Roy Williams' Friday Press Conference

UNC coach along with Jackie Manuel addressed the media on Friday...

Roy Williams

Are you good at putting losses behind you?
A: "I am probably terrible at it. I can still tell you what happened in 1997 against Arizona game. How one player should have shot and didn't. No, I really am bad. I try to be careful with how much I give to the team because they can't focus on what happened a month ago. What we try to focus on with our team are the things that we can do; you try to do the things that will help us against Florida State and realize that they whacked us pretty good. At the first of this season, I guess a week before the Wake Forest game, I reminded them that no one on this team has beaten Wake Forest and it didn't work. So I need to stop that kind of stuff right now. Before we played them last time I didn't say anything about it. This is one year that none of my superstitions have worked so I have tried not to be superstitious at all."

What have you seen from this team in the last five or six games that make you feel that they can finish strong?
"Well, it's the way we have played in certain games. Duke is pretty dog-gone good and we played pretty good against them. Wake Forest is pretty dog gone good and we played pretty well against them. To play so poorly against Maryland in one stretch, and to finish out and make some plays down the stretch is positive. I am trying to grab on to a lot of positives because I think any coach remembers the negative things probably too much and I fit in that category as well. But I think that when we play we are really pretty good. We have to be in to it mentally and we have to be in to it from the get go, and when we have done that we have done some nice things. We do need to get all of our players playing. We need to get all of them healthy and get away from all the aches and pains and I think that if we can do that I think that would be healthy for us too. What Jawad Williams did for us Sunday, for example, is what we need and if we have that kind of performance from all of our players I think that will be huge for us."

One of the things I have heard both you and Coach Smith talk about is that when a player moves to this level, [one thing that is dificult is] learning to concentrate for the amount of time it takes to play an entire college basketball game . Is that part of what's going on with the inconsistency you think ?
A: " I think so, particularly whether we would like to admit it or not; they are still fairly young. I think it is even more crucial when they haven't had success or as much as they would like or as much as they would want. Everybody coming out of high school is pretty good and you can do pretty well in high school sometimes and not be in to it mentally at all. I don't think you can do that, particularly in this league. You can't do those kind of things because you have to have your concentration at a high level consistently and that is something that is hard to do."

Of all the letterman coming back tomorrow is there anyone you haven't met that you are looking forward to meeting and what do you look forward most to in this gathering?
A: "Wow, I was around here for 10 years so I've been here for a long time so I can't think of many guys that I haven't met once or twice. I don't know that I would pick one person but I think the entire atmosphere that I want to have here is that when you are a Carolina basketball player you are a Carolina basketball player for life and that is always going to be important to you. I think having the reunion will be something that will help promote that even more and I think it will help the current players see that. It might even make the bond that the other players have even stronger. I think that is something that I really want. I am corny as all get out but I think that is what college basketball should be."

When you look back at the FSU game is they one overriding lesson that your team might have learned and one thing your team might have to do better this game?
A: "To me it's about three things: one, you can't come out and think that things are going to be easy. I think that's what happened. We came out and made some shots and thought this was easy. It's not going to be easy in college basketball and it is particularly not going to be easy in the ACC. Secondly, you have got to understand that those guys in the other jerseys are very talented and very competitive also and they are not going to give in. I think that when we had them down they became more determined and they upgraded their level of play and intensity and I think that was the whole key to the game. Thirdly, I have never won nor have I lost a game in the first half. Hopefully the kids know that just because you hammer somebody or you get hammered in the first half it's still a 40-minute game. You have to play the whole game."

Was Raymond's game against Maryland a throw away game for him?
A: "Hopefully he will learn from the mistakes, and his mistakes particularly. I think that one thing you can do is when you have a bad game is to concentrate a little bit better and focus a little bit better. I think that Raymond will play very well."

Jackie Manuel

Do you try to forget everything about the FSU game or do you try to take a lesson from it?
A: "A little bit of both. I want to learn from my mistakes, basically. We were up by 20 something but also not try to think about it too much. That game really hurt me inside. I was hurting for two weeks."

Has that been a game that has been hard to get off your mind?
A: "That has been "the game." I was hurt for a long time [by the loss]."

There are a couple of hundred letterman coming back tomorrow; Do you guys talk about that at all and is there anybody you want to meet?
A: "I want to meet everybody. That is one of the reasons I came here is to be able to experience the opportunity of meeting everyone who has come through the University."

Do you take pride in your defense?
A: "I take a lot of pride in my defense. My goal is to not to let you get anywhere near your [scoring] average. Hopefully not to let you get into double figures. I have learned a lot about defense since my freshman year. Now you add that with maturity and learning the game, it makes me a better player and a better defender."


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