NCAA Sat.: UNC PC (w/audio)

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's Saturday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, John Henson and Tyler Zeller, who spoke to the media at the Greensboro Coliseum as UNC prepares for Creighton on Sunday.

Roy Williams
Listen to Audio (11:41)

Is there an update on John? Because last night you were saying maybe better than 50/50 he'll play, so have the odds increased he might be playing?
"I wish I could tell you because I'm tired of answering the dadgum thing, but we haven't done one thing since we're going to practice after this is over with and see what he can do. And so really I don't have any other information at all to add to what I said yesterday. He did continue getting rehab last night, but when you're sitting there eating, there's not a lot of things that you do when you're eating your meal that resembles what you're asked to do in basketball.

Not to suggest that you would overlook anybody or anything like that and respect all, but could you just talk about maybe what goes through your team as you -- as the tournament starts to play out over the first couple days? You see the upsets, the 15s beating 2s, that kind of thing. How does the team-- is there a heightened awareness?
"I think so. I think that I've always been that way. I keep telling you, using the statement that it's probably not very good because it's a Roy original that if you look down the road, that's where you're going - down the road back home. We tried to emphasize Vermont 100 percent as a staff, never talked about anybody else. And now we're trying to emphasize Creighton 100 percent as a staff; we don't talk about anybody else.

"To be honest with you, I barely even watched the other games. I've got my hands full doing what I need to be doing for North Carolina. Yes, I do read the papers or know that something's going on. And I did watch SportsCenter last night and that kind of thing. But for 24 years, it's the way we have operated and we have lost some games that certain people thought we should have won, but we have won some games too. But it's never been because we were looking past somebody."

Some of the guys up here kind of compared Creighton's offense to Duke's. Is that a fair comparison? And what -- defending that, what did you learn on how you guarded Duke?
"Well, we guarded them better one game than we did the other game, especially the last two minutes. So they're similar. I gave them that analogy because they're averaging over eight threes a game and I think that's similar to Duke. They have a big guy who can go out and shoot which is similar to what Ryan Kelly does. They don't mind running. That's what Duke does. So I gave them that analogy and I guess they -- I don't know who they would have come up with if you would have asked them without me saying anything, but the reason I gave that analogy is because just what I gave you and they are a really dominant 3-point shooting team. They shoot 42.5 from 3-point line as a team.

"We don't have anybody on our roster this year or last year that has shot over 40 percent from three. And so we have had to have to be able to get out and defend the 3-point shot. They're a multiple offensive system though because Doug's shooting 62 percent overall. So if he's shooting 49.5 from three and 62 overall, he's making a lot more of those twos. But with Gregory and Doug, they give size up front.

"They have another big guy. I'm drawing a blank right now that can shoot the heck out of it from three. You know how we are, I haven't -- I was answering another question, I didn't look at one second of Creighton's play until last night. And in fact, it was last night at 10:30. And so what we tried to focus on yesterday was everything about Vermont. And late, late, late last night, I started looking. One of my assistants had been scouting Creighton. And then this morning was the first thing we gave the team and hopefully we'll give them a lot more today."


Harrison Barnes & Kendall Marshall
Listen to Audio (9:26)

Marshall:

Kendall, you guys had said how in some terms how you've been pointing towards March and this tournament, yet something seemed to be missing yesterday, kind of like maybe a spark or a flow. How concerned are you that this could be a lingering problem in this tournament and what are you looking to do tomorrow to prevent a repeat of what happened against Vermont?
"Personally, I'm not concerned at all. We missed a lot of little chip-ins, a lot of easy jump shots. And I don't think you can get mad at missed shots. I feel like if some of those fall, maybe we have a double digit lead with 10 minutes left in the first half as opposed to late in the first half and it's a different story. So I feel like we did a great job defensively. We enjoyed the win until midnight. We're looking forward to a great matchup with Creighton and coming out and playing a full 40 minutes."

Either one of you guys or actually both of you guys, after watching some of the things that happened yesterday, how much more aware does it make you that, you know, this is not a given that just because you're a one seed you're going to win?
'It was a little scary, actually, because after the first day there weren't that many upsets and it's like, wow, I don't want to be that one. And then to see a couple of the higher seeds go down, you realize it's still a game of basketball and there's still five players on the court and seeding doesn't matter when you're out there. So you hope it doesn't happen to you. You want to prepare and put your best foot forward no matter who you're playing against."

Barnes:

Same question to you. How much more aware does it make you this is not a given that just because you're a one seed you're going to win?
"Biggest thing I saw was just energy and intensity. All those quote-unquote 15 seeds that were so much less talented came out with just so much more energy than those two seeds and that ended up winning them the game. So just our focus is to always come out to at least match or exceed the other team's energy."

Harrison, Doug was at the podium and he was asked a ton of questions about you, and I guess I want to flip it around. What do you remember about Doug's development? And he's a first team All-American. Did you see that coming in him, say, as a junior when he wasn't even starting for you guys at Ames High?
"Well, we didn't quite see it as a junior or else he would have been starting, to say the least. But, no, his growth has been tremendous, just having the ability to go to Creighton, go to a system where he's able to grow and develop. And now everyone's starting to see that, see his efficiency magnified, and see him get the shots he needs and the right location he needs them in, and it's been great. And as a former teammate, it's been fun to watch. Fun to watch him grow as well."

Harrison, what memories do you have of rolling around in his Nissan Murano in high school? And he said you got shotgun, I guess, most of the time; you wouldn't have it any other way.
"Oh, yeah. It was-- he was one of the -- had one of the nicest cars I think on the team at the time, so it was a luxury to be able to ride shotgun in that. But Doug was always there. Any time I needed a ride to the gym, we would always go shoot together, stuff like that, always go out to eat. So he was a great teammate and a good friend."

Given the superstitions of your coach, would you guys share three of your favorites with us?
"Usually if he loses a game, he throws away the tie, potentially the suit. We always eat before we watch film. And, him --"

[Marshall interjects] "One of my favorites is before he comes in the locker room before games, there's always a blue marker and a black marker. Blue is on right; black's on the left. Sometimes we'll switch it just to mess with him, but he always goes and finds the right marker. I like that."


John Henson
Listen to Audio (3:06)

You said on Thursday that your wrist was about a 5.5-6.0 on a scale of 1-10. How would you rate it now?
"To tell you the truth, yesterday I thought I was going to be fine until I tried practicing with the team in shootaround, so today I'm just going to see how it feels during practice and then I'll probably be able to put a number on it."

Looks like the swelling is down.
"Oh yeah, it's down a lot. I don't really have swelling on the top of my wrist anymore, so it's getting better."


Tyler Zeller
Listen to Audio (2:21)

On Creighton:
"It will be interesting to see how we match up with them, but the way they shoot the ball will definitely pose some problems."

On the home field advantage:
"Being a one seed, that definitely helps having your crowd around you and supporting you. We look forward to playing in that kind of an atmosphere tomorrow."

Did the upsets on Friday make you realize how quickly things can happen in this tournament?
"It's always incredible what teams can do. You had two No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds -- that's pretty much unheard of. You have to make sure you go out and show up every night and give your best effort because it could be your best night."


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