Press Conference Q&A

CHAPEL HILL - Roy Williams, and Dick Baddour and James Moeser, answers questions from reporters at Monday night's press conference.

On how he made the decision to come to Carolina...

You know it's strange, because Friday morning - I'm 52 years old - I got up a couple of nights throwing up because I am emotional, and I love two schools...and this was not an easy position to be in. I was very pleased three years ago when I thought I would never be put in this position again, I was in my study and saw my picture of Omar and it really did hit me. But something made me not make that phone call. Sunday afternoon I was in Los Angeles at the Wooden Awards presentation talking to coach Wooden and the other coaches and Nick Collison walked in the back of the room, and I got up and walked out looking for a pay phone because I started to call Dick a second time to tell him I can't do it. So last night when I got on the plane and left Los Angeles I said I was going to make a decision, and when I landed whatever decision that was I was going to stick with it because it would be the right decision. When I landed, the right decision was to come to North Carolina and that's where I am.

On who his assistant coaches will be and if Phil will be one of them...

I haven't had a chance to talk to Phil yet, but right now the plan is that if my guys and if Joe Holladay does not get the job, he'll come with me. I have five guys that have worked with me for several years including two former players. If they do not get the job then they will be here with me. I'm not that comfortable talking about a guy I haven't even talked to yet. If those five guys come with me that will be my staff.

On the contract...

Baddour: It will be an eight-year contract. Annual salary is $260,000, there are several bonuses: one month for invitation to NCAA tournament play, one month for final eight, and one month for graduation rate equal to that of the student body, and a $25,000 expense alliance that is fully taxed. Those of you who have seen our other contracts know that that is pretty standard. We have not worked out the multimedia part of that yet, and when we do we will disclose that.

On what factors made him decide to come to Carolina...

There were several factors. My roots...at one point people would say 'coming home,' but after being in a place as beautiful and great as Lawrence, Kan., that's home also. But my roots, my dreams and my family. I think all three of those are the factors. And I don't mind saying this: the respect I have for Coach Smith. It's hard to say no to him twice even though I knew that he wanted me to do what was best for me just like he said last time.

On how much pressure he feels to do well...

How much pressure do I feel? None. We're going to do the best we can possibly do and there's no one at this table that will put as much pressure on me as I'm going to put on myself. We're going to work our tails off and we're going to get lucky. Those guys sitting over there are pretty darn good...and they look great., and I told them that about three times...I do like that look.

On where he plans to take the North Carolina team...

I think what we're going to do is what we've tried to do at Kansas for 15 years. Last year we led the nation in scoring, we led the nation in assists...this year I think we were third in scoring. I hate it when the ball is walked up and down the court, so we're going to run. I think that with the abilities they have they can do that, and we're going to try to make them run faster than they ever have in their lives. We're going to play man-to-man defense because I can't coach zone, and I despise it. So if you guys don't like zone then you're in good shape because I hate it. We're going to throw the ball inside and get great shots, and if we don't like what we have inside we're going to throw it back out. I think basketball is an easy game. What you can do, you try to do, If you can shoot it, shoot. If you can't shoot it, find something else to do.

I told Coach Smith this story one time. I had a player come over to me one night, and said 'coach don't you want me to shoot that shot, they're leaving me wide open.' I said, 'the guy on the other team is not dumb, son. He's leaving you open for a reason.' We're going to try to do what we want to do, not what the other team wants us to do. I've always been amused somewhat by football coaches that say we took what they gave us. I don't want that, I want to take what I want. I think with the youngsters we have over there and the season they have under their belt this year...you know, the adversity you had - it wasn't fun going through. But it's going to make each one of you stronger. And it's going to make each one of you enjoy the good times.

One of the things that I think about at Kansas is that people will look back on 15 years of a great run, 15 years of fun, 15 years of enjoying the roses along the way. We never won a national championship in 15 years. But I've got to think it's about as fun a 15 years as they've ever had there.

On what his goals are for Carolina...

I've had several former players say, 'coach, we need you.' It's good to feel needed, but I don't buy into that - it's too much of an ego thing. I didn't come back because they need me. The last three years we won 26-33-30, we had a lot of fun. But when I saw them, talked to Matt, I don't think they were having as much fun as we were having. So one of my goals is I want those guys over there to have some fun. Now guys, the bad thing about is the way to have fun is to win. So you have to work your tails off for that part of it. We're going to win.

On how hard it is on his staff...

It's unbelievable. Steve Robinson just came to Kansas in May, and here I am getting his family and children to move. Coach Holladay's son is in Iraq right now as an army ranger. Every little move in coaching has a domino effect. The biggest thing is that we've got to realize and the team's got to realize is family. Every coach says 'we're like a family' because they think mom and dad want to hear that. But it's my job to make these guys feel like family is the most important. And it's my job to get my staff and everyone to feel like we're all in this together. But it is hard. And trying to think of what to say to Jeremy and J.R and David and Omar... because it's disrupting their families as well... it's hard.

On taking over the team...

After Tuesday, two weeks ago, I couldn't call Matt because I didn't know what to say to him. So Wednesday morning I called and left a message at both his numbers, and he called me back on Thursday in New Orleans and we had a chance to visit at that time. But I'm starting all these players off. They've got to show me what they can do. They've got to show me their attitude, and I've got to show them mine. Anything that's happened in the past is in the past. I've done that with every team I've ever had from the end of one season to the start of the next. So that part won't be any different for me. And then with Steve Robinson and Holladay, you can tell by looking at them they're not exactly 17-years-old. They've been around the block too. It is going to be something coached, and I mean really coached.

On how to revive the family attitude...

Get those guys sitting over there to be with me on the same page, that's the first thing. At Kansas I had a reunion every 5 years. We'll do things like that. But again, Mitch Kupchak - I was with him yesterday morning, James Worthy on Saturday, this guy named Jordan who I have a pretty good relationship with...I think all the former players I ever see, they have a good feeling because they know I care about them. I haven't been here in 15 years and there's not a Carolina player in that 15 years who I wouldn't yell at and run across the street to make sure I hug. I don't think we'll have a problem with that.

On Williams's contract...

Baddour: Roy is a really really hard negotiator. You'd be amazed at how little we've talked about by now. Roy said 'I don't want to go backwards.' So that's kind of where we're working from.

Williams: I'll tell you something else. This is the first time I've seen one month salary for just the graduation rate equal to that of the student body. I'm not going to take that. I might try to put it somewhere else, but that's my job. But it's their job - I shouldn't be paid for what they do. And I've felt that way forever. If I were going to get paid for them going to class I'd feel like I had to give them some of my money. And until they graduate and are out on the golf course with me, I'm not going to give them any of my money. And you guys don't have to worry about playing golf until after you graduate and after you stop playing basketball.

On when he informed Baddour that he would come...

9:30 this morning, I called Dick and I told him if he wanted me to come, I would come. He had never one time said, 'Roy, I'm offering you the job as head basketball coach.' But we're not dummies. We both graduated from a pretty good school. There was never one time that he said that. Not one time. He wanted to check with my interests, and he was very concerned with putting enough time between the national championship game and my feelings, and I do think that he showed a lot of savvy then. In case you missed, I did have one little interview after the game that showed I'm a little emotional. I don't like to be pushed into a corner. I even apologized to Coach Smith because I should have used the word 'darn.' But there's nothing hidden there.


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