UNC-ND: Roy Williams Postgame
“Well, I think just congratulate Notre Dame. Mike [Brey’s] club came in and he said they were excited about being here and they played like it early and we didn’t. Couldn’t get them to make any mistakes early. It seemed like to me like they made almost every single shot. And then it was just an uphill battle. We kept fighting, kept fighting. It’s amazing, you look at the offensive rebounds, we got 21 and they got six, yet the biggest play of the game was their offensive rebound and putback. We had two or three opportunities there where we had Kennedy [Meeks] open on the block, but we didn’t go to him. And then we had Marcus [Paige] coming off a screen, and even the last play we didn’t execute that. I need to see it on tape but I don’t think we executed it the way we do in practice. Just extremely disappointed. They’re the best shooting team in the country and they looked the part tonight. Now they helped us a little bit at the end by missing some free throws. I think Steve [Kirschner] said they made 15 in a row before that. They made 10 threes to our four. Our club did give us a chance to make a play at the end and we just didn’t get it done. But at the same time, the play earlier in the game, it’s all extremely important. What you do in the first half is just as important as what you do in the second half. [Zach] Auguste was really huge for them. We’re very lucky that Jerian [Grant] fouled out, but he had eight assists; he really dominated the game when he was in. He’s a heck of a player. [Pat] Connaughton came out and just attacked us off the dribble. He’s just a big-time three-point shooter. It’s a tough matchup for us having Brice [Johnson] or Isaiah [Hicks] trying to guard him, but that’s what it is, that’s the game of basketball. It’s North Carolina vs. Notre Dame. Very disappointing.”
On the team missing last eight field goals and if he was happy with the shot selection:
“Not really. Of course, you’re not pleased with Marcus’s there at the end because it’s a prayer. It would have been nice if it had gone in, but it didn’t. Kennedy had two looks inside and that’s where I keep talking about he’s got to get more explosive because he just didn’t have much lift at that point. But it is what it is. North Carolina missed its shots. We had some good ones. We didn’t make many, or we didn’t make enough, that’s for sure.”
On if the last two possessions were drawn-up plays for Marcus Paige:
“Not necessarily. The last one we had three options. Marcus was the second option. They did a nice job covering it. The first part of it we didn’t run it correctly, but I’d have to see it again on the replay to be sure. I didn’t think we were as organized and solid as I wanted us to be. Give Notre Dame’s defense some credit, too. It’s not just us just running around out there.”
On guarding Notre Dame’s small offense:
“Well, Brice trying to guard Connaughton wasn’t a very good matchup. He stared him down and shot a three and then the next time he drove him to the basket, so that was hard. There’s a balance, you know we were taking away some of our inside, hopefully strength, to try to matchup with them, but we were behind at that time, so we felt like we had to get some stops, regardless of how many times we were scoring.“
How happy were you with Theo and the energy he gave you in the second half?
“It’s pretty easy to tell because I kept him in the game. That’s a pretty easy sign right there. I thought the three, he hasn’t made many of them, but it was wide open and J.P. made a nice pass to him and he knocked it in. But the offensive rebound was really big for us, too. I’ve always said the easiest way to stay in the game is to play well. If you play well, you get more chances.”
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