UNC-NCSU: Roy Williams Postgame
“I love the Smith Center, but I think Marcus is ready for me to see if we can rent this place. He was sensational. 23 Points, 9 assists, 0 turnovers. Our club was very resilient, even in the first half. I thought we played well defensively, we just didn’t box out. We gave them 12 offensive rebounds. Which in the first half gave them nine more possessions than we had. Which is like giving them the ball nine straight times and then deciding to play alternate. I thought we rebounded it better in the second half. Not many times this year we’ve been out rebounded, but you have to give credit to them. They were much more aggressive to the ball. Turner made two outside threes and one of them we fouled an outside shot. That’s the last thing I said before we left the huddle is don’t foul the outside shot.
"But that’s what makes this game so much fun, because it’s 18-, 19-, 20- and 21-year-olds. He makes two big threes, Trevor makes a big three, because basically we were pretty comfortable until all of that stuff happened. I loved the way our guys went to the free throw line. Nate and Marcus made big free throws for us. J.P. made one, missed the second one when it was a two point game after Trevor’s three, and then we were able to come up with a rebound and get fouled again, so made it a lot more fine. We feel awfully lucky. You shoot 56 percent for the game, you have to feel good about that.
"I didn’t like our turnovers in the first half. We had five turnovers and I can tell you every one of them because it wasn’t just because somebody stole the ball, we had a palming call, we had an illegal screen, we had a guy throw it off his leg out of bounds, we had a guy throw it to a guy that wasn’t even there, and the fifth one was in the corner on the other side. Defensively they switched to zone, which bothered us a little bit, but Marcus hit some big threes for us too. Lucky as all get out, and we’ll get out of town as quick as we can.”
Was tonight a set back for your defensive rebounding?
“Yeah, but I think they are a really good defensive rebounding team. I think that’s part of it. BeeJay had three offensive rebounds in the first half, Washington had two, those are guys that go after the ball. Long shots and long rebounds, so it’s not just that you have to get under the boards and box somebody out. I thought they were much more aggressive than we were. The last play, if you’re taking about the tip after the missed free throw, I would have to see that, but I thought we would for sure box out, because the game is over with if we box out, but we’ll have to see what happened.”
How do you think your backcourt responded to the Joel Berry injury?
“We had some fun the other day because I played three court guards at one time. I want to instill some of that during the course of the year. 2002, almost before you were born, I had a Kansas team that played in the Final Four and we started three point guards all year and that was a comfortable way to play. I’d been wanting to get to that point and we finally did it and then Joel gets hurt. Next two to three weeks we will be without it. But I thought Nate and Marcus really did a nice job. Marcus hurt his foot once in the game, and I took him out to give him a breather. But he still had 36 minutes.”
On the play of his post players:
“Isaiah is 6 for-7, you like that, that’s for sure. Brice was in foul trouble, but Brice was 4 for 7 and did some good things. But Washington is a difficult matchup. He was only 1 for 1 from three but it shot one there at the end that just went right through the heart and it didn’t have any spin on it. I’m watching in, and said that’s not going to go in and it goes right through the heart. When you can do that you can really shoot the ball. We told them when he is comfortable on the court shooting it, but we really didn’t get close enough to him.”
Is this best inside out offensive performance on balance?
“I have a tough time remembering what I had for breakfast today right now. I’d have to evaluate that on film, but you shoot 56 percent and you ought to feel pretty good, but you’d like to get more offensive rebounds too.”
What role has the bench played for your team on defense in your last few games?
“I think Isaiah particularly. Because Brice was not able to deny the ball to Washington. I think Isaiah was able to do that and do it well, and I think that was good for us. The other day it was 20-0, our bench compared to Louisville’s bench. It was 19 to 9 today, so I’ll take that every time. I’ve harped on it every year that I’ve every coached that when you come into the game you’re supposed to give us something positive.”
What’s the difference between Isaiah now and a few weeks ago confidence wise?
“I don’t know. Again, it’s 18, 19 and 20 year olds. We do the same drills, he does the same thing, we run the same sprints. I would think the starts and the moon weren’t properly aligned for a little while because he works awfully hard. Tonight, making some big plays early was really good.”
On Marcus Paige not being on the mid-season Wooden Award Watch List and what he's meant to the team this season:
“If the voters watched the game tonight, he’ll be on the list tomorrow. He’s just been so effective for us in every phase of the game. He’s the leader out there. He was jumping on one of the guys because they didn’t get out there on the screen, and they said yes sir. They believe in him and they trust him. He’s willing to step up and take big shots. At the end he was trying to run around and guard Ralston Turner and he did a good job of that. He’s our most effective defender. 9 assists and 0 turnovers. That’s pretty dog on good. There’s nothing in the game that he doesn’t do very well. I’d like him to be 6’3 220 pounds, but he’s not that. But what he is 165 to 175 pounds and most of it is heart.”
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