Late Night: Roy Williams Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- After the standing ovations, player skits and the scrimmage that was "Late Night with Roy Williams," the head coach spoke briefly with the media.

What did you think of the night in general?

I really thought it went very, very well. I'm very pleased with our players. Chris McGrath did a great job of working with them. She was pleased the entire week with their enthusiasm, their willingness. You know, you've got to be a little silly to do some of those things. One of my things is that basketball's got to be fun, we practice very, very hard, but other things have to be fun. I thought it was great for the fans to see them do something that they weren't quite proficient at.

How emotional was it for you to get that long standing ovation when you first took to the court?

It was fantastic. When it kept going I almost lost it a little bit – I'm pretty emotional about some things. That was awfully nice. It was thrilling for me to go out and watch our players. It'll probably affect me a heck of a lot more on November 22. Tonight was fun to walk out there – I've walked through that tunnel many nights, big games and enjoyed then. Tonight didn't have that big game feel, to say the least, but I just want us to get through making everyone look like a fool. But the ovation was really nice.

Did you ever imagine you'd be dancing at mid court?

Sometimes you run your mouth and it comes back to haunt you. Several years ago at Kansas I got on Mike Maddox about what a poor dancer he was, having no rhythm whatsoever, and the next year he put the cheerleaders up to getting me out there. One of these days they're going to become convinced that I'm too old, but right now I can stand in the same spot and move my body a little bit for about 20 seconds.

What did you think of the turnout?

That was [impressive]. We've had it in Carmichael before, but to go from 10,800 to 21,000 and whatever it is here … they're were even people sitting in the isles, so that was pretty impressive. It's North Carolina basketball and people are hungry. People are hungry for excitement, they're hungry for some wins.

Does something like this show the relationship and chemistry amongst the players?

I talked to the guys a little bit before and told them it's a marathon, not a sprint. Eddie Fogler used to say that everybody's got the greatest attitude and the greatest hustle the first day of practice, but we've got to do it every single day. Last year, I explained to them, that at one point they were 5-0 and at Kansas we were 3-3 and down at half against Tulsa …and with those kids, a big factor they had was experience and another big factor, one that we've got to have, those guys played together even in the toughest times. To go from 3-3 and down at half to winning 30 games. What that team had over North Carolina last year was experience for sure, but also that chemistry, togetherness. We've got to have some toughness because we're going to have some tough times. I told my buddies that we've got some tough times possibly this year, but if we get through this year we'll be fine.

On the players' skits tonight-

I think one thing, kids are a little hesitant to try things they don't know if they're good at it, but if they'll pull together and pull each other through, I think you do get something out of it. We tried to always think that if you're not comfortable you can get comfortable with more people being in that same situation. A lot of people will tell you I'm an idiot for thinking that, but I do think that trying to do something you're not comfortable with and having people pull you through it you'll be okay.

Was it a relief to get your contract signed today?

I didn't have many doubts we'd get it down. To be honest with you, I've lost sleep over a lot of things, but that wasn't one of them. I'm going to try and figure now what my average salary is for my first 11 years at North Carolina. The first year was $2,700, so we'll see what the average is from there. But I'm very pleased it's done. I'm smarter now than I was 15 years ago. 15 years ago I didn't sign my first contract at Kansas until after the season, so they could have run me out of town. Again, it wasn't a thing I really thought about at all.


Inside Carolina Top Stories