UNC-UM: Postgame Interviews

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes quotes, audio and video from head coach Roy Williams, Tyler Zeller, Kendall Marshall, Leslie McDonald and Harrison Barnes, who spoke to the media following UNC's victory over Miami on Friday.

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Opening comments:
"We were as lucky as we could possibly be. Those kinds of things happen at tournament time. We watched yesterday when there were two or three buckets at the buzzer. We were as bad as we could possibly be for the first 35 minutes. We had 15 turnovers at half. They had 19 points, I think, first half on our turnovers. Second half we stopped turning the ball over and getting shots and needless to say that helps you a lot when you have only five (6) turnovers in the second half. It wasn't a panic situation but it was a crisis. We went to a small lineup to try to get more shooters in there and we went to more of our traps and double-teams on the defensive end. We haven't done that very often this year, but sometimes when it's a crisis it can require, I guess, drastic measures. We usually don't do it that well but we did it that well today.

"You feel for Frank (Haith) of Miami, his coaches and his players. We were as lucky as you could possibly be that they missed a couple of free throws, they dropped one of the balls out of  bounds, our traps got them a little more tentative than probably Frank wants them to be. But Frank does a really nice job, they're hard to play. He's a quality person, too. We went small and started making 3s. I think Leslie make a couple, Kendall made a couple. Kendall even took one that had the state map been there he would have been in Tennessee. It was outside the state map had he been in Chapel Hill. He got a little happy there at one time, but he did a nice job. He only had one turnover in the second half and had three at halftime.  

"A lot of the game Harrison was our only offense. Then we went to 'Z' down the stretch because we got it within one possession and we wanted to go back big. Z made our last four baskets and the last one was on a big-time play by Kendall."    

Do you think it has helped you to play in close games?
"Yes, our kids have never given up. They have always tried to compete the entire time. Just this week, we talked a couple of times in practice about the score is tight and you gotta try to take something to the basket, you gotta attack. Miami did a nice job; they had fouls to waste so they made us take time. The last play I was yelling at Kendall either go or go to Harrison. Players make plays, I'm just standing over there acting like I know what the crap I am doing here. That one, I think it was beneficial to talk about it and work on it this week. I gave something going to the basket when the score is tied."

On going to the three guard lineup:
"We needed something different. We were getting our tails kicked, it was 15 or 16 or whatever the dickens it was so I knew we needed to go to our traps and try to get more of a scramble going. We were going to double the screen on the ball and try to do some things there so we needed to be smaller. We got to do something. I have had my tail beat a lot of times but very seldom have I sat over there and crossed my arms and said you got our day today but it doesn't have to be that way. I was willing to try about anything but the kids stepped forward. I was just as smart in the first half when they were kicking our rear ends, too but it didn't help in the first half. It did when the kids started doing their job a lot better."  

How did this game rank as a comeback in your career?
"This was my 800 th game as a head coach so I have had a lot of times when I've gotten my tail kicked and we have had some close wins and we have had some great comebacks. This is right up there because of the status of playing in the ACC Tournament. I have loved this team. I can go back to the first conference game when we stunk it up against Virginia but then we really did the tough things down the stretch and that's the way this team has fought all year long. It was a goodwin for us, now we need to catch our breath, relax a little bit, and get something to eat and then focus on tonight who we will play tomorrow."  


Describe the winning play:
"It's one of those things that people always make fun of me for not dunking, but it paid off on that possession. I had to shoot it as fast as possible. I knew as soon as I let it go that I had gotten it off in time just because I knew the buzzer had gone off after it left my hand."

Any challenge getting back up to where you need to be after last week's wins?
"A little bit, it is one of those things. We are basketball players so we are going to go through that but we also need to play a lot better in the beginning of the game and we can't wait until the last eight to 10 minutes before we start playing. It is one of those things we just need to learn from this game. I think this team has done a great job with that so far this year."


Describe the winning play:
"The main thing is we just wanted to get something going to the basket, make sure we took the last shot being that it was a tie game. If we can get to the basket, hopefully get a tip-in if we missed it. But I saw the way they were playing me. I think it was (Julian) Gamble who didn't hedge out as hard as I wanted him to so I just kept going to the basket. Z's man came over and helped and I found him underneath the basket. I took a quick look over at the clock as I was going toward the basket and saw I had enough time to give it off to him. Thankfully he made the layup."

For the  majority of the game, they kept you at bay. When you were making your push, was there a point where your mindset changed?
"Miami is a great team. I don't think their record speaks to how good they are. They have had a lot of close losses. Our will to win had to be greater than theirs. Coach always talks about that, he does a great job of instilling that into our heads. I think it was just a matter of starting to get stops and we started knocking down a couple of threes."


On what UNC can learn from this win:
"It teaches us that we have a lot of toughness, but at the same time, we can't let that happen in the first half... We can always come back, but we want to go ahead and put the game away."

On the comeback:
"It's all determination. We gave it our all. I never doubted us. There was a little frustration in the beginning, but I never doubted that we could win this game."


On Miami keying on him on the last play:
"It's great that a lot of defenses can be focused on me so we can get easy lay-ups like that. We should have been doing that earlier in the game. It would've helped us out a lot."

What was most responsible for the comeback?
"It was defense. That definitely fueled us. We got some stops and Leslie hit some big threes, Kendall hit some threes and we were able to get the ball inside to ‘Z,' so that fueled our offense."

What's so challenging about their zone?
"They just pack it in. We're a team that likes to drive and get the ball inside. We can make some outside shots as we showed today, but that's our bread and butter – getting the ball inside."

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