Williams: 'We've Got To Get A Lot Better'

North Carolina returned to practice Monday evening for the first time since its 74-59 loss at Southern Cal last week. On Tuesday, Roy Williams addressed the media via teleconference. Read & listen to what he had to say ...

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Brief review of Southern Cal game
"We didn't play nearly as well as we wanted to play to say the least. We didn't do what we wanted to do on either end of the court. They were the aggressor. And at the end of the game, they had more points. It was a total breakdown in every area of the game for us. It was the first time this year – and I think the first time in two years – we haven't had a defensive award winner or a good plays winner, because you have to be two to have a 2-to-1 ration in both of those. But it wasn't a good day and we've got to get a lot better."

What have you been working on to produce more offense? – Robbie Pickeral, Raleigh News & Observer
"We only practiced last night for the first time we've gotten together since the game, so we haven't had an opportunity to work on a lot of things. But we didn't have that bad of shots, we just didn't make the shots we had. In fact, the quality of our shots was just as good if not better than a bunch of their shots; but theirs went in. We've got to do a better job of screening. We've got to do a better job of getting the ball inside before we're willing to take the first outside shots that we looked at. Those are the two main things."
With this group, do you have to be more strict with the offense and they plays you call?
"I don't know if would use the word ‘strict.' We do have to have better execution, there's no doubt about that. Everybody has a job on each particular play, and you just have to try and do the best job that you can in doing your part of the play. Whatever your assignment is, you ought to do that to the best of your ability."

As a coach, how much does a game like that put a damper on your holidays? – Nolan Hayes, Durham Herald-Sun
"It definitely puts a big damper on things. It's hard to enjoy things as much. You have to push it out of your mind and enjoy your family, and I tried to do that. But when the family is not around or we're not talking, I'm not one who enjoys sitting there watching TV when I'm thinking about California – that's for sure."
What did you tell the team before you guys split up?
"I told them we've got to get a heck of a lot better and don't forget this feeling, but go home and enjoy your family time at Christmas. Then come back with a new determination and focus."

Now after a month and a half, can you look back on what it's been like to start over? – Dan Wiederer, Fayetteville Observer
"Not really. You don't know before you get in it, so there were no preconceived notion about what it was going to be like. We felt we would have to go very slow, be very meticulous and not assume things. That's what we've tried to do, and for the most part it's worked out though it didn't look like it last week. We're not as bad as we played against Southern Cal and we're probably not as good as some people were acting like we were."
Was playing from behind on the road a new experience?
"Well, it was the only second road game period. So it certainly was a new experience. It was the second road game for four guys in their entire careers, so it was new for them. We had opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them. Then all of a sudden everything got going better for them. Everything they shot started going in and they were being so much more (inaudible)…"

Have you ever coached a player where everything was so "feast or famine," so to speak, as with Reyshawn Terry? – Ken Tysiac, Charlotte Observer
"I don't know if I would classify him like that. He had 25 at Kentucky and none against Southern Cal, so that's feast or famine. But the rest of the games, I would guess he's been pretty consistent scoring-wise in those games – not as high as 25 and definitely not as low as zero. That was unusual to say the least – I hope the heck so."

On your willingness to play the smaller NCAA schools and you're thoughts about coming back to UNC-Asheville and playing in its new arena in 2009. – Keith Jarrett, Asheville Citizen-Times
"I didn't know anything about the new arena. Most of the time I don't do things for my benefit and put the team in a different situation. Coach [Dean] Smith had great reasons for doing what he did. My feeling is I don't mind playing the in-state schools, but I'm not going to play them at their home court, because you can't do it with everybody. And when you start playing those schools home and away, then it starts taking away your opportunity to travel some and playing some of those North Carolina-Kentucky and North Carolina-Connecticut type games. Nobody has approached me about that, but I don't see that happening."

Ideally, would you have like to have gotten right back to practice after the game Wednesday night, or was it good to get away from it for a few days? – Steve Phillips, High Point Enterprise
"I would have loved to get right back to practice, but I'm sure my team was glad to get away from me for a couple of days. No, I would have like have been able to come to practice the next day and work on it, as opposed to waiting five days from when you showed them the tape. I think it would have been more beneficial, but the fact is it was Christmas time and we'll go from there."
Do you worry about confidence being a factor after the Southern Cal game?
"I think with a young team you're always a little concerned about confidence; there's no question in my mind about that. I think confidence comes from 100 percent effort and 100 percent concentration and I don't think we had that Wednesday night. We didn't execute, we didn't have the concentration and we didn't have the effort. I think if you have those things, your confidence is going to come with it."

"Happy Holidays."

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