On losing to Wisconsin in the Sweet 16:
“In the locker room, the most difficult time as the coach is what to say to the kids in the last game after you lose. I tell them I feel so inadequate because there is nothing I can say to erase what just happened. There is nothing I can say to make it go away. It’s not like golf; you don’t get a mulligan. That is a very difficult time. The kids are emotional, you are emotional. For some of them it is the last time you get to coach them, which is difficult. The last three weeks we played pretty good basketball. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to play, but we played pretty good basketball.
“You take away three minutes in the Notre Dame game and we win the ACC Tournament, and if you take away three minutes of the game against Wisconsin and we win that game, but you can’t do that. One of the things we stressed with the team is that you are a little bit away. I watched as much as I ever have after we get beat of the tournament this past weekend and that made it hurt even worse. Because you see some teams you know you could compete with and beat in certain situations and they are still playing and you’re finished. I hope that it hurts our guys as much as me. We’ll work our butts off this summer, I can tell you that.”
On Wisconsin pulling away late:
“The way they shot the ball in the second half made the difference in the game. And I have always thought rebounding was crucial. Three different times we had crucial shots where we got them to miss the first shot and they got the rebound. The one that stood out was it is a one-point game, and Sam Dekker comes from 25 feet out and gets the offensive rebound and passes it out and Gasser shoots a three. Instead of us having the ball down one, we have the ball down four. And we never had a chance to take the lead. That was a big play.
“They made shots and got key offensive rebounds. We have J.P. [Tokoto] on the break and we thought he got fouled, and the referee didn’t think he got fouled. If he makes that it is a nine-point game. Instead they get the ball and go make a three. So instead of nine to seven, it goes from seven to four. That’s the game of basketball.”
On UNC playing the most difficult schedule in the country and its hardest in the past 10 years:
“We knew we were playing a difficult schedule. We were at least the second-most difficult schedule most of the entire season. The teams we played in the ACC and NCAA Tournament got it up there. It was a very difficult schedule. It was challenging. Sometimes we came through and sometimes we didn’t.”
On Justin Jackson’s improvement throughout the year:
“If you look at what he did in the conference versus nonconference play, if you find somebody whose stats look a lot better in the conference games, that is a big step up because the competition is that much more difficult. I think throughout the course of the season Justin kept getting better, and almost all the way across the board, his stats were better in conference play. We have high hopes and big dreams for him.”
On playing Kennedy Meeks against Wisconsin after the knee injury:
“He wanted to play and I wanted him to play. But looking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have played him as much as I did. His defensive grade wasn’t very good. Yet, he has that ability to pass the basketball. He gets a rebound and throws it out to Brice, who gets fouled and makes one of the two. It is always better in hindsight. But he does have that ability to pass the ball and they are really good defensively, so you want guys that can pass it out there.”
Is there a thing that your guys need to do to get to the a championship level:
“If you have to pick one thing, you watch the games now and guys make shots. Guys make tough shots and guys make big shots. [Wayne] Blackshear made a couple of huge shots yesterday and it wasn’t enough. We struggled at times to score so I would like for everybody to come back and shoot a higher percentage and be a better shooting team. But we have to get better in every phase of the game. Somebody said today we were fifth in the nation out of 351 teams, and I was so frustrated with our offensive rebounding all year because I thought we could’ve been better.”
What are the end of year meetings like with your players?
“We’re seeing how they are feeling, and we see what they felt like about their own individual play. See what the biggest problems were for them individually and for the team. Try to get them to tell me what are the three biggest things they need to work on before next year. I have it written down what I think. I have each assistant give it to me in writing what they think on every player. So we have all of that information and then the player and I determine which three are the most important. We decide what those emphasis points are going to be.
“And over the course of the summer I ask them how they are doing and are they working on those points that we talked about. I put it to them in writing. One of them goes up somewhere at home and the others up there in their locker so that every day they have an opportunity to look at and say ‘Am I doing what coach needs me to do?’ A lot of it is, ‘ok, how are you doing it academically, where do you want to stay next year?’ some of that stuff that you have to get involved it. But the biggest thing is focusing on being the best basketball player you can be.”
Roy Williams Radio Show Quotes
Inside Carolina Top Stories
Countdown to Kickoff: VirginiaKickoff is scheduled for 3:04pm at Scott Stadium and will be televised by RSN.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 11:29 AM
Pinson Out IndefinitelyThere is no current timetable for his return.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 10:24 AM
Seizing ControlThe Inside Carolina staff convened for a free-for-all chat in advance of North Carolina's game at Virginia.
Inside CarolinaThursday at 9:21 AM
Washington Meets with UNC, Changes TimelineFive-star P.J. Washington met with North Carolina and Kentucky this past week. Washington, who will make an early decision, also made a shift in his visit plans.
Scout HoopsThursday at 8:31 AM