UNC Saturday Press Conference

DAYTON, Ohio – North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Reyshawn Terry and Bobby Frasor spoke to reporters following practice on Saturday in preparation for Sunday's second-round match-up with George Mason. Read & listen to what they had to say…

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On George Mason
"I don't know about one certain team, but if you put them in the ACC, they would do well. They have big guys down low that can score, athletic guards. They'd match up well against a lot of ACC-caliber teams. We can't look at the name and think we're going to walk all over the team. They are a great team."

On freshman scoring all of the points in the last 15 minutes against Murray State
"I don't think we were aware of it at all. After the game a reporter told us. I was shocked. Just because we have great players like Reyshawn [Terry] and Dave [Noel] out there so I was surprised to see that. I don't think we have been playing like freshman lately. I think we have really grown into sophomores almost. We have a whole season under our belt, a whole year of practice under coach Williams. I wouldn't even call us freshman anymore."

On the freshmen possibly being nervous against Murray State
"It's nice to have one game behind us. That's for sure. I wouldn't say we were scared. We definitely did have some jitters. We were nervous early on. They were getting some lose balls over us. We were kind of tentative. Late in the game I was joking around with Dave [Noel] saying he was scared late in the game since the freshmen scored the last 29 points. Other than that, Dave has been great."

On Reyshawn Terry's dunk
"He's a highlight waiting to happen. It's amazing. I was actually on the bench so I got to enjoy it. I didn't have to worry about getting back on defense or anything. I was standing there screaming. I saw a picture online and I saw the other two guys faces on the other team. . .cringing and looking away. It was pretty funny."


On Bobby [Frasor]
"I think Bobby has done a great job leading this team on the court, being the floor general this year. Just making sure everybody is where they need to be on the court at all times. I have to give credit to him because he has come in and was thrown into the fire early. He has done a good job at it."

On being focused
"We try to go into games respecting everybody but fearing no one. We definitely didn't jump on them early and we couldn't control their [Murray State] guards from penetrating. We definitely have to tighten up on that and be ready for tomorrow's game."

Did you expecting to play Michigan State and was it a sudden shock when George Mason advanced?
"You know going into the NCAA Tournament that you never know who you are going to get. We definitely thought that George Mason had the chance. They worked harder than Michigan State yesterday so they were able to get the win. We just have to prepare for the team that is in front of us and that's George Mason."


On Bobby Frasor becoming the point guard of this team
"During the course of our preseason practice the competition was pretty close between he and Quentin (Thomas). I thought that he was moving slightly ahead and then Quentin got hurt. That made it an easy decision at that time, and Bobby got in the games and didn't necessarily play like a freshman. He would make some mistakes, but at the same time he had a great poise and great leadership qualities that you want in a point guard. Once he got started I thought his play deserved to keep him in that spot. He's gotten better and better, but still even last night I jumped on him at halftime. I wanted the last shot of the half, and I wanted him to push the ball down there to get a better one. So he's still learning, but in saying that I think he's really done a big-time job. It's a hard job as a freshman point guard for me and the style of play that we have."

On playing a team, George Mason, that runs some similar play
"That's happened to me a few times during my career. Generally speaking, most of the time it's the players that determine everything anyway. We can run the same plays, but if their players do a better job of execution then mine do, they're going to win. If mine do a better job, then we're going to win. There's no question that some of the terminology is the same. I have a great deal of respect for Jim Larranaga and his staff, which includes Scott Cherry that you were talking about. Jimmy did a heck of a job at Bowling Green. I enjoyed watching his teams play there. And last night was about as impressive an opening round game that I have ever seen a team play. I mean, I felt like they were shooting about 85 percent. They were guarding. They were doing everything. If I am not mistaken, last year I think Michigan State led the national in rebound margin, and probably the year before they were second or third. One of the things that Tom's (Izzo) teams have always been good at is rebounding. George Mason out-rebounded them 40 to 24. It was about as impressive an opening round victory as I have ever seen."

On the contrast between being defending national champions, but a young, inexperienced team
"I hope our team is hungry for a win. This team is not defending anything. The school is, but the school doesn't get to play. They don't let the buildings play. David Noel scored one point in the National Championship Game; nobody else on our team scored. Reyshawn (Terry) scored two in the semifinals and I think David may have had two in that. I think we have five points returning from the Final Four last year, so it's not the same team at all. The healthier attitude is to be very hungry, trying to play as well as you can play to have a chance to move on."

