Monday Roy Williams Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina head coach Roy Williams spoke with reporters Monday for his weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening Remarks:
"We were incredibly lucky, to say the least. You look at the stats and the only way we're able to win the game yesterday was Clemson's inability to make free throws, because it was really a big-time game and that's the only place that you can look at statistically and say, ‘Well, there's an advantage right there.' We made a couple of plays and we made a couple of shots and you like to have those things happen to win a road game against somebody like Clemson. It's awfully exciting for our team and we know we've got UNC-Asheville [on Wednesday], who just beat South Carolina, and North Carolina State [on Saturday], so we're in the thick of it. There's no rest for the weary."

On Alex Stepheson:
"Alex will be back tonight… We need some other big guys, there's no question or we wouldn't have had him on the team to start with, but he gets back tonight and will be able to practice tomorrow and hopefully will be able to play some on Wednesday."

On if Marcus Ginyard shut down K.C. Rivers:
"Not really, because we put Marcus on him the first minute of the game and he guarded him the whole game. But there are times when you have to make switches, and do things like that, but in the second half, there's no question – I think he had 15 or 16 at half and he ended up with 24. He played 20 minutes plus the five in overtime, so he wasn't as strong in his final 25 minutes. But K.C. was Marcus' assignment right from the start."

On Marcus accepting his role as a defensive specialist:
"He's a very bright youngster and he realizes that he is good defensively and he realizes that he has limitations on the offensive end. I've always been one to try to get your players to play to their strengths, [and] not trying to show everyone their weaknesses, because I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm not the dumbest, either.

"So for Marcus, he's accepted that very easily. It's been something that he has a great deal of pride in defense, and what he's got to do is just be Marcus. And that means guard people like crazy, get to the offensive boards, get some steals, help out the other guys on defense and there's going to be some times when he has some open shots and the ball is going to go in for him, and there's go other times when he emphasizes some of those other things…

"Jackie Manuel was sensational running and chasing people around screens like he had to do against J.J. Redick. Marcus is not quite as good chasing people around screens, but he's a little bit better on the ball. And there are some guys that can guard the ball and still get around the screens that are really good defensively – that's what Marcus is."

On building an effective schedule:
"It's really hard to put that schedule together because in my first four years here, we had Connecticut twice and Arizona twice in a non-conference game in the middle of the conference schedule and I don't think that's the best, but we weren't able to do that this year. Arizona asked to what a year before we started that one back. There is no question that it's a little difficult putting together what is actually best.

"Fred Barakat told me the other day, ‘I was surprised that you accepted six straight games away from your building,' but the bottom line is that you've got to play where ever it is. The schedule is going to be loaded at some point and sometimes you have a couple of breaks and what you have to do is use both of them to your advantage, and say, ‘Hey, we're playing all of these games, but we're tested.' And when you have a break, you've got to say, ‘Hey, this is good for us – we're going to have some good practice sessions.'"

On what Sidney Lowe brings to the N.C. State rivalry:
"I think the pride he has – the red blazer – when he plays us. And his players understand that he's played in those games and how important it is to him personally, not just to Wolfpack nation or anything like that. I do believe that the personal pride that Sidney has, his players pick up on it and they realize how much it means to him. It also gives his judgment and his suggestions and his coaching a little more credibility, because he's been in those big-time games and won those games."

On his first thoughts when he saw Lowe wear his red jacket:
"About the same thing I did when I saw Oliver [Purnell's] orange one yesterday. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm glad I'm not wearing that one.'"

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