SC: Quotes From Lawson and His Coach

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Inside Carolina talked to Tar Heel signee Tywon Lawson and Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith after Monday's win over Dudley at the Greensboro Coliseum's Scholastic Classic ...


They made a run to cut it to eight points in the third quarter – what'd your players do to put them away?

We looked a little lethargic out there. I told someone else that and they said, ‘You scored 93 points,' which is true … but we played in Massachusetts yesterday and just flew in and got in at about 3:15. I thought we didn't play with enough intensity defensively.

On Lawson taking over in the third quarter-

He does that. When things go bad, he just has a tendency just to take over. And he's good enough to do it against a good team. He'll do it at the next level, too. He's just so quick with the ball, so strong, makes great decisions. Doesn't turn it over very often. A lot of his turnovers are caused by bad plays by his teammates. He just gets us some easy shots he made some threes.

Lawson seemed to look to score a lot more than usual …

Today he scored more than he normally does. He averages 23, and has had games where he's scored 15 points and had 15 assists, but he had to score tonight. We struggled a bit offensively, weren't getting into our stuff and mainly got transition baskets because of the way he plays. He forces his will on the game when things don't go right and he just takes over.

On William Graves' performance -

He played great – shot it really well, scored some inside. Nolan Smith is a great defender who was guarding him, and I know he's a little smaller, but I figured he was on the perimeter and we always put Nolan on the best offensive player on the other team as long as he's not a post guy. And we don't want to wear Ty out, and he guards the next best player on the perimeter. Nolan's a good defender and he got 30 on Nolan. Nolan has guarded some great players this year already, and shut down some All-Americans and gave them problems. This is the first guy who has been able to do that to him. He played really, really well.

Do you think that was because Graves weighs about 60 pounds more than him?

A little bit. And he went inside a little bit, and got some putbacks. But he got a lot of them on jumpshots. He shoots it better than I thought he did.


On the effects of recent travel – arriving at the airport from a trip to Massachusetts only a few hours before tip-off -

We came out slow and everybody was tight and kind of tired, so we had to get used to the game.

On playing against William Graves –

It was fun, because I hadn't played against him before. It was the first time we got to talk about North Carolina and stuff like that. I got his contact [info] and everything.

Thoughts on Graves' performance?

He can shoot – he's a shooter. He can dribble, rebound, do everything – great player.

He hit three threes in that third quarter run they had …

I wanted to switch and check him because he was just killing it out there. The game was getting close.

You did guard him for a few possessions – what was that like?

I've got to try – he was shooting on everyone else so I had to at least try to stop him.

On UNC's recruiting class-

Our class is real good right now. We've got three of the top five players in the country going to Carolina. I think I did a good job calling people and getting them interested in North Carolina.

You helping to recruit anyone for the next class?

Gary Johnson ... I'm trying to see about Mike [Beasley] to get him to come over and a couple other players.

We've seen you put up a lot of assists, but tonight you looked to score more …

We were only up about seven in the third. They needed someone to score. Somebody had to score, so I just started scoring.

Has anyone been able to stop you off the dribble from the perimeter?

Not really. I feel that I can get into the paint anytime I want to.

What also sets your game apart is that you take it strong to the hoop --

If you get contact, you're going to get followed and maybe hit the basket. So I always go in looking for contact.

Playing with Nolan Smith, who has now committed to Duke – how's that been?

We talk about it almost every day. He's saying they're going to beat us his first year, I'm saying we're going to beat them. They're the No. 1 team, so he's always taking about them right now, but when we get there, we'll see …

You get a chance to watch Carolina this season?

Yeah, I've watched them a lot. They're doing real well. They've surprised a lot of people by beating good teams like NC State. It's been a real good season for them.

Any message for the Tar Heel fans?

Our plan is we're going to come in and try to win a national championship…

Any big games left on your schedule that you've circled and are really looking forward to?

There's Wayne Ellington [Episcopal] … we play St. Benedict's … O.J. and them [North College Hill] … and Montrose.

Have you felt the effects of the heavy schedule and hectic travel?

I'm starting to feel it. My body's getting tight, I'm kind of sore … but it's good for me to get used to it for next year.

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