On the rules and regulations at the NCAA Tournament that he would like to change
"There are about 1,000 of them. I could talk about that kind of crap until the game. What time is the game tomorrow? They are well-meaning people, and I love what they do. You've never heard me criticize the tournament committee. Never. But some of the things we do are not player-friendly, team-friendly. The people on the committee are too far removed from coaching. Just to give you an example, every coach likes to have his team's full attention during the timeouts. We get out there yesterday and the chairs are chained together, so you can't pull five chairs out onto the court, but they tell you that you can bring extra chairs. Now they have to X-ray them and sanitize them and everything else when they come into the building. But you can bring extra chairs out there, but I said let's just leave them where they are. Now I am talking to my team and I have the fans looking down in the middle of my huddle. And the team can't walk down behind because of the clutter back there. It's just so many silly things like that if you are a coach you think about things. At halftime someone used a great deal of common sense and unchained the chair so now you can pull the chairs out so players can walk behind them and focus on what the coach is saying. You have never heard me criticize any selections or anything like that. The tournament committee is given an unbelievable task, and they always do an unbelievable job. This is 17 years in a row that I have been in the tournament, and you can't go out and find one place that I have criticized them. We do have to do some things that are more common-sense approach. It's not feasible if you don't look at it from the team stand point. I'm really pleased that they talked about it last night back, because it does make it so much easier. I thought at one time about getting everybody to pick those 22 chairs and chains out to on the floor. Now, that would make a mockery of it. I also figured I'd trip and hurt myself. I was really pleased that they changed it and let us do that because it's really player-friendly and team-friendly. I don't need someone's momma looking in the huddle when I am chastising her little boy."

On George Mason being similar to Murray State in style of play
"It's hard to say if they are similar. George Mason was so impressive last night, I was dumbfounded. I've always had a great deal of respect for Jimmy (Larranaga) and liked Jimmy. In fact, I recommended that he hire Scott Cherry. That was so impressive last night. I can't say that they reminded me of anybody. That was as impressive as a first round win that I have ever seen."

On the biggest challenge of coaching a young team this year after an experienced team last year
"You have to coach every team different. I think that you have to coach a young team differently than you would coach a veteran club. An extremely talented club that is experienced, you can push a lot more than they are comfortable with. A young club you have to be patient and push them, but you have to have some understanding that they have never been there before. For us, we tried to be patient, but I think the team would say that I pushed them a great deal too. I think you do have to coach every team different. This is about as wide a range of the spectrum that I have ever seen."

On the benefit of a close game like last night
"That's a very good question, but I don't know the answer to it. I've had teams that came in the first round and just blew people out. In fact, in this building we had a really easy win in 1992, and then lost in the second round. For the most part - as Coach (Dean) Smith said many times and I believe - you build your momentum once you get in the tournament. The first round games of the NCAA Tournament have been closer and closer every year. I saw a chart on TV last night that the margin of victory for the top seed or the top two seeds was the second lowest margin it had ever been. For us, it was important for me to get the kids to understand that we'll be all right. I've been in some tight games."

On what stands out about George Mason
"They shot the ball in from the three point line, and at the same time they scored inside with (Will) Thomas and (Jai) Lewis. What are you going to do? Are you going to help down in the post? Jai Lewis is huge, and if you double down he's also a very good passer. Now you've opened up the perimeter. What they showed me is that there's not an easy answer. Most teams in this tournament don't have an easy answer playing against them. I've followed George Mason's teams' scores in the paper all the time. I knew they were having a great, great year but that last night was scary."

On any match-ups that UNC can take advantage of
"I hope we can, let's put it that way. David Noel's been an interesting match-up for most of the teams that we have played this year. He is a power forward at 6-5 that can also do some things out on the court. I would hope that we can exploit that one, but at the same time he has to guard Thomas or Lewis on the other end so they are doing that as well. I would have slept better if I could have found more of those match-ups that we could exploit, but I didn't sleep very well."

UNC alum and George Mason assistant coach Scott Cherry
"I thought he'd be a great addition to the staff. Jimmy's not going to hire him just because I told him so. I did appreciate the respect that Jimmy would even ask. He's thanked me a couple of times, and he has been good for his staff. I know last night they ran a lob play for a dunk, and I am watching the tape and Scott Cherry jumped higher than he every jumped when he played for Carolina. He couldn't jump a lick when he was a player. When the pass left the passer's hand and the guy was open you could see Scott jump up and run down the sideline. I wish I could have taped that for Coach Smith to see because he jumped higher and moved quicker than he ever did on the defensive end of the floor. George Mason is one of the few jobs I've ever interviewed for. I've always kept a little look at them. At one point they offered me a job and I decided not to pursue it. I called Coach Smith and he said, `Don't worry about it. How do you feel?' I said, `I feel relieved.' He said, `Then that means it was the right decision, something better is going to come along.' Two months and six or seven days later I was the head coach at Kansas."

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