Roy Williams Radio Show Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Roy Williams explained during his first radio show of the season why Friday's Carrier Classic tipped off so late and how the head coaches involved joined forces to demand more warm-up time from ESPN.

On why the Carrier Classic tipped off so late:
"Yes, it led to one of the most interesting conversations of the whole night…. We were going to go out to warm up and they said, ‘We would like for you guys to greet President Obama.' I had a shirt with the Obama name on the back, it was a Tar Heel shirt, and Tom [Izzo] had a Spartan shirt and on the back of Tom's I think it said, ‘USA' and on the back of mine it said ‘America.' And we were going to present those when we greeted the President when he came up off the launch. And so they said ‘He's going to be here in three minutes,' so we were both getting ready to go out and warm up. And so it stretched into 22 minutes.

"So Tom and I are coaching. We're looking at the clock and the clock is winding down. I said, ‘Well, we're not going to be able to start on time.' And so we greet the President and he was great. He said nice things to both Tom and myself and then went over and shook hands with every player on both teams. It was a thrill for both of our teams. And then we went up on top and the President comes out and he speaks to the crowd and they present the colors and the whole bit. So now it's a long time.

"I was standing over by the scorer's table and the producer, who I've known forever, he used to do a lot of games in the Big 12, he was almost afraid to say it, but he said, ‘Roy, we're going to start the game in five minutes.' And I said, ‘What game?' He said, ‘No, we need to start in five minutes.' And I said, ‘We're not playing.' Then he said something and I said, ‘I'm serious – we are not starting this game in five minutes. You're talking about young people, it's cold out here, they haven't warmed up, we've been standing, we are going to warm up longer than that.'

"And so he was talking to somebody and I said, ‘Ask the guy that you're talking to if he's ever played a dadgum basketball game in his life.' And so I yelled for Tom and Tom came over and I said, ‘Tom, they're trying to say we're going to start in five minutes and I told them no.' He said, ‘I'm not playing.' It was almost like he said the same exact thing. Then the guy came back and says, ‘We'll give you eight.' And I said, ‘ No, we're not doing that.'

"And I said, ‘Tommy, how much time do you want?' And he said, ‘How about 15 minutes?' And I said, ‘Alright, tell him 15 minutes.' And he said, ‘Well, you've already been out here four,' and I said, ‘Yeah, we've been out here four standing still.' I said, ‘Just tell him it's going to be easy. We'll play in 15 minutes. They run their dadgum mouths all of the time and say nothing, so they've got some other time to do that.' But it was a neat deal because Tommy and I just said no."

On his sideline attire during the Carrier Classic:
"If I knew we'd win the game, I'd wear the suckers every time. It was a little more comfortable than the coat and tie, I can tell you that. It was strange because I put on one of the long sleeve deals because it was a little cool and I had a Polo-type golf shirt on top and I got cold. Usually, I'm very busy. It could be 120 [degrees] or it could be 20, and I wouldn't know the difference, but I got cold out there. So then I put on the third layer.

"But the boots were special made for us. They looked like combat boots but I'm not sure if they're quite as good as what they use themselves. But we had those and then I said we've got to have some kind of pants that will go with those, so we asked for those and they sent us those as well. It's good to have a guy named Jordan who is in the shoe and apparel business. We got those and we decided we were going to wear them. I said, ‘Oh, there's no way I'm wearing regular clothes out there, I'm wearing these things.'"

On the decision not to reproduce and sell the camouflage jerseys from the Carrier Classic:
"I said, ‘Don't make up any other ones of these,' because I wanted it to be something really, really special. And then when we had the idea of giving them to the wounded warriors, we did talk about making one up for every player so that they would get one back themselves. But I don't think you should do things just for money, so I told them I didn't want anybody to make up any more of them."

How many players would you like to eventually be in your rotation?
"I've never had a number that I wanted to go by… It's just how well the guys play in practice. Are they effective enough to deserve to get more playing time when it's crunch time? I've had teams that we played seven guys and I've had teams that we played eight and I've had some teams that we played nine a lot. Eight guys is really easy to give them enough playing time without anybody wanting more. If they play as hard as I want them to play, it's hard to do much more than that. But nine guys I've been able to play before and sometimes even 10."

"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.

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