"After the game, I always usually say a couple of things to the team, sometimes a little longer. One of our wins this year I kept them in the locker room a little longer. I think the media made a statement about that because I was concerned with how we were playing. I had a friend of mine who said, ‘You've been so frustrated, but you've been winning, you're winning by 20.' And I said, ‘I'm concerned about how we're playing. We're not trying to prepare to win one game in the regular season. I'm trying to get us to be the best team.'
"But usually I say a couple of quick things, get them together, I say a little prayer, they don't have to pray, they just have to put their hands in with me, whatever they want to do. And then we go on and I go to the press conference. Coach Smith would always come in and not even do that. We would just get up, put our hands together and say a quick little prayer. I'd say, ‘Coach, I've got to blast them sometimes.' This is when I became a head coach and he always said, ‘You should wait until you see the tape and you know exactly what you're saying and know if you're exactly right or wrong because sometimes coaches can mess it up, too, something that they thought they saw.'
"So I basically have adhered to that, but I say a few things. Well, after the game Saturday, our players got in the locker room and I walked in and said one sentence: ‘Everybody up.' We came together and we put our hands together. I said a little prayer and I walked out, because I did not want to talk to my team at that point.
"We got on the bus, went to the airport, got on the airplane, came home, the bus pulled up down into the ramp at the Smith Center. Everybody that we call AYOs – all you others – get off the bus and I walked to the back of the bus and this time I gave them the schedule. I said, ‘We have Special Olympics [on Sunday], everybody be there at 12:45." And I got off the bus. I still didn't say one thing about the game, because I still wasn't mature enough to say anything… Today we met. We had a film session. They did weights. We had another little film session. We went out on the court, went back into the locker room [and] finished watching the tape.
"And I apologized to five guys because I did not even know until I watched the game tape that my five walk-ons stayed out there on the court. Did not know that. Regardless of how, in my opinion, unfairly people have treated Steve Kirschner when he tried to give them a response, that's the exact truth. There's nothing else. That's the exact truth, because if you watch the tape, Joe Holladay and I at first are talking. Joe said, ‘We're going to have problems getting off this court again, because they're already in the aisles. We're going to have problems.' I think Jamie Luckie was in front of our bench. And I'm whispering or talking into his ear while the game is going, I said, ‘Jamie, we're going to have a problem getting off the court. Do you have any suggestions?' He said, ‘I don't know what to tell you.'
"And then all of a sudden there's a dead ball and a timeout and I start walking and I motion for Leonard Hamilton to come. Leonard comes up there and I said, ‘Leonard, I'm worried about getting our guys off the court. Would it offend you if we were to leave?' He said, ‘No, I think that's what you should do.' Which I thought was great on Leonard's [part]. I've known him for 100 years and he's always sensible on things like that. He said that and I told him, ‘Leonard, I appreciate that. Please understand this is not intended to be an indictment on your security.' …
"I turned to Joe Holladay and I motioned. I said, ‘Come on,' and I took about three steps. You could see it on TV, regardless of what those people are saying to Steve Kirschner. Leonard said something, ‘Roy – your players.' And I turned around and said, ‘Come on!' And you could see me motion my arm again. I take off but I stop and try to congratulate as many players as I can… I go to the locker room and it is a long way down the side of the court, it's all of the way back there. And I get back there and I'm standing outside of our locker room waiting for every player to get in. And I said, ‘Is that everybody?' And they said, ‘No.' And I'm standing there and all of a sudden here comes Joe Holladay and Patty Crouch. I said, ‘What took Patty so long?' He said, ‘He got caught up in the crowd.' And I didn't know what the crap he was talking about. I went in and I did exactly what I told you earlier…
"I am watching the tape of the game and it's the first time that I realize that the five Blue Steel guys stayed out there on the court. Every prospect, every walk-on that I've ever had, I say one thing: ‘If I ask the biggest star on our team to run a sprint, you're going to have to run a sprint. If I eat steak, you're going to eat steak. Whatever happens to every scholarship player, you have to do.' I would never leave five kids out there. If I'm going to do that, why wouldn't I stay out there? …
"Steve comes to see me [on Monday] and I said, ‘Are we getting drilled?' Because I hadn't read Sunday's paper until [Monday]. And he said, ‘You're just getting drilled because of leaving those five guys out there. I said, ‘It's funny you say that because I just apologized to my team 20 minutes ago.' I said, ‘Guys, there was miscommunication between me and Coach Holladay. I did not even know that you guys stayed out to play the game.' Stilman [White] comes up and said, ‘Coach, I came up to you but you were talking to Coach Hamilton. I didn't know if you just wanted me to stand there and dribble the ball or not.' I said, ‘Stilman, I would have sacrificed you, but I would not have sacrificed five of you.' …
"So Steve Kirschner calls some people on the radio and tells them that and basically – I'm not going to speak for Steve – but they get on the radio and say it's not true. You've got to handle a lot of things in life, but you're not going to call me a liar. That's exactly what happened. Every player on our team will tell you that, every coach. I even told the coaches -- today was the first time that I told them I didn't know our guys stayed out there. I didn't want to talk to any coach. I was going to kill some-frickin-body. We just got beat by 33… It was a mistake. It was confusion. It was miscommunication. But the fact of the matter is Florida State kicked our rear ends."
What was the most surprising thing about the FSU loss to you?
"The total picture. We set down certain things that we wanted the guys to do and put it out there, and it was not done in every area. We didn't defend, we didn't rebound, we didn't push the ball. We wanted to really push the ball in transition. There was no phase of the game where we did what we thought we were going to do.
"And to be honest with you, I told them at halftime, ‘Guys, I feel like I've stolen half of the cookies because we played like dogs and we're just down eight.' I really did. It was just a total lack of discipline on our team. It was bad coaching by me. It was so many different things.
"And I'll say this – we had a great practice today. We had a great session of film study. The tough thing is we're in the ACC. We can turn around and play really good on Thursday night and still may not win. But we laid a bad, bad egg is what happened."
How do you begin to move forward after that type of loss?
"Well, I did make another mistake because 48 hours was not enough. I was not very nice to my guys today. They responded great. Their response at practice was great because I told Coach Robinson, ‘It's not enough, Coach. I should have waited.' One of the film sessions ended quite abruptly and we went out on the court just because I had had enough. But what you have to do is learn from it… You have to learn from that and now you have to put it behind you. I'm not going to forget. That's one of those that will go down as one of those that I will never forget, but I think our kids are going to have to understand that we made some mistakes and we don't want to do those things again."
Do you see any need for a drastic change like after the Georgia Tech game last year?
"There's not one guy I can point to and say, ‘Gosh, he's just not playing or he's just not doing this.' Again, it was a total breakdown of everybody out there. Don't expect any lineup changes."
On P.J. Hairston:
"P.J.'s had a tough [season]. Several weeks back he lost his grandfather. This past weekend, he didn't come to practice today because he lost his great-grandfather. Both sides of the family are really, really close."
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.