UNC-VU: Postgame Interviews

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes audio from head coach Roy Williams, Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes, Larry Drew, Reggie Bullock and Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings, who spoke to the media following UNC's loss to the Commodores on Sunday.

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:
"don't like being here in the scenario, to say the least, after losing two nights in a row, but it's what it is. I loved our emotion, our passion that we finally showed as a team when we were trying to make our comeback. The problem is we couldn't get any defensive rebounds in the second half. Every time we get them to miss a shot, they'd get another shot and put it back in.

"They made us play defense, for sometimes 35 seconds and we would have a breakdown. We've got to get guys that won't have breakdowns...To me the two keys were they made us play defense for a long time and took advantage of our breakdowns. And the second this is, during crunch time, I thought they got too many second-shot opportunities."

On the significance of playing against former assistant Kevin Stallings:
"When you hire guys as assistants, you're putting your life in his hands and I trust Kevin Stallings with my life. Now that's getting very dramatic, but you're talking about your coaching career. You trust those guys and I trusted him with everything that's possible. When somebody works for you, it's like he's part of your family and that never changes."


On comparing this team to last year's squad:
"We're better. We're not where we need to be yet; we can't be, we just lost. But I believe it is better than last year; hopefully it continues to get better and better over the season. But it's something we've got to be able to change."

On the team playing with more passion at the end of games this year:
"I think we always wanted to win last year. I don' t know if we were the smartest teams at the end of the games last year – I think we're a lot smarter this year. We have some great shooters and a lot of people who are trying to step up and make plays, so I definitely do agree with that."


On the transition from high school to college:
"Well, I've lost two games so far, so that's not something I've been used to in my high school career. I just have to go back and look at tape. Every opponent is extremely good and we've just got to be prepared for that every night."

Has anything surprised you in the personal transition?
"No, not at all. I just need to do more to help my team win."


Do you feel like this team is still looking for the right combinations of players?
"Yes, it's still early in the season. I think Coach is out there trying to make adjustments to find the right combination."

What can you do when a team stops your momentum?
"You've just got to find ways… holes in the defense just to get easy shots, good shots. I don't think we had good ball movement out there."


Is defense the hardest transition from high school to college?
"Defense is probably the hardest transition because I never really played defense like that in high school. My coach was a great defensive coach in high school, but once I got here, it's a whole different level. You've got to be quicker with your feet, so basically that was a harsh adjustment for me, but I'm getting the hang of it and becoming a better defender every game."

Is it a confidence boost when Coach puts you in during late-game situations?
"Yes, it's a confidence builder for me. He knows what I am capable of doing, which is knocking down shots and scoring the basketball, so I've just got to perform when he asks me to and just play hard on every possession."


Opening comments:
"Let me first of all say that I don't know how many victories I have as a head coach and I don't care, but I can tell you that I'm very, very happy for our team. But this one feels not as good as the rest of them, in a way, for me personally. Roy (Williams) has meant a tremendous amount to my family and I - to our well-being, my career and the whole thing. This one just feels funny. It feels funny to look down there and see him and Steve on the other bench. I feel like I should be sitting down there by them, but nevertheless my biggest feeling is I'm happy for my team.

"I'm happy for the poise and toughness they showed when Carolina came out and socked us straight in the mouth about the first 10 minutes of the second half. We were able to keep the game back in our control and do what we needed to do.

"I thought Festus (Ezeli) was terrific for us today. I thought (Tyler) Zeller was terrific for them. I thought that looked like two really good players going at it there in the middle. They did a great job defensively on us, especially in the second half. We're happy to win. We're happy to get two victories down here."

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