Tuesday Hoops Quotes + Audio

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – As No. 1 seed North Carolina prepares for this weekend's Sweet 16 match-up with Villanova in Syracuse, UNC head coach Roy Williams and players Raymond Felton, Marvin Williams, Sean May, Rashad McCants, David Noel and Jackie Manuel sat down with the media on Tuesday from the Smith Center…

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On continuing to practice hard during the post-season:
"I feel the need to do it because you build habits there. We did it last week so our concentration wouldn't slip. We're going to practice extremely hard. Today will be a big-time practice."

On Raymond Felton:
"One of the characteristics of a big time point guard is making other people better. And he's extremely bright. He attacks for us and that's extremely important. He makes his head coach feel much more comfortable. He does score. He does look for his shot, but he doesn't search for it. He takes advantage of opportunities."

On the potential match-up with N.C. State:
"We were so focused when we went over to Raleigh, that first game without Rashad. We always have to be aware of someone else trying to elevate their game."

On playing so late Friday night:
"I hate it. I hate waiting so long. I hate that TV dominates so much of it. I think its wrong for college athletics period. I wish we didn't have it. When I was 19 or 20 years old, nothing had an effect on me. We'll have a shoot-around and do some things to try to break up the monotony."

On Jawad's recent play:
"His hip flexor is still bothering. We held him out of practice one day completely. I think it affected him. Also I thing that sometimes you want something so badly you start pressing. He gave us tremendous effort, he just wasn't very effective."

On staying focused after winning two games by a large margin:
"We've had some close games in the regular season and wide margins as well, but I'm not a worry wart that worries about everything."

On memory of Villanova's 1985 NCAA title run:
"Villanova played very well and we missed a lot of shots. What they did the next week was magical. I'm always pushing my guys to play the perfect game and they played close to a perfect game."

On playing well after losses:
"We played really well after wins, too. There may have been a let down after winning the ACC regular season. I wish I had seen it better coming than I did. If that woke s up, I don't know. It's part of coaching 18, 19 and 20-year-olds; you never know how they're going to react in certain situations."

On Rashad McCants all-around play:
"We still want him to take some of those shots when he's really open. He has been more of a complete player. One thing I'm so much more proud of this team than last year is their willingness to share the ball. Rashad is such a threat to shoot, but he is a better all around player now than he's ever been."

On practice style now: "We try to shorten practices a little bit. I told this team that I worked harder to keep them fresher than any team I've ever had. We've cut our practices quite a bit. I think I'll continue that, but you do have to work some. I won't change much though."

On first seeing Marvin Williams:
"I saw him at the back gym at Loyola Marymount and I said this kid can play. Anybody could see that in a guy like Marvin."

On the relationship between a coach and his point guard:
"There is something special with a point guard. You want him to know everything that you're thinking. But the thing about Raymond is he's just a marvelous young man. He's also a lot of fun to be around. I think he relationship between he coach and point guard is special, because they make more decisions that affect you."

On the crowd expectations:
"There are going to be more Villanova fans than ours. It's a tough time. It's Easter weekend and Villanova is not too far away. But like I've always said, a building never won or lost a game. I think we'll have some diehard Carolina fans there."

On the match-ups against Villanova:
"There is no question that Sumpter is a big time player for them, but I'm am concerned about the rest o the team stepping up their games. The guy that subbed for him had a double-double against Florida. Jason was recruited very hard by North Carolina. You have to be aware of their three guards and their ability to dribble and penetrate the basketball. They've got seven losses and six of them have been by seven points or less. They've only been out of one game this season."


On the excitement of being in the Sweet 16:
"It should be exciting. Everybody is excited to be there. Hopefully we'll have a good time and win the game."

On playing better in the last two games:
"I just feel like I played a lot harder than I had been playing. Everybody played a lot harder."

On the privilege of playing in the Sweet 16:
"We're all privileged. We're all very blessed to still be playing. It's a tradition."

On having two other local teams in the Sweet 16:
"It's exciting. Everybody has been winning. It's good to have home teams in the Sweet 16."

On learning from teammates:
"I've been learning from these guys all year long. Hopefully I can continue learning from them. We'll just try to stick together and win."

SEAN MAY (6:03)

On what Felton brings to the team:
"It's terrific for me. Raymond's one of my best friends this time of year. He really loves dishing the ball. He can easily take over a game and will us to a win, but he gives the ball up for the betterment of us all. It's terrific having a great point guard like that to play with."

On the biggest improvement this year:
"Consistency. Last year I was off and on and towards the end of the season I just kind of fell off."

On the team concept:
"We have no player in the running for national player of the year, because this is a great team. Towards the end of the year if we make a great run, people say this was one of the greatest teams they've ever seen. If you stop Rashad, you've got to worry about Raymond. If you stop him, you've got to worry about me. Everybody on this team just knows their role."

On Jawad Williams' condition:
"He didn't practice much, but he didn't feel well. He'll be fine; these added few days of rest will help him."


On playing a team game:
"Because that's what makes our team better. We have so many people on our team that can score, so I just make sure they get the shots. I just take my shots when I get it. I don't worry about it."

On your relationship with Coach Williams:
"He'll call a play and I've already relayed that play to my teammates. We're on the same page. That's what you want your coach and your point guard to be. That's the way you want it to be. It took a while. I guess my sophomore year was a little bit of a learning experience, but I've got a great understanding about it now."

On seeing an opponent's defense get tired:
"Basically that just tells me your defense is all ours. Once I get that ball and I see they're getting tired, I'm either going to break it myself or pass out of it. The faster the better. As soon as I get the ball out I'm going at it whether by pass or by dribble."


On scouting Villanova:
"They've lost their best player, but we just have to handle our own. I'm sure they've progressed as players, but I really don't know much about them as being great players. We just look forward to playing the game."

On having three local teams in the Sweet 16:
"I think it's great. It's great for the state, it's great for the program and it's beautiful for recruiting. I'm not surprised. Tobacco Road has always been very good. If you stay in North Carolina long enough, it's been the heart of basketball for many years."

What makes Felton so good:
"Besides his personality, I think it's his passion for the game, his determination, his basketball I.Q. … just his will to win, to play through injury and to win at all costs."


On playing Villanova:
"We're going to have to play very hard and very intense. We're going to have to match their intensity. They have one player that is out, so everybody is going to step their game up and we just have to be ready."

On being matched up against the opponents' best offensive player:
"I love it. I love to compete. It just brings the best out of me."


On playing with Felton: "I like to run, so playing with a guy like that is exciting for me. I like to get out into the open court, jump and do the things I like to do."

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