UNC-Clemson: Roy Williams Quotes

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams comments on his team's 69-53 win over Clemson Tuesday night at the Smith Center ...

Opening statement:
"It was a fitting end for the three seniors to be able to get back in the game and get them out individually. I like that. I'm corny as all get, but I think kids will remember things like that forever. Having them in the starting lineup in the beginning of the game is important. As long as I'm here, I'm going to do that for the seniors, regardless of whether they are scholarship players or not. At the end, the referee had to run one of the players off, because we had six on the court. From that viewpoint it was good. It was an ugly start to the game. We never did get into it offensively, yet we played very well defensively in the first half. In the second half, it was just the opposite. We didn't play very well on the defensive end of the floor. They shot 54 percent in the second half, so that's a way to tell that you don't play very well defensively."

On McCants' performance:
"Rashad was the big story of the game. He was 8-for-11 at one time and I ran two plays for him because he had tied the school-record for threes and had a chance to break it. I told him he was only going to get two tries, so when he missed the second one, I took him out, so those seniors could have those last few minutes for themselves. He's sensational and he continues to play like one of the best players in the league, and I think he is one of the best players in college basketball. He's made some big-time shots for us all year. He's extremely important to us, and you don't have to be a nuclear physicist to figure that out. He made some shots when we couldn't stop them, but they couldn't stop Rashad."

On the win:
"We're happy to finish off the home season with a win. We lost two games at home – one in overtime, one in triple overtime – and we feel bad about that. We would like to protect our home court even better in the future."

On Jackie Manuel's status for the Duke game:
"I have no idea. It didn't look good during warm-ups. In fact, he thought he tweaked it again. We're just going to have to wait and see, because needless to say, we're not as good without Jackie out there."

On Rashad improvement since the Kentucky game:
"I had a conversation about that with him and he has come a long way. I'm going to be somewhat of his biggest critic and definitely his biggest fan. He needs that balance and I think he wants that. I love kids who step up and take challenges and he definitely stepped up for us several times this year and has been willing to take the big shot. He's made the most of them. He didn't start ahead of Sean and Raymond, but I told him I was sure he was going to go in there and play his tail off. He's a competitive rascal – much discussed and much cussed – but I would hate to see where we would be without him. "

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