Roy Williams Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Did you miss what Roy Williams said on his radio program Monday night? Here are some excerpts from the live call-in show hosted by Woody Durham ...

What were your thoughts on the season opener after breaking down the tape?
"We had two major areas of concern defensively. We didn't do a very good job supporting on the drive - guys were able to get to the basket too much. And then the thing I've been concerned about the last couple of weeks, was doing a better job on box outs. John Henson had 17 rebounds and I showed him that there were five different plays where if he had boxed out he would have had gotten them too. Those were the two areas of concern. I do think we tried to share the ball and we had some stretches where we did some good things. It was a good team and a hard team to play against. We felt like it was good and we'll learn from the mistakes. As long as we stay healthy, I truly believe this is a team that is going to get better and better as the year goes along."

John Henson flirted with a triple double, which would have only been the third in Carolina Basketball history ...
"I would not be surprised in the least if John has one of those this year. But the thing is the other team has to help by keeping trying to take it to the basket. ... When you think about it, the other team shot 35 percent for the game, and we had 10 blocks, so when you block 10 of their shots that's 10 shots that don't get up there and that's really going to keep the other team's field goal percentage down and they're going to be worried about you on a few others. It is a goal of ours to have a better defensive field goal percentage than we did last year."

Tyler Zeller had 15 points and seven rebounds and all four of his field goals came in the second half ...
"And he had another field goal that he tipped in but they gave to somebody else. He had a positive grade on the defensive end of the floor and he's got to rebound it better. It was a good game for us because the team doubled in the post and did a really nice job of it. It's something we know we're going to have to fight this year. ... With Z and John, they have to make a decision quicker - either turn to score quickly, or get it back out and re-post or go away and screen."

The three freshmen combined for 36 points - that caught a lot of people's attention.
"Our bench did a really nice job. That's something we'll need all year. One thing I push all the time with our players is when you come into the game, bring something to it. ... It was good for Harrison's first shot to go in, he had stressed out a little bit in the exhibition game. My man Reggie, he only played 15 minutes and got up 11 shots (laughs). So he can get shots up with the best of them but I need them to go in, too."

Larry Drew, how's he doing?
"Larry's playing 100 percent better defensively than he's ever played. It's a drastic difference and that's enabling me to feel even more comfortable with having him in the lineup. He's still going to turn it over some, he's got to make better decisions, and he's shooting the ball much better in practice. I think he's going to be a far better player this year than he's ever been."

How is Harrison handling the media attention?
"Very well. It's mindboggling - how can a freshman that's never played in a game in college be voted Preseason All-American? He's a very grounded young man and a very confident young man. To be honest I was surprised he was nervous in the exhibition game because he played so well down in Nassau. ... The ball's just got to go in for him and he's going to get more and more confident. He had one of his best practices of the year today. ... He's a really bright young man. He's focused and has his ideas. (The reporters) just needs to understand that sometimes he's going to be ready to get out of there so he can go back in the gym and shoot some more after the game."

Do you see any clear differences yet between this team and last year's team?
"Well right now we're healthy and early in the season last year we were 11-3 and we'd beaten a good Ohio State team and a good Michigan State team and things weren't as bad as they got later. Once we started to get banged up, things went south much quicker. I do think the team is a more cohesive unit, they enjoy each other more and I haven't gone wacko on them as many times as I did last year. We have an ability to score - and I know it didn't look like it against Lipscomb but they had something to do with that too. I do think it's a different team - they're focused and have incentive to do better than last year."

Will this be a better free throw shooting team?
"I do think we have the ability to be a better free throw shooting team than we were last year. As I said we have the ability to be a better shooting team period. ... We have a chance to score the ball a little bit better."

What did you see from Justin Knox?
"Justin got into foul trouble early in the exhibition game, but he was 3-for-3, and was the defensive player of the game for us by a huge margin. ... He's the kind of guy I don't mind going into the alley with."

Have you settled on a starting lineup or are you still feeling things out?
"We have not settled it. It's pretty close. ... We feel really good about two or three of the guys and yet then you look down and some of the guys that came off the bench did some good things. I don't think I'll ever say at the start of the season that I'm set with who I'm going to start and never make any changes. ... I probably should have gotten Kendall a few more minutes, but I hope to play all 10 of those guys every game."

You said you'd wished you'd played Kendall Marshall more. He looked very comfortable out there Friday night to only be a freshman ...
"I did think he was comfortable - perhaps not after he made two straight turnovers and I was yelling at him (laughs). He is the best pitch-ahead quarterback point guard that I've ever seen. But you've got to see the defense and that'll be something that he'll develop. Our guys love playing with him and getting out and running because he pitches it ahead. I think you'll see him be a point guard who will learn from his mistakes and not make the same mistakes over and over. ... He really is a fantastic passer and does some really nice things. ... He's a little old school - he's a Lenny Wilkins kind of point guard. He can play the game - he's sneaky, he's clever and he knows what's going on. It'll take him a little while to get adjusted to the college game but he'll still be able to be successful because he can do those things."

Who on the team do you think improved the most from last season?
"We talked about that as a staff. He hasn't shown it necessarily in the exhibition game or the first real game, but Dexter Strickland has really done some good things and is getting better and better. He'll have some momentary blackouts - he was the guy I went wacko on today - but he's doing a good job. He and Larry Drew can be the two best defensive guards I've ever coached. And now they've got to do it. They all have the tools - the quickness and the length - and now they have to do it. But Dexter is the one that comes to mind (as having improved the most). Justin Watts has been a great surprise in practice."

Turning to Reggie, he looks good, and a reminder that he says his last name is pronounced Bull-lock ...
"I told him today I'll start calling him 'Bull-lock' when he starts playing better defense and takes his first charge in a game (laughs). Wonderful, wonderful, sweet kid. You can't be a nicer kid than Reggie. He has the ability to score, wants to do the right thing. He is playing right now with his knee banged up quite a bit - the same knee had had surgery on in high school."

"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.

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