end, players win games. They’re playing very well together. We never considered them as freshmen. We never gave them a bail-out that we’re young. […] We give them no excuses. They’re talented, and we’re trying to get better,” Coach Calder says.
The Tar Heels have been one of the most up-and-down squads in the country with exhilarating upsets coupled with shocking losses. Coach Calder says his team has been working on being more patient with its shot selection to become a much more consistent unit.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well some of those games. We had some good looks that didn’t go. Also, we didn’t defend as well as we could. We settled for a few more jump shots because they were available. We’re working on improving that,” Coach Calder says.
Coach Calder says Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell is undergoing her final round of cancer treatment this week and has designs on being back patrolling the sidelines with her Tar Heels for the NCAA Tournament.
Freshman sensation Diamond DeShields, who recently became the first UNC freshman to ever eclipse the 500-point mark, will need to save some of her best stuff for the ACC Tournament if Carolina wants to be holding up a trophy Sunday night. But ESPN’s National Rookie of the Year says she’s just happy to fulfill her role on the team.
“I guess I’m proud to score that many points. I just do what I got to do. Everyone has roles on the team. Stephanie [Mavunga] is a great rebounder and inside scorer. I think scoring is a role too. I think I’m good at having that role as scorer,” DeShields says.