UNC-UL: Roy Williams Postgame

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes video and transcript excerpts of head coach Roy Williams's postgame press conference following UNC's win over Louisville on Sunday.

Opening comments:
"Needless to say we feel great. A completely different feeling than it was seven days ago. Today I thought we played exceptionally well. Russ Smith is a heck of a player and Chris Jones. Those guys about killed us on the perimeter but I love what Marcus (Paige) did and what Brice (Johnson) did. College basketball is about what Kennedy Meeks did. Yesterday he was one of the worst players on the planet. Today he was unbelievable. I told him last night, 'You just weren't ready to play. You didn't have the intensity. You've got to aim for tomorrow because this is big time college basketball.' I thought Kennedy—You look at that 13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and only one turnover—That's really big for us.

"I was scared to death a little bit with foul trouble but I thought those guys hung in there. I had to take out Brice and Marcus both. I just felt very good about our team. It's a 180 degrees away from everybody in that locker room and what they felt last week. We knew we had to play our best. We couldn't play anything less than the best in order to win this game. We didn't talk too much about winning. We talked about playing a whole heck of a lot better. I think we did play a heck of a lot better.

"Louisville's team is really something. Rick Pitino is one of our great coaches at any level, at any time and if he hadn't taken the NBA for those few years there's no telling how many wins he'd have. You've got to play the total game when you play them. You've got to guard people. You've got to handle the press. You've got to score in the half court. You've got to do everything. Other than looking and seeing Russ with 36 and Chris with 20, I feel great about what we did."

Comments on the guard play today for the Tar Heels:
"I was dumb enough at halftime and said, ‘We only had seven turnovers.' I said we'd like less than that but I could be satisfied with seven in the second half as well. I got what I wished for and I didn't mean it. We had 14. Take away some silly turnovers and I thought Marcus and Nate did a good job. Nate's drives to the basket - he missed one late that I thought he was going to make it — his drives to the basket sometimes are really important for us as well.

"You can't say we were great defensively when the two guys that are shooting and trying to stop got 36 and 20 but I think going to the zone helped us a little bit. We've just got to do a better job guarding the driver."

How bad did your team need to play well in a setting like the one they were in today?
"Well I think we needed to play well. The fact that you win makes it even better for the kids. Coach Smith always said if you played well he could accept it. I would've accepted it today but I wasn't worried about result. I wasn't thinking about win, win, win. I was think we've got to play better.

"I thought if we played better we'd have a chance. Louisville, yesterday, didn't play as well as they wanted to play by any means and we caught them probably on a good two-day period. For us, I thought it was extremely important for us to play well. The fact that we won just adds something to it for the kid's perspective."

Comments on the lineup formations for today's game:
"We talked about it we don't have enough wing players right now to play and so we have to get James Michael (McAdoo) some time at the three. It's a little bit different for him to find some openings against that zone. Particularly in the first half, he got a little bit more in the second half. A pretty good lineup for us is to leave J.P. (Tokoto) at the two with Marcus (Paige) at the one and James Michael at the three but that puts an extreme heavy load on all of the ball handling on Marcus's shoulders so you can't do that for 40-minute game.

"Nate helped us. There's no question about that and it gave Marcus some freedom and gave him some opportunities to catch his breath a little bit. I think not just going big but the zone was important for us. As I said in the press conference the other day, we've already worked on zone more this year than most years I've ever coached. I just think that right now with our limited assets for perimeter players we're going to have to go big and play in a zone and it'll help us some."

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