Monday Roy Williams Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Roy Williams spoke with reporters Monday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening comments:
"We were so bad on Saturday. If I emphasize that too much, it takes away from a great Florida State win. Dulkys was off the charts; a fantastic day for him. You like those kinds of moments for everybody, but you don't like it when it's against your team. They beat us in every phase of the game. We're not very excited about the way we played, but we better be excited about getting better."

Have you had teams to develop mental toughness as the season goes along?
"We have. You can go back to last year. We were struggling, but boy, down the stretch those guys got tougher and tougher and tougher. Hopefully this team will be able to do the same type of thing, but to answer your question, yes, we have. A lot of it is attention to detail. [That] can be part of toughness, too."

Did you like what you saw on the flight back home? You've mentioned those kinds of trips in the past where you've had a tough loss and you've seen how it impacted them.
"We haven't practiced yet. We had a meeting [Monday] morning. As soon as I finish this call, we'll go to practice, but I haven't seen anything that I like. There is nothing related to Saturday's game that I liked. We'll have to see how we respond at practice today, but the smartest thing I've ever done as a coach is to not say anything to them until today. That's given me 48 hours."

What signs will you look for in practice over the next couple of days that might give you a good indication of how well the guys are responding?
"See if we live."

Can you elaborate on that?
"I don't think it needs much elaboration. We've got to have great practices. We're not going to go up and beat Virginia Tech just because we lost on Saturday. People say, ‘Oh, they're going to bounce back.' It makes no difference. We could go up and play well and still not be successful. We've just got to do a heckuva lot better job."

Is there anything you can do when a player is having the kind of game that Dulkys had on Saturday?
"You hope so, but you don't know. We could have guarded him better, there's no question. Some of his shots we had a hand in his face, yes, but there were a number – three or four – where he was wide open that we just didn't make an extra movement to get him covered. We had seen all of the stats and everything and then when I'm watching the TV copy over – I may get this wrong – but in the [last] nine games, he had shot 17 percent from three. But still, if a guy gets hot, you've got to understand it quickly. We didn't do as good of a job as we would like to, but just congratulate him, too, because he made some when we were there and he didn't have to make all of them when he was open."

Coach, how are you?
"Not very good, but still alive."

What's the issue, dating back to last year, with this team's struggles to defend the perimeter?
"Well, we have not had this year trouble guarding the ball on the perimeter. Our field goal defense percentage from the 3-point line is second in the league. But we had trouble guarding it Saturday. For the most part, we've really done a good job with that. 2-for-16, 2-for-17 in one of the games right before that. We did not do a very good job of it on Saturday, to say the least. We struggled with it last year of being able to challenge the outside shot and still feel like you could guard the penetration, but this year we haven't. We've been doing pretty well until Saturday."

Do you know the reason for the team's lethargic play at times?
"I have no idea. If I had an idea, I'd have already changed it. I don't think we were lethargic against UNLV. It was a great crowd and their team is pretty good. But we were not as active as we needed to be against Florida State."

Is Saturday's game the kind you try to avoid overreacting to and just try to move on?
"I don't want to overreact. I think everyone will say that. But that was a real butt-kicking that you just can't ignore, either. Even when we were winning nine in a row, go back to the press conferences, I wasn't always saying glowing things. I kept saying our team's got to get better. So that's the same party line today. It's just that it hit the kids between the eyes more than me saying it."

On Tyler Zeller:
"I thought Tyler Zeller was really good on Saturday. He was the only player that would have any kind of passion grade."

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