NCAA Sat.: UNC PC (w/audio)

Inside Carolina's Saturday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams, Harrison Barnes, Dexter Strickland, Kendall Marshall and John Henson, who spoke to the media at Time Warner Cable Arena as the Tar Heels prepare for Washington on Sunday.

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Do you have any Coke up there?
"I've been told I can't have any fun today, guys. It will be tough on me. Can't have a little fun."

Before I ask my real question, I got to ask you who told you not to have fun? Somebody in Carolina blue or the NCAA fun police?
"I've been told so many bad things. If I gave you an answer to that, I'm afraid they would just run me out of town."

I think you just answered the question.
"They wouldn't let me one time bring a barbeque sandwich in the arena. God almighty."

You did answer the question. The real question is, yesterday after the game you talked about --
"You guys have to report both slaps on the wrist now if I get a second one. Got to tell about both of them."

Can you talk about how disruptive John Henson is on defense, how he does it and how important that is to your defense?
"It's hard to talk when your mouth is so dry... Maybe one of these days, they'll tell me I can't even come up here. That would be the worst punishment I could ever find.

"What was the question again? John Henson. I got you. He has incredible length. He has an ability to time a lot of shots. He has one ability that's really hard. He can block the shot of the guy he's guarding. Lot of great shot blockers usually block the shots of somebody else who have gotten beat. John is one of those few guys that can block that shot but can also block the shot of the guy that he was initially guarding. He tries to block shots. He knows how important that is to us.

"I would love it if he could develop even a little more toughness and be standing in there and make a decision whether to block the shot or draw a charge. I've always said Len Elmore was the best I've ever seen. Lenny could block a lot of shots. He had wonderful judgment. I wish I could get John to add that to it because then it's almost impossible to score anything inside."

What is the physical ability that allows him to block shots?
"He has the long arms and the timing both and he's not the most physical guy playing, so he's off of you a little bit so he can still jump as high. When you're banging with somebody, it's hard to get up as high as -- to your maximum, so that's the way John plays as well."

You've had some teams try and slow it down against you this year. I'm assuming you're not guessing tomorrow is going to be one of those 52/50 games?
"We even had a 48-46 games. That was the shocker of all shocks. We were trying to score. That's what was really bad. I think that they'll play the way they've played. We're going to play the way that we've always played. We're going to try to run the ball. Lorenzo and his club will try to run the ball because that's one of their strengths. They average 83 a game. We average not as much as I would like but low 80. I think we'll see the basketball go up and down. The thing that we always worry about. We go up and down quite a lot. We need to make a few more shots. It would help if some of those shots go in the basket, too."

Coach, can you talk a little bit about Lorenzo Romar, any kind of relationship with him. I think you coached against him one time when were you at Kansas. What do you remember about that?
"I don't really like him, and be sure and tell him I said that, okay? Last time we were together, I had to buy the daggone ice cream. He didn't bring any money with him. Has Lorenzo already had his press conference? No? Good. Ask him where one of his daughters went to school. She went to North Carolina. There's one really smart person in his family.

"He's a wonderful guy, guy that I love being with. He's a big time quality coach. It's like he's the kind of person that the NCAA should be really proud of, doing things the right way, caring about the kids. I'm serious, his daughter did go to school -- one of his daughters. I think he's got a daughter that's on the dance squad or cheer squad now, but she went to school at North Carolina. And he got really mad at me about that because we're both recruiting Marvin Williams, and I said, 'Marvin, ask Lorenzo where his daughter went to school.' That sort of ended that recruiting stuff real quickly there.

"He's a great, great guy and a big time coach. I do enjoy being with him and around him, and he's one of the really good guys. But don't tell him that good stuff until you tell him the other."



Do you know anybody that plays for Washington, have you played against any of those guys? If so, when and where? And also playing here in Charlotte, is this like a home game for you guys?
"I played with Isaiah Thomas at the Chris Paul Camp. He was an extremely gifted basketball player. He's got unbelievable basketball IQ. Being able to play in Charlotte will help us a little bit because we have a nice fan base. They have fans here, too, so it will be kind of like a neutral site."

A lot has been made coming into last night, how neither one of you or really no one except Tyler played in the NCAA Tournament. What was Coach Williams's message last night and today about how to handle this environment and handle a one and done potentially with the season on the line?
"Coach tells us to go out there and play North Carolina basketball. If we do that, we'll have a chance to go back to go back and practice everyday. We try to play our style of basketball every night and compete."


Playing in Charlotte, is that something where you guys feed off the energy, or do you think there's an advantage to playing this close to your campus?
"I think it is. We're two hours away and we know we have a lot of fans here supporting us. So the intensity of the crowd will help us get more intensity and play with a better sense of urgency."

After the week that you guys especially you had in Greensboro at the ACC Tournament, how important was it yesterday to not only get off to a good start, but you had two aggressive drives to the basket to score early twice. How important was that for you to put that behind you and get some momentum and move on?
"It was very important. I think the last couple of games we haven't been bringing that intensity as we did in the first half yesterday. I think that's some of the things that we had to work on. We did a great job of it yesterday. We got to keep it up."

Did you do that deliberately to try to be aggressive and do that or just something that the game presented itself, you were able to do it?
"Really both. You try to punch them in the mouth before they do the same to you. I think it was the key -- the key to yesterday was to get at them first before they get on us."


Any surprises in your first NCAA Tournament game?
"Nothing really surprised me. I mentioned yesterday about the stickers -- I thought they were stitched, but it turns out they're just stickers."

So you take them on and off after games?
"Pretty much. That was a little disappointing."

Can this team make a deep run if it plays like it did on Friday night?
"No, of course we've got to give a great effort. The competition gets stiffer as you move on. As with every team, I'm sure if they played like they did on the first day, there wouldn't be many teams left by the second round. But we just want to go out there and compete hard and do what it takes to win."


On the ability for this team to make a deep run:
"If we play the best we can play, I think we can win every game. We're getting to a point where seeds don't really matter right now. We've just got to play."

How much zone do you think you will see from Washington?
"I think we'll see a little bit of both, depending on how we play against each [defense]. So we'll see."

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