UNC-WFU: Postgame Interviews

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes comments from head coach Roy Williams and players, who spoke to the media following UNC's game against Wake Forest ...

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Opening Statement -
"Okay, it's a win, we're pleased with that. I was afraid it was going to be a difficult game. Everybody talked so much about that four game stretch I think our guys believed that was a mountain that they could not climb because we were so happy about trying to climb that mountain that we forgot to have our intelligence and intensity level as much as we needed it tonight. We had a couple of good stretches, we really did. And Wake came to play and played very well. I think they were frustrated by the way they played Sunday against North Carolina State. They were a little quicker to loose balls and more effective than we were.

"But we had a couple of really good stretches. I thought we were good for a good portion of the first half and made two big, dumb defensive mistakes the last couple possessions of the first half. We should have had a five-second call, [but] instead we give them a three-point basket on the last play. And then in the second half, we're all right out there and then they made some shots and we're not getting it inside -- not finishing. And then, my gosh, we had some open looks and didn't make them. So I told them what great shooters we were at half time and then I yelled and screamed at them during a timeout because telling them what great shooters we were didn't work, so I was willing to try something else and that didn't work either.

"Then we had a little spurt there and Harrison had the dunk off of a pass from Kendall, then Kendall makes a three. Then they did some good things and I think cut it to eight, then we had an 11-0 run I think it was at that point.

"But all in all it's a 'W.' We have got to get better though. I think we took too much of a deep breath. I don't mind catching your breath but we have got to be more focused than we were. And yet again, give Jeff and his crowd -- I know they had a very disappointing game at home on Sunday, they came in with a good plan and milked the clock and got it down a couple of times early in the game and made us play defense longer.

"Usually you look down and the other team shoots 37 percent and you're at home you think you're going to have a great, great game, but when we shoot 36 percent it doesn't work out that way.

"I will say one thing, Leslie and Reggie couldn't make one - they couldn't throw it in the ocean - but they both did a nice job getting after the loose balls. Leslie even had five offensive rebounds, so he did try to find some things to help us."


You've been playing well for a stretch - is there any one thing you can point to as the reason for it?
"No, not really. I think one of the things is probably doing more individual workouts, coming back late at night and working out more. I don't know if it's really one thing."

Did you feel like the baskets were there to be had for you tonight when you get the ball down low?
"They weren't double teaming quickly so I was able to get up shots. I had to make a big move but I was able to do it before the double team got there and when the double team did get come I was able to pass it out. Sooner or later they're going to knock down shots and that'll create a lot of points for us."

How important will it be to regain your intensity and focus as a group for Boston College up next?
"It'll be very important. We played very well down there and we know they are going to be coming after us. We have to be up for it and ready for it."


You first developed a reputation here as a big shot maker, and now you're tallying big dunks ...
"I'm just trying to be more aggressive. Marvin Williams told me that once you get that first one, they all start falling in line ... He always told me I was too finesse, trying to do something cool at the rim instead of dunking the basketball."

Did it feel like a flat performance on offense or was it just a matter of not making shots?
"We've got to stay focused. I don't think we came in to this game with as much energy and enthusiasm as we usually do. We just have to come ready for every game, not just the big games; we have to play these games as well."

Was it a case of taking too many threes tonight or were they good shots that just didn't fall?
"We took a lot of good shots - half our shots were completely wide open and we missed them. That's just a matter of us going into the gym and making those ... I think we took a lot of threes tonight due to their zone. They tried to pack it inside - they knew John and Z would try to get easy layups - they kept doubling down, which allowed us to get a lot of perimeter shots. If a team's playing man it's so much easier to attack the rim, get the ball inside and get easy layups."


Saw an interesting look on your face when you had one of your shots coming back at you ...
"Yes, that was kind of surreal. He blocked a couple of my shots. I've never played against someone like that before, so it was kind of funny at the time. He's a good shotblocker, so he got a couple of mine."

Do you get a sense that the perimeter players are getting frustrated that their shots aren't falling?
"I think so, when you miss shots like they have been for the last couple games, you get kind of frustrated. But I joke around that as long as you've got it by March 13 on Selection Sunday we'll be fine. Everyone's been in the gym shooting so I think it's just a matter of time."

And yet despite those shooters hitting a wall, you're still winning and looking forward ...
"I think that's just a testament to our mentality to keep playing and keep fighting. The most important thing is winning and that's what we're doing."


Did Wake's zone make it tougher to pound the ball inside?
"Definitely. We haven't played against a zone in a while. A lot of teams were doing that early, we started knocking down shots, and we haven't seen it since then. Boston College, our next game, they played a zone the first half and Reggie came out and hit three threes to start the second half and brought them out of it. So we'll look forward to seeing more zone."

Were you satisfied with the way you ran the zone offense tonight?
"I think so, we got a lot of great shots and it's just a matter of them going in. That's the main thing we want to do in our offense - get great shots. We got that and the conversation would be different if we hit four more threes. We didn't, that happens sometimes, we've just got to get back in the gym and prepare for the next one."

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