Tuesday Player Q&As (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina players met with the media at the Smith Center on Tuesday afternoon. Read and listen to what they had to say ...

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(3:44) On USC -

We haven't even looked at their scout yet or anything like that. Going back to last year, they did a lot of good things defensively and they're a tough team. They hit big shots, too, down the stretch and made plays. That's what got us beat last year at their place.

On USC's defense on him -

This year's team is a little different. We have Ty [Lawson] penetrating and a lot of different shooters. But at the same time, I've been getting doubled a lot, so I'm used to that, too. We're just going to try to play hard and win the game.

What areas has Lawson elevated his game -

He's asserted himself more by his penetration. He drives to the basket, sharing the ball and things like that.



What's been behind the surge in your play the last couple of weeks?

Probably the NCAA Tournament…I want to play my best and I want to help my team win.

How much is it Coach Williams riding your back?

Coach doesn't ride my back too much at all. I guess I've been playing well, because he hasn't been saying too much at all.

Was he on your back before?

Yes, he was on me like all year…a little bit in February, but lately he hasn't been saying too much.

What would he say?

Mostly about not going hard enough in practice…that's mostly what he would get on me about.

Was sitting out most of the first half in the Georgia Tech game what turned you around?

A little bit, because I tried practicing harder.

Is that carrying over into the games?

I think so. Now I realize how well you do in practice is how well your going to do in games. So practice is a big part of it as well.



On how the team has elevated its play down the stretch -

We just realize that if we lose we go home. I'm not ready for the season to be over, and we're all just stepping up. I think that's what it is. So if we realize our full potential, we have a chance of winning the whole thing.

On gaining momentum after losing a pair of games late in the regular season -

That was real important step for us going through the ACC Tournament and into the NCAA Tournament with that confidence and momentum. That helped our team a lot. Guys are ready to step up now.

On how depth helps this time of year -

It helps definitely. Because we've got subs coming in, we stay fresh all the time. The teams that only go six deep, they can't really keep up with us. That's what our plan is, to get up and down the floor, and teams are going to get tired.

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