UNC-UConn: Roy Williams quotes

The Tar Heels coach addressed the media after the game...

Opening Statement:
"What a game. It was a very unique game in that we played the best we've played by far and in the early part of the second half we played as badly as we've played on offense. The good thing is I think we were still trying on the defensive end except that we weren't finishing the defense. We couldn't get the ball off the board and they kept getting every offensive and putting it back in. A couple of times we did get an offensive rebound and they stole if from us and laid it back in at that time. Steve told me we had more turnovers early in the second half than we did the entire first half.

"I challenged our guys a couple times during the timeouts because I thought we were feeling sorry for ourselves. I thought we were saying ‘oh gosh here we go again' and you can't play basketball like that. You have to be aggressive. I jumped Raymond, Melvin, Rashad, just about everybody about some things. Rashad McCants came over talking about how we had to box out and then he misses the next box out and his guy scores. I told him ‘there's nothing you can do about that but there's something you can do about the rest of this.'

"I thought down the stretch in the last two or three minutes we did bother their shots. I hate to say that and look down and they shot 50 some percent in the second half. But I do think we bothered some of their shots. We got very fortunate to get the ball back. Kids did a great job of the execution of our last second play. We did a very poor job in that same play in the Wake Forest game. We got a lay up with it in one of those overtimes. Then we ran it late in the Wake Forest game and did an awful job with it. But they did a great job. Raymond made a great read. Sean set a great screen for Rashad, the boy who's been criticized more than anybody but Saddam. He made a big time basket. I think that it was fitting for him. I told our guys that if you just believe then we can have a fun fun time in that locker room and we did have a fun time in there.

"It got awfully hot out there so I had to take my coat off. It had nothing to do about the fact that we didn't get a rebound. I had nothing to do about the fact that we couldn't play basketball. It was just very hot and I had to take it off.

"Congratulations to Jimmy's team who's a sensational team. That's by far as you know the best we've played at crunch time and Emeka Okafor is incredible. You look down and see 6 blocks, 29 points. I remember seeing him play in high school when he was very crude offensively. He's a load right now with 12 for 18. I know their team. I recruited Denham. I made trips up to Toronto. I recruited Josh Boone. He visited Kansas. I went to see Emeka play. So I know those kids and they got a big time basketball team and we were very very lucky today.

"It's a good for us that the game was in the Smith Center. Sam Cassel, if he were here today, it wouldn't have been a wine and cheese crowd today because that crowd was something else. I told Woody that was an ‘Uptown Saturday Night Crowd' out there today boys."

How this game will help momentum:
"I do think the kids will gain a great deal from this win. Now we got to be able to take that same kind of defensive intensity on the road with us. The defensive intensity that we had early in the game was a key. We've got to build on this. You're not going to win many games being outrebounded 43-36."

Jawad's adjustment:
"I think he did play better. I think he's getting used to the mask. He made a couple big time threes for us. Jawad had 11 in the second half. He's really big for us on the offensive end."

Last play of the game and the timeouts:
"I wanted to take the timeout to see how they were going to line up. Then I knew I had a full timeout left and I wanted to make sure that our guys understood. We talked about fouling them. In reality I was screaming because I wanted Melvin to foul Gordon at the center line. But, we didn't want to get beat long on the opening pass. I said ‘number one we're not going to foul on an outside shot.' I learned under the best to save timeouts. I'll go to the grave with more timeouts than anybody in the history of college basketball but we did use them today."

Is Emeka Okafor the best player in the country?
"I hadn't seen everybody so I don't have the validity to make that statement. But Bum Phillips said one time about Earl Campbell, ‘If he's not it sure as hell doesn't take long to call the roll.'"


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