UNC-BC: Postgame Interviews

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes audio from head coach Roy Williams and players, who spoke to the media following UNC's exhibition game against Barton ...

Inside Carolina audio is available to IC premium subscribers. To listen, you'll need an updated version of Windows Media Player - click here to download the software.

Opening Comments
"You've been around and heard me say before, that these are glorified practices. That's the way we look at it. It's good to get in front of a crowd - I was pleased with the crowd...

"I do think we gained some things from the game. Our freshmen, Reggie and Harrison, I've talked about how well they shoot it, but they had freshman-itis and were 1-for-9 from the three-point line, though I'm not that concerned about that part...

"We tried a lot defensively and did some good things there - we played well defensively in spurts. I was not pleased with our rebounding and movement on offense - those were the two that stood out ...

"Some things I like - Larry's 4-1 assist-error ratio, Kendall's 9-1 assist-error ratio, John and Z with four blocks apiece, John with 11 rebounds ..."

Is Justin Watts taking over the role that you had planned for Will Graves?
"Yes. It's drastically important for us. You're going to have foul trouble, the flu and those kind of things. He's the most veteran and experienced player we have - later in the season we might do some things with Harrison and Reggie down there, it depends on how they develop. Justin's more experienced than those guys and he's really doing a nice job. In our scrimmage the other day he caused two turnovers by fronting the post and he caused another tonight. He does some good things for us defensively and he talks."

Take it this isn't a typical performance for Harrison Barnes?
"I would think that 2-for-9 and six turnovers is not the kind of game you'll see from him. I told him this is just like the first Sunday night when he got here this summer. They played four pickup games and were 0-for-4. There's no doubt in my mind that later tonight he'll be back in the gym. ... If I'm worried about Harrison Barnes, I'm a lucky guy, because that's the least of my worries."


Through three weeks of practice, and the exhibition game, can you compare what you've seen thus far to last year?
"Everybody gets along. The team chemistry this year is stronger and that plays a big part in our play - it shows out there on the court."

How about the secret scrimmage, comparing last year's rough showing against Vanderbilt to this year's rout of UNC-Greensboro?
"Vanderbilt beat us down. That was a wake up call - I think everything that happened last year was a wake up call and a motivation for this year. We did pretty well in the scrimmage and just have to keep it up during the season."


Our first look at the sophomore Leslie McDonald. How are you feeling differently than you did a year ago?
"I feel more comfortable. Playing as a freshman last year I was a little nervous but this year I'm coming in with a focused mind and just more comfortable. I've played a lot with these guys so I just feel comfortable about the crowd and everything. ... It helps me with my determination - I'm not nervous, I'm not thinking about the crowd, I'm not thinking about mistakes."

You had a couple big dunks tonight - we didn't see that last year ...
"It feels good to get my lift back. I feel like last year I couldn't really jump off the ground but this year I've been working on my legs and getting my strength back. It feels good now."


How do you feel about your performance tonight, as the high scorer ...
"You feel good, but I can only feel good for so long - I always say just for the night and then tomorrow work to get better. I made a lot of mistakes. I had 25 points, but that doesn't define your whole game. You need to be able to defend and I didn't rebound as well as I wanted."

Coach Williams has talked to you about the need for you to become the go-to scorer in the post. Have you embraced that?
"I know that we don't really have ... John's not a true big but plays in the post, and Justin is working on becoming more of an explosive big, so I know that's my role and I need to be able to embrace it. I've been working on it and we'll see over the season how well I can do it."


When Coach Williams told you he wanted you to play the four, what was your reaction to that?
"I was fine with it. I told Coach I didn't have a problem playing the four because if you're on the court, you're a basketball player, and the offense we run I'm going to be inside-outside - he gives me a little bit of freedom. I just try to do what he asks me to do."

What's it like banging with the bigger guys - you draw them out a bit ...
"Yeah, I've got to use my quickness and draw them outside the three-point line. It's kind of different from playing the guard spot, but with the defense we play I'm in the lane and denying so I'm doing some of the same things a guard would do."

Inside Carolina Top Stories