UNC-UT: Postgame Interviews

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams, Tyler Zeller, Dexter Strickland, Harrison Barnes and Texas head coach Rick Barnes, who spoke to the media following UNC's loss to the Longhorns on Saturday.

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Opening comments:
"Well, there's not a lot to say from our end of it. If you love college basketball, it was an exciting game. It was a very competitive game, to say the least, but we don't just love college basketball, we like to win. We didn't make a couple of plays and you've got to congratulate Texas – they did make some plays. Corey [Joseph] made a big shot there. It didn't work out for us. We hurt ourselves immensely with a lack of toughness and a lack of intensity early, and then I loved the way we came back. We're down 10 and things aren't going well and we got right back into the game and at the end of the half made a couple of plays.

"We had a one-point lead at the half and then come out and Jordan [Hamilton] really kept them a positive-thinking group because he made two or three 3s early in the second half, and yet we kept doing some things ourselves. We were still okay and got a three-point lead with a little under two minutes to play and they make two free throws and we come back and miss a shot. Then they score and we come back and miss another shot and then, all of a sudden, it's difficult to come back. We had our chances. We made some mistakes. They really hurt us rebounding the ball, particularly early in the game. And then our turnovers that led out to some baskets for them is something that hurt us a great deal tonight, too."

On the confidence of the team:
"We are not a very confident team right now, we are a very ticked off team right now. We had some chances. It was something that was important to us to play well and I said it the first of the year and I'll keep saying it until they put me in the grave -- we are a team that's going to get better and better but the first 12 minutes today we went backwards and the stretch about three or four minutes defensively in the second half we went backwards today.

"You can't be a good basketball team -- Texas is a good basketball team -- you can't beat a team if you allow them to shoot 53 percent in the second half. One play we had a wide open three and we missed it and they had a wide open three where I felt like we got a hand up and they made it. It was something that in the game of basketball, you've got to make shots, got to make shots. But I feel they know they can be a good team but right now we are not trying to be with confidence so they better be ticked off."


On the physical nature of the game:
"Going up against Texas, we know it's going to be physical. We know it's going to be a hard-fought battle. But in the end, they were able to pull out some plays and we weren't."

On the lead slipping away:
"I think at the four-minute break we were up seven. So that is very difficult. At the end of the game, they made plays and we didn't. So it's something we have to be able to improve on and hopefully next time we won't have that problem."


On his defense on Cory Joseph's game-winning shot:
"It was a tough shot. He's a great player; I'll give him that. I could have done a better job of not going for the first shot, the pump-fake, and staying down and contesting the shot even better. But like you said, it was a tough shot and he's a great player."

On being aggressive offensively:
"What we wanted to do was run a four-out, one-in and just get guys to space out so guys could drive, like me, Harrison and Larry; and it worked. So when I would drive and nobody was there, if I didn't have the layup, 'Z' would be wide open or John [Henson] would be wide open. It worked pretty good in the second half."


On what the Tar Heels can learn from this game:
"We definitely learned a lot about ourselves. We didn't come out ready to play in the first couple of minutes, and that led to our deficit. And then we got to be mentally tougher down the stretch. We were up five for the majority of the game and then we gave in at the end there. So we have to get better defensive possessions. We can't have any lapses."

On the loss:
"Every loss is tough. You can't weigh it, considering this is a bigger game than another game. A loss is a loss. I think we learned a lot about ourselves because we didn't come out ready to play from the get-go."


On his return to the state of North Carolina:
"I've been gone for so long, and I love Carolina. I love the state of North Carolina. I love [the Greensboro Coliseum]… I was watching the NBA this morning and I heard LeBron James talking about the Mecca being at the Garden last night. To me, this place was the Mecca, this place right here. I understand the big four here, and I don't know that unless you grew up here, if you really do, and I have an unbelievable amount of respect for Roy and the North Carolina program. But it's honestly not what people may think it is. We're young in the season and we're just trying to get better. Honestly, from an emotional standpoint, it really isn't.

"Maybe it would be if I had ill feelings, but I don't. And I've said before, there are a lot of things that I would to go back and change as a coach, and maybe I would with what happened with Coach [Dean Smith] because he's one of the best of all time. I wish it would go away and I'd never have to deal with it, but I was young and made a lot of mistakes. But North Carolina will always be my home… Again, I just can't say enough about Roy. The fact that we play, and we're hoping we can continue it because you can't have a chance to play a more storied, great program than the one we played today."

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