Tuesday PC Interviews

Inside Carolina's Tuesday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams, Kendall Marshall, John Henson, Dexter Strickland, Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes, who spoke to the media as the Tar Heels prepare to travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to play Duke on Wednesday.

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.

How are you preparing your freshmen to play in Cameron for the first time?
"We've talked about it very little so far because we played Florida State on Sunday. We had a very short practice yesterday where we talked about it for five minutes. We have our scouting report and other things that we'll give the team today. But I think we've played in some pretty good arenas. Illinois was a marvelous crowd. That's something that helps prepare you, but Cameron is a little unusual and we understand that. But you have to focus on what's going on on the court and what's going on on our bench and try to block out everything else."

Coach K described your team's play as a "clinic" yesterday. How would you describe it?
"Well, it's a clinic compared to what it was earlier in the year. It was a clinic earlier in the year only if you're a masochist. And I'm not. We've done some good things. We've moved the ball, we've shot the ball, but we've also caught teams in games where they didn't shoot it well, and then all of a sudden, it's a 10-point lead or a 12-point lead. Then everything gets to be a little more pressure for them and a little easier for us. Again, I'm being redundant, but in the preseason, I said that our team would get better and better as the season went along just because we were so young."

On the point guard tryouts on Monday:
"We had a one-possession trial between Z [Tyler Zeller], John Henson, Harrison [Barnes], Leslie [McDonald], Justin Watts - we didn't get Justin Knox in there, he has a class on Monday and misses practice on Monday. And after that trial, John Henson is the leading candidate."


UNC point guards have had success against Duke by driving to the basket. Does that change what you want to do?
"No, I'm going to go over there and still be the player I am. It just so happened the last game against Florida State that their bigs helped off a lot, so that left my bigs open for lay-ups and dunks. You just have to adjust to the game. Whether the bigs or the guards are sagging off you will determine if you attack to score or attack to pass."

Can you play the whole game if necessary?
"I definitely think I can do it. As a basketball player, you have no choice. You want to win and you want to be successful. You want to do what it takes for your team to win. If that takes me playing 38 minutes, then that's what it's going to be."


On prepping Barnes for the Cameron Crazies:
"He's a funny dude, but I don't think anything can mentally rattle him. He's been through the ringer this year, so I think he'll be alright."

Is this game a measuring stick for this team?
The whole season is a measuring stick for us. But this game is for first place in the ACC. We've got to go in with that mentality and play our best game of the year. It's going to be a big game. It's going to be a tough game, too, so we've got to come prepared."


What have you learned from watching NBA guards?
"Just aggressiveness. Looking for their shot first and if it's not there, be ready to dish it off and get somebody else involved. I watch [Russell] Westbrook a lot and I see him getting to the basket easily. Up at the key, playing around with the ball and doing what he's got to do to get to the rim, and if it's not there, dish it off to a shooter."

On Cameron Indoor Stadium:
"That gym is crazy. The first time I walked in there I didn't realize it was that small. The smaller it is, the louder the noise is. The intensity of that crowd is crazy."


On the debacle at Cameron last March:
"One of the most embarrassing games I've ever played… Last year was a bad year for all of us, but I think losing by 30, that's something we didn't come here to do."

What will you tell the freshmen that haven't played at Cameron?
"Just how big of a game it is and how intense of a game it's going to be. The crowd is going to be into it a lot. Duke's a very talented team that has a lot of weapons, so we're going to have to play a very good game to be able to play with them."


Are you looking forward to playing Duke for the first time?
"Yes, I would say this is a game I'm looking forward to just because right now we're both on top of the ACC, so it's to determine who is in sole possession of No. 1."

On the freshmen playing an integral role on this team:
"I think it's very important for this team because we're small on numbers this year. With the losses of Will Graves and now Larry, and with Justin [Watts] being hurt and coming back from injury, the freshmen have to step up because there are a lot of minutes to be played and not a lot of players, so we have to do our part."

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