Operation BKB: Roy Williams

GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Carolina coach Roy Williams met with league sportswriters on Sunday during Operation Basketball at the Grandover Resort. The Tar Heels are a consensus preseason top five pick nationally, and Williams said he doesn't mind being picked first in the ACC. Read and listen to his comments…

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Opening remarks -

"I'm really pleased. The kids have been working really hard. We've had seven practices and we've pushed them extremely hard. We had a clinic yesterday with over 500 coaches there. Every one of them talked about how hard the kids worked. I've been pleased with the effort. The concentration has not been as good as the effort. It takes a little more for the freshmen. Their not used to doing both at the same time. Bobby missed the first three days. He tweaked his ankle a little in the scrimmage we had the first night. Reyshawn [Terry] has not practiced the last two days. He's got a problem in his shoulder. They don't think its musculature, and they don't think it's a big problem. Other than that everybody's practiced and we've done pretty well."

On team maturity -

"It's somewhat different. We still have to be very patient. Even our veterans are really young. Four of those freshmen that played so much last year are still are just sophomores, so they're not used to everything. We're trying to push them a little harder for a little faster pace, so it's a little change for them. It's not as drastic as it is for the freshmen by any means. We've got 17 players, so I can push them as hard as I want to push them and barely even make them tired – we've got so many substitutes."

On the freshman class -

"This is one of the better freshman classes since I've been here for sure. It's probably one of the better classes our staff has ever recruited. They're good players. It remains to be seen how consistent they'll be every day, and that's the biggest question mark."

On the possibility of redshirting -

"There's always that chance. I've had that chance every year I've coached, and I guess we redshirted two guys at Kansas my entire time. In both of those cases, we talked about it beforehand. If it gets to the point that it would be best for the individual player or my team, but I wouldn't be against doing that. There are no plans to do that at this moment."

On freshmen's expectations -

"I tell the guys I like them. If you say we're going to be pretty good, then we've got a better chance of being good than being bad. I've never been one to be afraid of being picked high. I'm not one to be afraid of people saying good things about you. No one's going to put more pressure on myself and the players than I am. We can't live up to everybody's expectations, just like last year, we couldn't live down to everybody's expectations. We're going to do the absolute best we can do and see where we are at the end. Last year I didn't tell them it was OK to be bad. I challenged them to be better than people thought. I challenged them to be the best they can possibly be, and I'm challenging them to do the same this year."

On their potential impact -

"Seven practices in is too early to tell, but they're very good. I think they'll have an impact, no question."

On team chemistry -

"I've been asked that question about a thousand times. I'm not freakin' worried about it. I'm really not. (The players) got to worry about it. They're good kids. They're going to figure it out. They care about the name on the front of the jersey. If our team wins, chemistry is going to take care of itself. If our team doesn't win, then everyone will point to chemistry. Bottom line, North Carolina has got to score more points than the other team. Worrying about chemistry is not going to help us figure out how to do that. We've got to worry about whoever is in the game doing their best. H2O… Sodium Chloride… That's about it fellows. That's about all I know about Chemistry."

On defensive vision this year -

"Hopefully we'll be able to extend our pressure more and pressure more without fouling. We want to play defense, we want to pressure and we want to trap a little bit more. We're not going to go crazy and done things I've never done, because I'm not comfortable with it. We'll do a little more in hopes our depth will give us more stamina and more energy. We'll move some people in and out and still be able to do that. The defensive end of the floor is always somewhere you can improve. Last year our kids bought into that wholeheartedly, and I think this year's group will buy into it wholeheartedly."

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