UNC-DC: Roy Williams Postgame

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The head basketball coach addressed the media following UNC's win over Davidson.

Opening comments:
“We were very pleased. I think we beat a very good basketball team that is a difficult matchup for us. I thought defensively it was by far our best game of the year and a difficult situation with our big guys having to go out on the floor. I thought Aldridge and one of the big guys for them making six threes was really difficult for our guys to get out there, but hopefully that taught us a lesson and we’ll do better next time. I thought Kennedy was huge inside and Justin Jackson gave us a lift, to say the least, with some of his scoring.

“When they cut it to eight Isaiah had screwed it up twice in a row not stepping up on the three-point shooter and he got fouled and stepped up to the line and made both free throws and I think that was good for him. We wanted to get a bigger advantage on the backboards but they’re really a good team and we were fortunate today that they missed some shots and I think that’s part of the game, but they missed some shots that they normally would make, but we feel good about the win.”

Are you impressed with the way that Kennedy has adjusted to his new body shape?
“I think it’s a day to day thing. We have to get his mind correct that he does have a different body that he can do certain things. I mean, he’s giving me the tired signal, and then goes out and denies the pass 45 feet from the basket and goes down and dunks it. I’ve told him all the time, give me the tired signal when you’re going down on offense not when you’re going back on defense. He just doesn’t realize what his body can do right now. But, needless to say, today I think he was big.”

When you saw Sullivan hit that 3-pointer, did that bring back memories of last year?
“No that didn’t bring up anything about last year. But, we do work a lot about trying to get out and guard the three point shooters because there are going to be a lot of teams that we play that are going to take their 4-man and sometimes 5-man out on the court. We didn’t do as good a job as we wanted to do because you always want to play the perfect game, but I told them, and I just told you, it was the best defensive game we’ve played all year, we were more alert.

“We had Justin Jackson and Theo on one side over there and all of a sudden the ball goes to No. 15, who has only made 80 percent of his three’s, and you got two freshmen over there, and they saw well ‘that’s not my guy,’ and so he makes a three. We have to be more alert and make some adjustments there, but if I’m not mistaken it’s still November.”

Did you like how the guys adjusted to the double teams?
“We got better at it. Teams we’ve had in the past have really done a nice job of that because we’ve moved it quickly to the other big guy. But I thought if you’re just picking out that one thing I think it was to their advantage to double us there in the post because we didn’t hurt them as much as I wanted to.”

Did it mean something extra to Kennedy to play this well here in his hometown?
“I would think it probably does, but you would have to ask him that. To me, it’s another game regardless of where you play. For me, I enjoy playing road games, I enjoy trying to focus on what you’re trying to do. I know it wasn’t a true road game, I’m not trying to say that because we had quite a few people here today ourselves. But getting away from the friendliness of the Smith Center I think was important for us.”

On the team’s outlet passes:
“I think so. I think we threw one away and one Justin kicked off of his shin out of bounds, but other than that, I think the rest of them were all successful. But we work on it, and it was good for us. Kennedy is better at it than any player I’ve ever coached, and the other guys say ‘well, I can do that too,’ and it makes the other guys run more because they know that he’ll throw it and that’s always good. They’ve got it out of bounds with two seconds on the shot clock and the youngster throws it off of Desmond and they get it out of bounds again, and Kennedy makes a nice defensive play and steals it and throws it the length of the court and we lay it up, changeovers like that are important to you.”

Have you ever had a player change his body like Kennedy Meeks has?
“I’ve never had anybody report at 319, so let’s look where were starting from first. No. Nick Collison was a skinny dude when he came, and he to be a 26-point, 24-rebound guy in one game, but no I haven’t had anybody like that.”

Did you like the production you got off of your bench?
“Except for Isaiah defensively, I really like what he did. He got the ball one time in the first half on the left block, and, quit being a softy. You’ve got to make a solid, strong move, and he’s capable of doing those things. We see it in practice. I think the more time Isaiah gets he’s going to get better and better. Theo made one decision in the first half that wasn’t the best. I think Theo and Justin both are really coming, and I think Joel Berry is going to be a really good player for us too. Theo gives you that extra energy, he just needs to make the easy play and find his man a little quicker and those kind of things and he’s going to be really helpful.”

How do you feel about your team going into the Bahamas?
“We’re 3-0 and we’ve done some good things, we know we have to get a heck of a lot better. It’s a different team, and I’ve got a different team but there were some guys that were around they beat us by 88 points or something like that the last time we played them and I remember that. It’s a wonderful tournament, and looking at all the tournament fields I think it’s the best fields of any of the preseason tournaments and it’s a big time challenge for us, but right now we’re going to enjoy this one today a lot more.”

On the status of the rotation:
“In my mind I have to set rotations, but Kennedy messed it up so early in the game, and I took him out a lot sooner than I would just to get his attention. I do have in my mind going into every game a little bit about rotation, but coach Smith said one time that all those plans stick with you the first four or five minutes and then you have to go by the seat of your pants. But I want to give guys time. We had eight guys in double figures minute-wise, and I can get eight or nine guys in easily in my own mind. So we just need to a do a better job of it, I’d like to have gotten Joel Berry some more minutes for example.”

What do you say to a player to get his attention?
“Play or sit. It’s a pretty easy thing, because the two mistakes he made were what we talked about in the scouting report and everything.”

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