"If you don't have a great shooting team you're going to have some stretches where it doesn't go in the basket. What we try to do with our shooting is every day we work on our shot, our form and our technique and then we try to make sure we're getting the shot we want and not one that surprises our teammates. A bad shot is one that nobody expects you're going to take because then you don't have the offensive board covered. We work on it every day - we spent a little over two hours today working on it and that's the way we're still going to do it."
How much has the team's toughness improved from last year to this year?
"We're spending way too much time comparing to last year - last year nobody wanted to compare it to the championship year - but the bottom line is this team is doing a nice job of coming through in some difficult situations. That's what it was on Saturday - we fought through some tough times, adversity, poor play, poor coaching, whatever you want to call it. I think this is a group that's pulling together. In fact, I asked them today during a scrimmage situation ‘Guys, it almost looked like you were bickering among yourselves' and one player said ‘No, coach, that was not it.' And I like that.
"Our guys are pulling together, getting leadership from several different players, and everybody is trying to do a good job of investing. Whatever role we give them, they're accepting. The kids are coming together and showing some toughness."
What's the craziest thing you've ever done during a game?
"We're playing at Oklahoma, Jerod Haase is playing for me, and there's a loose ball and Jerod is playing so hard that he dives for it and goes sliding into the student section. All of a sudden there's an uproar and Matt Doherty, who was my assistant, yells ‘Coach, look!' and I looked and Jerod is on the floor in the student section and it looked like this student was swinging at Jerod. And so the next thing I knew I was in the middle of the student section and screaming at the kid. What he was doing was really just pointing his finger down, but was doing it near the top of his head.
"I really thought he was swinging – it was not a good scene – I said to myself, 'How can I get back to the bench without anybody seeing?' The referee came over, we got all the action stopped and he called a technical foul on me and he said, ‘You can't do that' and I said, ‘Yes, I can, I can leave the bench area if I think there's a fight and that's what I thought, but I'm not going to make this look any worse than it already is; I'm going to go over here and shut up and sit down.' But looking at it on the replay it was pretty silly looking."
Has a leader started to emerge for this team?
"Right now, this team has several guys that are stepping up. ‘Z's doing a nice job – more of just doing the right thing. Justin Watts [with] those guys that aren't starting, he's pulling them together and doing a good job. I asked a guy yesterday – we were watching tape and Justin Watts made a mistake and I said, ‘Justin, you can't do that.' And then I went on. I asked the guys later, ‘Why do you think I didn't jump all over Justin? I jump all over some of you guys.' And they said, ‘Because he doesn't make many mistakes.' And I said, ‘Yeah, that has a lot to do with it.' If Justin were to do the same thing two or three times, I probably get on him in a more heated manner.
"But Justin Watts and ‘Z' and Kendall [Marshall] and Larry [Drew] are doing a better job at point guard each week that we go by. It's a collective process right now."
On pinwheels and other distractions being used while players are shooting free throws:
"I fight a little bit of a battle. I know Coach Smith didn't want fans behind the basket waving. And I went to Kansas and I said, ‘Coach, I'm not going to do everything like you did, but if fans want to wave, I don't care if it helps the dadgum free throw, that's what I want.' I understood what Coach was saying, but it was just something that didn't bother me.
"Down in Jacksonville one year, they had some pictures of ladies and were holding them up and it was distracting and guys were laughing at it. If you're really a good basketball player, you can focus.
"I did not realize until after the game that on Harrison's first free throw, they chanted, ‘Overrated.' And when they started chanting that he got the ball for the second free throw, I thought, ‘He's going to make this one.' … A good basketball player can handle that. You focus on the rim. It's still there on the backboard, it's still 15 feet away and you've shot that shot many times. Most of the time I don't think that has any effect."
On Justin Knox's transition to North Carolina:
"I think it's been very smooth. He's been a pleasure. He's a wonderful kid. He was the defensive player of the game up at Virginia. He stepped to the line and made those two big free throws for us. I think he's going to get more and more comfortable as we go along and also get more important to us as we go along. He's really doing a nice job and has been a pleasure to work with."
On time and travel related to recruiting:
"It's hard. You've heard me say recruiting is like shaving – you take a day off and somebody notices. It really is and it may be that kid that you want the most. I don't like the telephone but I was on the telephone [Sunday] night, I'll be on the telephone [Monday night] and I'll be on the telephone [Tuesday] night. It's just something that's constant. May's pretty good, June's not quite as good, but the rest of the time you're on the phone all of the time.
"You have to do that, but you also have contacts around the country that know about players that they think will fit in with your style, some people that you've gotten to know over the years. We work at it. And then we travel. Every day we take a day off, I try to go recruiting. Kevin Stallings, who used to be my assistant and is now the head coach at Vanderbilt, he says he doesn't know how I do that and I say it's because I like to eat. The better players we have, the better chance I have to eat. It's hard. I don't like the airplanes and rental cars, but I love getting there and evaluating the kid… Recruiting is hard, but you've got to work at it."
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.