"Well, no coach is ever going to say you've seen the improvement that you're looking for, but I have seen us improve. The Texas game was better than we played against Wisconsin, for example. The good teams are just going to continue to get better and better as the season progresses. That's what you practice for. This week is an important week for us. [Monday] we did not practice because of the holiday clinic, so the rest of the week we're going to try to get ready for ACC play, which is a whole different level and we understand that."
What is it that makes the Carolina basketball family so strong?
"It's hard to pinpoint it. First you have to say, [coach] Frank McGuire, bringing those guys down from New York, including Lennie Rosenbluth, who's sitting right here. Winning a national championship, that got people here in North Carolina even more excited about basketball. … That was the first step.
"Then the next 5,000 steps … came from Coach Dean Smith. Because Coach Smith, I've said many times, is the best I've ever seen on the court, and was far better off the court. When you came to play for Coach Smith, you joined his family. I've tried to adopt [his approach]. I'm a copier; I'm not intelligent enough to think of a whole lot of things. I thought Coach Smith was the best, and I tried to copy what he did…
"North Carolina basketball is something special. And you know how you can tell it's special? Because all the other people make jokes of it, because they're jealous. All of our guys in the NBA talk about how the other guys [say], ‘Aw, that's just phony,' and I tell the guys to do one thing, just smile and nod at them and say, ‘You're jealous.' Because that's all it boils down to. Frank McGuire and Dean Smith -- Roy Williams is just a guy who happens to be in charge right now -- but it's a great, great family."
Reggie Bullock will be joining us shortly –
"I promise you Reggie won't step on the dadgum sideline when he comes up here. Coach [Larry] Fedora, do they have boundary lines in football? Reggie didn't know until yesterday that we have dadgum boundary lines on the basketball court. I've never seen a guy get a cheer just because he caught a pass and stayed inbounds… 120 years, Reggie, they've been playing basketball with lines around the dadgum court the whole time, son."
On John Henson and Tyler Zeller:
"Well, we need ‘Z' to rebound the basketball. [On Sunday], I was a little mad at everybody else because when ‘Z' shot the ball, we didn't have the board covered and when John shot the ball, we didn't have the board covered. It's not fair to tell those guys they can't shoot the ball from the outside because they both can shoot. Everybody else has got to do a better job on the backboards.
"But John is averaging over 10 rebounds a game [and] ‘Z' with five games in a row with double figures in rebounds. Those guys have to rebound the basketball and we've got to have guys on the perimeter helping us with that. But John and ‘Z' are like anchors inside. If they do get the rebound, we can't run out early, we've got to secure the rebound first. They're good defensively and they both have an ability to score. I think they'll continue to improve."
What's your biggest challenge as conference play begins?
"The challenge that every coach faces – you've got to get better all of time. You can't just say, ‘Well, we've made it,' or anything like that. And we've got to come out on the court with a sense of urgency every day in practice to get better. I think if we adopt that attitude and try to get better every single day, then you should be playing your best basketball at the end of the year. We'll need to play our best basketball as get started against the ACC teams."
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.