Williams PC Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Inside Carolina's pregame coverage includes video and quotes from head coach Roy Williams's press conference ahead of Tuesday's matchup with N.C. State.

Do you feel like the team has turned a corner over the past two games?
“I think we really did some good things at Duke. We didn’t have enough at the end, didn’t make a play here and there and they did, but I thought we played better. I was pleased on Saturday because with so many things going on and so many people expecting a letdown after the Duke game that I was pleased with what they did. Not pleased with every possession for sure, but I’m still trying to play the perfect game.

“I think we also had a little edge because everybody was a little concerned about Joel Berry and Brice [Johnson]. Seriously, when I left pregame meal I didn’t know if we were going to have either one of them. Joel literally missed the game. He was home in the bed sleeping. He never saw a moment of the game because he was out of it so badly. Brice, I was impressed. You haven’t heard me say this very often because I was impressed with Brice’s toughness because he wasn’t feeling very good either. So different thought processes from both games, yeah.”

Have those guys recovered?
“I saw both of them yesterday at the celebration services. We didn’t practice or anything, but they were both smiling. Joel said ‘I’m so much better. I actually missed the entire game. Not just that you guys sent me home, but I missed it.’ But I would assume that they are going to be better today.”

On Kennedy Meeks's and Brice Johnson’s high percentage from the field in recent weeks:
“We’ve stressed all year long about trying to get a better position and trying to get there early. You know where you want to go, so prepare, and take your men away from that spot and try and get to it. I think they have done a better job with that. We have done some physical things in the pre-practice stuff about going one-on-one and handling the banging and still being able to score. And shots going in does make everything look better. They have really done a nice job with that part of it. I keep telling them all the time, if they raise their motor and do a better job on the defensive end then they will become a complete player and a successful player.”

Are there areas where you have seen Marcus Paige improve this season?
“I think he’s been able to handle the pounding so much more. His freshman year we used to laugh that someone would bump and he would be six feet away and the ball would be where he left it kind of thing. So he has handled the physical-ness much better with his better strength, not a lot more weight, but a little more weight, but much stronger. He understands what we are trying to do big picture wise on the offensive end and defensive end much better than when he was a freshman.

“Last year, during the second half of the year, the defenses were aimed at him as well, and he was still able to do some weird things. It was off the charts how successful he was. And this year he has gotten even more of the defensive attention and the shot hasn’t fallen in quite as much for him, but I think he has played so well it is hard to imagine anybody being able to do more with what he has been able to do.”

How much value is there in getting the double-bye in the ACC Tournament?
“I haven’t really thought about it. But of course you would like to be in the top four and say, my gosh. But do I lay awake at night trying to figure out where we are going to be. The season is so demanding that even more so now than it was in the past, you can’t think about those kind of things because if you do then you are wasting your time. You better think about playing North Carolina State tomorrow night because if you are not successful all these great plans, it has no bearing on anything whatsoever. I feel like we are playing 47 conference games.

“It’s just a marathon and like I said, I added to the marathon last week. It’s a marathon run up hill the entire way. But I know I don’t think of that other stuff. And four days, five days, I have to be reminded what day the tournament starts. [Told by reporter that it's Tuesday] Wanda told me that last night, and I did have to ask. It’s so demanding. It’s like a class where you have a test every day. If you go in there every day wondering what your final grade is going to be and worrying about that you’ll have forgot to have studied for that exam. And it’s like exam day every day.”

Has there been any update on Theo Pinson?
“No. In fact we hope to find out something this afternoon about the last test they did. He’s not going to practice today. I know that. He’s not going to play tomorrow. I know that. My guess is that we will have some news next week. I don’t think we will have any news this week. I think next week we’ll have guesstimate because I think your working with a situation where it is not cut and dry. That’s my first impression.”

On Cat Barbour’s recent emergence:
“We looked at him as that anyway. I watched a little bit of the tape from our last game last night I forget what the number was, but 58 percent of their scoring comes from those three guys. You do get scoring from guys off the bench too. You have to account for all three of those guys. They do it different ways. Cat is a penetrator who has gotten better as a shooter, but he is a pull up shooter. Trevor is a three-point shooter who can take it to the basket and gets involved in the break. Ralston Turner is a three-point shooter who is sometimes a four-point shooter the way we fouled him over at State. They fit together. Those three really do fit and compliment each other. Cat has gotten more aggressive trying to score and I think he has done it well.”

Transcript by Pete Dawson

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