Media Day: Will Johnson Quotes

CHAPEL HILL -- Senior Will Johnson answered questions during Thursday afternoon's media day at the Smith Center.

Do you think you guys are getting antsy to go at this for real?

I think so. I think guys are ready to start full practice. We have been doing preseason stuff for two months. Most of us were here most of the summer. Guys are ready to practice.

Do you feel fully cleansed from last year, or do you think it will take a few games?

I don't ever want to forget it, but this is a clean slate and a new start. I don't think we have to prove anything because of last year. This is a totally different team. There are new guys, so it is a blank page.

You've played with the new guys. How important is the start of practice for them?

It's important for them to know what is expected and how much attention to detail there has to be and how much mental focus you have to have. I think they are doing a good job, but it's just something you have to learn, that you you go through.

This year, instead of telling the freshmen to watch you for preparation for the future, it will be more of you saying, "Go do 'X' right now." What affect does that have?

Learning on the fly, yeah. There is a steeper learning curve, but that is the way you learn the quickest - by doing it. Hopefully that will happen with our guys. We may have some rough moments early, but I think we have a good group of guys.

What challenges are there for you, as a leader? There is an age difference with the other guys, a difference in experience, you were recruited by differnt coaching staffs. I don't know if race matters, but that's just another difference. What challenges are there for you?

From my standpoint as a senior, I think it is a matter of everyone understanding what is expected and understands what it takes to win games at this level. As far as any barriers or boundaries, this team gets along great, so far, and I don't expect anything to change from that. There aren't any personality challenges at all. I'm lucky to have such a good group of guys my senior year.

From the outside looking in, I think some people feel as if there is a possibility that there is a gap between the seniors and everyone else, du to all the differences. Is that the case?

As a player we don't sense that and don't think about it, I don't think. We are all on the same team, trying to get the same thing done. It's Carolina basketball. There is no division between coaching eras or coaching staffs or whatever. We are all here to play for Carolina.

How have the relationships between the coaches and players changed, and where does that stand?

I think our relationships are good, right now. We are communicating like any good player/coach relationships should. We communicate, and that's really all you can ask. It's Coach's decision. He runs the show. Guys are willing to listen and do what he asks and that's all you can ask right now.

How much contact did you have with the coaches over the summer?

Every day, unless they were on the road recruiting. I was here, I saw them, and talked to them. If they weren't here, I'd call them every now and then, just to check up.

Is anything going to be different this year?

It's hard to say. We look at last year as a learning experience and try to improve on things from a player's standpoint and a coach's standpoint. I expect everyone to do that, and that's all I can predict right now.

How would you assess the personality of this team?

It's an infant's personality, right now. I can't really say. So far, I would say we are young, energetic, competitive, and together. Everyone involved – fans, players, coaches – that's an exciteing combination. It's been good so far.

What is it like to go against Sean May with his size?

Yeah, he has some bulk – especially for a freshman – he's like 270. With that, he's got tremendous skill and tremendous footwork and tremendous hands. That combination is pretty tough to defend. I'm glad to have him on our team.

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