UNC-MSU: North Carolina Press Conference

DAYTON, OHIO. – North Carolina coach Roy Williams and players David Noel and Bobby Frasor spoke to reporters following the Tar Heels' 69-65 win over Murray State on Friday from the Dayton Arena. Read & listen to what they had to say…

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Part I (6:10)
Part II (5:09)


Opening remarks
"Well, we feel very fortunate to say the least. First Round games are always difficult if your team hadn't been through it before. They have no idea how big it is. First of all, I hate for Shawn Witherspoon, the youngster who I think was player of the year in their league, and for him to get hurt in the first half, somebody said that he may have broken his foot. Needless to say we hate for that to happen to him, and I think that's something you hate for anybody if you're a senior in the NCAA Tournament. We have to congratulate Murray State. We knew it was going to be a heck of the game. I really like Mick's club, I like the way they play. I like how scrappy they are. I didn't think they were shooting a bad percentage from three, I thought they were shooting 50 or 60 percent, and then you look down there and it's 7 for 27, but they made enough to scare you to death. Down the stretch I was really pleased with several things that we did. Bobby (Frasor) made a big three for us to put us up four. We came down when it was a two-point game, we called a time out and got a basket from Tyler (Hansbrough) as the shot clock was winding down. David (Noel) got a big rebound on the other end for us, and they fouled Marcus (Ginyard) who goes to the line and makes both free throws. You like the way you can compete and execute down the stretch, but we do feel very fortunate. We thought Tyler was very big for us again inside to say the least, and Danny (Green) made some big baskets for us as well. Survive and advance, that's what we're trying to do."

On the steal Hansbrough made prior to Frasor's three-pointer at 2:43
"I thought he had more than three steals. This official stat sheet says three, but he's a young man who will go out there and compete against a big guy or a little guy. It makes no difference. He did step up on the high side of the screen like he is supposed to, and got his hands on the ball and came up with us. For us, everybody has to do that. We talked a great deal down the stretch about getting one stop. And then the next possession we have got to get one stop again. That was a big play for us. He had again, I thought he had more then three steals, and the one he did steal they ended up calling a walk on. I thought they were going to call a foul that play. He is a young man who does a great job on both ends of the court. He rebounds the basketball and plays as hard as he can possibly play."

On Marcus Ginyard making his free throws with 16 seconds left, and the overall play of the freshmen
"I've said all year long that they are a competitive bunch of guys and I really believe that. They are from athletic, coaching families. They understand the word poise. They understand the word focus. They understand the competitiveness that you have to have. The last two time outs, I think it was, I told them No. 1 I liked where we were. At that point it was a one point game and at that point we may have even been one point behind. I told them that in 1982 North Carolina won the National Championship, and we won the first game by blowing out James Madison 52-50, and it was a controversial call at the end of the game. Last year we won a national championship, but we also beat Villanova by one. The fact that the score was close is not something you have to worry about, you just have to play. At the timeout before Marcus shot the free throws, Coach (Joe) Holladay said `Well, we're going to be up three or four' and I said `No, let's not worry about the free throws. The free throws are going to go in. This is what we are going to do on the defensive end of the floor,' and that's all we talked about."

On the four subs at around the 10 minute mark
"Evidentially, a couple of them gave the tired signal. That was probably part of it. There was no master play to go with four. It's just that we were sort of screwing it up a little bit at that time. We were down four or five when we went to the 1-3-1, and we hadn't played that hardly all year long. In fact, we didn't' put it in until two weeks ago. We got a steal, David got a steal for us and a deflection on another one. And then Danny (Green) scored on the other end of the floor once or twice on the other end of the court so that was good for us."

On the defensive adjustment to start producing turnovers
"We were searching. I don't mind saying that we were looking for something. We couldn't just sit there and let them do the same thing over-and-over. We tried to double the screen on the ball, and that didn't work, so the next time down we put in what we call a 53 defense, that we put in two weeks ago trying to keep them fresh, giving them some new things to do. It's an extended 1-3-1 and we did get two turnovers in a row. I think we stopped them three times in a row. That helped us change the tempo just a little bit, but that gives coaching too much credit, too."

On Tyler Hansbrough's steals playing on the perimeter
"They were setting screens on the ball. That guy guarding the screener has to get out on the high side, and fortunate for us he was really active twice and got his hand on the ball. That was just our basic man-to-man half court principle, but Tyler got out and got a hand on it twice."


On Tyler Hansbrough
"He's been able to do that all year. When we're not able to knock down outside shots just throw the ball in to him and he's done a great job all year of getting fouled and getting to the free throw line. That's what we need out of him and we're going to ride this horse all the way to Indianapolis."

On the freshmen's first NCAA game
"They looked scared. But that's what you'd expected out of those guys, they hadn't been here before. Murray State is a tough, tough team and they did a great job of executing. We didn't play the ball we're capable of playing tonight and it was because of their defense so all the credit goes to them. But at the same time our freshmen stepped up big in the last four minutes. I pulled them together and told them `This is it. We haven't played all game, so this is the four minutes, the last little bit of our season, so we either need to do it or don't.' And we did it."

Was nerves the reason UNC was often out-hustled early?
"Nerves always have a big factor, especially at the beginning of the game. But they did it all game. They out-hustled us all game. That's just the type of team that they are. We knew that they were capable of doing that. The tape we watched, Coach did a great job of breaking down film so we could see that that's type of team that they were. It was very scrappy. For the most part, we were just lucky we could come out with the win."


On Tyler Hansbrough
"I don't think we executed well at times and it was nice to have Tyler down there just to release the pressure from us, as an outlet. We need him down there making shots and offensive rebounds, kind of bailing us out."

On his three-pointer with 2:43 left
"I saw the ball swing around and coach is always preached about moving yourself without the ball. I got open in the corner, I think it was Marcus (Ginyard) that found me. And as soon as I released it, it felt good."

On David Noel's comment that the freshmen were scared
"Scared is a strong word; we had jitters. It was easy to see that they were beating us to loose balls and getting rebounds over us early on. But I think we settled down in the second half. David really brought us together and kind of got on us. He motivated us and said `This is it. Four minutes left in the game. Win or go home, so when he told us that, Marcus stepped up and hit some big free throws and we got a bunch of shots from Tyler - that huge shot with the shot clock running down. He really brought us together and we settled down late in the game."

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