Monday Roy Williams Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina head coach Roy Williams spoke with reporters Monday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening comments:
“We had a good week last week. We had a nice win yesterday. We didn’t play very well, but Virginia Tech made us play that way. Going to Wake Forest on Wednesday night we know we’ve got to play a heck of a lot better. I think Danny’s club is playing so much better each week… We know we’ve got to play well. We’ve got to continuing milking some time in practice because of our injury situation, but we need to play a heck of a lot better, there’s no question.”

On if his players are using last year's loss to Wake Forest as motivation:
“It’s the ACC. You’ve got to be ready to play every night. It’s hard to believe it’s an 18-game marathon is what we’re involved in, but that’s what it is. I think our guys will remember the feeling they had last year. We will remember how well they played. I don’t know how much that’s going to help us or hurt us. We just have to be concerned about how we can play and play better.”

Do you have any type of relationship with Danny Manning dating back to your Kansas days?
“Oh, there’s no question. My first year there we had a reunion. I tried to bring all of the former players back. We had one every five years. Danny lived in Lawrence in the offseason and played a lot of pickup with my teams at Kansas. Everybody always talked about how the best pickup games were when Danny was in town because he was such a leader and got them to play instead of spending all of their time arguing or taking breaks. What they did was they worked on their game. He was a great leader for all of the players I had during those 15 years I was there.”

How much does J.P. Tokoto’s athleticism on defense help your team?
“He’s had some unbelievable games. He’s never been a very consistent defensive player, but he can make a great block or great steal that jumps out at people. I think the thing that I’ve liked the most this year is that he’s become more consistent with what he’s doing. He’s really difficult to handle when he’s locked down in a stance in front of the dribble. He can keep the dribble in front of him and then he can also use his length to bother somebody’s shot. He has all of the skills and all of the characteristics that you need to be a fantastic defender and he’s really had some good defensive games for us.”

What’s the most athletic play that he’s made that you can remember?
“Oh gosh, well he jumps out of the gym. He’s made several of those, but one of the ones didn’t mean anything because he had a big-time dunk at the end of the Wake Forest game last year and they were beating us to death, but it was awfully athletic.”

How many days do you typically take to prepare for a game?
“What we do, and I’ve done this for 27 years, we really devote most of our time to our club and then the day before the game, we give quite a bit of time to what the other team does. So preparation for us is usually one day.”

You are probably going to be favored in your next three games. When you’re preparing for teams that may be less gifted than your team --
“You guys in the media are really unusual. There’s not a coach in the world that prepares differently, saying, ‘Well, we’re probably favored.’ I have no idea what that means. I’ve never looked at a point spread. Well, I looked one time at a point spread – somebody told me and I looked at it – and we got beat and that was 24 years ago and I’ve never looked at another point spread. I never will look at a point spread.

"It’s ACC basketball and we’ve got to play Wednesday night. I don’t even know who the next game is and I definitely don’t know who the third game is. So we’re focusing on Wake Forest. It’s not going to change our preparation in any way, shape, or form, whether we wee favored, to use your terminology, by 100 or the underdog by 100. We’ve got to try to prepare for an ACC basketball game. I’m just shocked that anyone would even talk about those kinds of things in the ACC.”

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