On the team watching the selection show at his house on Sunday:
“They were very enthusiastic. We had some cameras there so they could see how the kids reacted, they were pleased. As soon as they had given all of the 68 teams I cut it off, because I don’t need to see why somebody didn’t get in or why somebody did get in. We talked to the team and gave them some goals and ideas and it was probably 15 minutes of that kind of thing. We told some stories and some things that I hope that I would help them.”
How do you get your staff to attack this event:
“We split it up last night. Steve Robinson took Harvard and Hubert [Davis] and C.B. [McGrath] took the other two in the other bracket if we were to win the game against Harvard. I got the tape of the Harvard game at Cornell and I watched that last night and we spent some time on it today. I think coach Robinson has watched three games already. We’ll watch some more tonight and give them a scouting report tomorrow. We had practice today. We made a few references to the last game in the ACC Tournament because in the locker room I didn’t say much to them about that game. We did want to tell them about some mistakes we made and some good things we did.
“If you take out five minutes of that game, it is a good basketball game, but for five minutes it wasn’t very good. You have to congratulate Notre Dame, they are really a difficult matchup for us because they have four three-point shooters around a very good player inside. It was a tough matchup for us, but we did okay except for that five-minute stretch where they outscored us 15-2, I think. I thought our play during the tournament was very much a positive over the four games. I think we showed some toughness and ability to execute under pressure down the stretch in almost every single game. I think it was a positive, but we did feel like we needed to bring up some of the things, because otherwise you don’t learn.”
What is important when you get to this point of the season going into the tournament?
“You have to focus on just the game. Don’t give me any cool stuff; I hate cool. Don’t be careless, don’t be casual, and don’t be cool. You have to stick your nose in and do that. I told them last night to look at the chair they are sitting in at my house, because all of them were from the Final Four from the bench. I said I’ve been there and our coaching staff has been there and it is a neat deal, but you can’t get there if you don’t play the first game. Let’s concentrate on playing the first game with this team because we are good enough to get a few more chairs. We have to play our best.”
On Justin Jackson:
“Basketball is cruel. I was talking to Justin. He’s on top of the world, he scores 22 against Virginia, we’re in the championship and then the next game he goes 0-for-7 from the 3-point line. It is the game of basketball, particularly when you are a young kid, a freshman, but he did some very good things in the first three games, but struggled on Saturday.”
The reason for the turnover problem this season:
“It is decision making. Coach Smith used to say every turnover is either carelessness or selfishness. I’m always preaching about making the easiest play you can make. And then all of a sudden that might be the one that gets you the lay up. Impatience. It‘s not a five-second clock, it is a 35-second clock . And then there are some people who can put their hand on the fire and take it away and never put it back there. In basketball somebody can make a turnover and their coach can go crazy and they will do it again, and we have some of those guys. We have an offensive emphasis of the day. Meaning the second loss of ball, meaning the second time your team turns it over in practice your team runs. We’ve done that more this year than I have in 26 prior years. But we still haven’t learned.”
What are your thoughts of having an upperclass-dominated team next year?
“Well, everybody has to make the decision to come back. I think that there is a likelihood of that happening, but you never know for sure. I didn’t think James Michael [McAdoo] was going to leave after last year. I do like that idea. Saturday, I even hung around on the court for Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant and talked to them about being seniors and getting the team to focus and winning, and doing the right things. That was a pretty special year for them. I was going to congratulate them. You need to have the best players or really good players that have experience, and if you have either of those two things then you have a chance.”
On facing Harvard:
“Tommy [Amaker] has done a great job. They won eight conference games in a row, four on the road and four at home. They played Boston College at BC and lose in overtime. I watched part of the game against Cornell, and as I said before, they are a good basketball team that is well coached. We’ve got our work cut out for us. When you are a 4-seed and you are playing a 13-seed, they are pretty doggone good. Sometimes I’ve been a No. 1 and you are playing a 16 and you have to do the coachspeak about how they give scholarships, too. A No. 1 has never lost to 16. There have been some four’s that have lost. What you do is play the best you can play and hopefully at the end you have more points.”
Roy Williams Radio Show Quotes
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