UNC-UMd: Roy Williams Postgame

Read and watch UNC head coach Roy Williams's comments following the Tar Heel win over Maryland on Tuesday night.

Opening Comments:

"I thought it was a great basketball game, and I know I feel that way better than Mark (Turgeon) does. But we played well. We did some things defensively that we haven't done all year long, our intensity level was higher, better and more consistent then it was all year long. Melo (Trimble) and Rasheed (Sulaimon) put on a show there from distance. Would have been a heck of a lot more fun in the last 30 seconds if we'd made a dadgum free throw. We were 9-11 and missed 5-of-6 ...

"We didn't finish the first half very well, I thought that was the worst part for us. First part of the game I was extremely pleased, even with Brice and Kennedy and what they were doing defensively - if they give us that kind of effort we can be a special basketball team. It was a lot of fun having No. 5 back out there, there's no question ... And one thing that I thought was fantastic, too, was Theo, Nate, Joel, Justin - all those minutes changed because No. 5 played 34 minutes. And nobody in the locker room cared about it at all."

"Big time Maryland team, and we feel very fortunate. I'm happy as all get out."

Even if his stat line hadn't been great, did you feel that the team got energy from Marcus Paige's return tonight?

"I think they did get energy from Marcus. I think they got a great deal of energy from our crowd. We haven't had the best crowds so far this year, but they were sensational tonight and a big part of the win. The way we'd played on the road, we wanted to come back home and play great here - that was important to us. And on TV they've been talking about it for a week. So there were a lot of things that gave us the intensity."

Did a game like that make you miss having Maryland around still in the ACC?

"I miss having them around regardless - they've a big-time basketball team. Turg' is one of my favorite people in the world. That had a feel of an old ACC Tournament game, that had the feel of an NCAA Tournament game, and it was just fortunate for us that it was in our building."

Does having Marcus back in the lineup give you a better judge of your team?

"A better judge, but we still have to see two or three more games to see if they accept those different roles as easily as they did tonight. Theo, Nate probably more than anybody else, their minutes went down because Marcus played 34. So they've got to be able to buy in and do that continuously. We felt like we won at Kansas State but we only played the way we wanted to play for 3:38, so that gave us a big lift for confidence as to what we could do down the stretch. But I like my team, but I like it a lot better when No. 5 is out there."

You said the other day that you really wouldn't know what to expect from Marcus until you saw him out on the court. Now that you've seen him, did it surprise you how he played?

"If I had to bet - and NCAA says don't bet - I would have bet he'd play very, very well because he was so anxious to play. You don't ever know because sometimes kids like Marcus who care put too much pressure on themselves.  But I had a feeling the little rascal would be pretty good."

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