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:
"It's always an exciting time of the year in this league, getting ready to play in the ACC Tournament. Coaching in the ACC Tournament is exciting for all of us. We felt very lucky, very fortunate to win at Duke Saturday night, and again, I just couldn't be more positive about the feelings that Duke gave us in helping us continue to grieve over the loss of our student body president in that tragedy last week. Duke was gracious [with] a moment of silence. The wearing of the ribbons throughout their crowd and to me, it really showed what a great conference we have and what a great relationship we have, and what's great about college basketball."

On dealing with the death of Eve Carson:
"It's a tragedy when it happens anywhere, but when it happens in college community to one of your leaders in the college group, it is even more evident. Our student body is on spring break right now, but I did talk with my team about it on two separate occasions. They were all for wearing the patch on their jersey. The staff and the managers put the ribbons on our lapels. It was just a way of us trying to show her family that we are still grieving ourselves. But it is a tragedy and it really puts the basketball games to a much lesser degree, to say the least."

On the decision to switch on ball screens against Duke:
"We felt like that when we played Duke last time, we didn't do a very good job of handling the screen on the ball because they have such good spacing and preparation for guys who can put the ball on the floor and drive all of the way to the basket and shoot the 3-point shot, as well. So we worked on it Thursday and Friday and it helped us. I don't want to say it was a major factor by any stretch, because that gives coaching too much credit, but it did help us. Our guys wanted to try something different and whether or not we see it again or not, we've got to start practicing it and see if we can do it better."

Any thoughts about holding Ty Lawson back a little during the ACC Tournament to get healthy for the NCAA Tournament?
"There's not any plan to hold him [back] any differently than we would if we were just playing three regular season games this week. We always try to be very cautious with all of our players when you're playing three games in three days, but our first goal is to be able to play three games in three days. So we're not making any plans to hold anybody back.

"The way we practiced Thursday and Friday is we split the time at the point guard spot evenly with Ty and [Quentin Thomas] and what was left over we gave to Marcus [Ginyard]. That's the way we'll practice this week we'll have to see how it goes when we get into games, but we can hold Ty out for everything but for one play in a practice and he could hurt himself on that one play. So we do want to be concerned about the stress and the stamina question and being tired, but we do that with every one of our players."

What does the ACC Tournament mean to you this year?
"Well, it's the same thing I've said every year. It's a great cocktail party, a big party for all of the fans and the whole bit, but growing up here in North Carolina, the ACC Tournament is the granddaddy of all of the tournaments. It means a great deal, and at the same time, we can't put all of our loaves in this basket because we have accomplished enough during the regular season that we know we're going to be playing after this week. But it's something that I continue to have mixed emotions about, but it's a wonderful, wonderful thing and we have to play, and so by golly, we're going to try to do the best we possibly can to win it and it was fun winning it last year."

On Danny Green's recent improvement:
"Well, I think [his play] needs to pick up at this time of year, everybody on our team does, but I think Danny went through a little lull in his play in February and I think that he's gotten back on the upswing now and we hope that it will last all of the way through the next five or six weeks. But he really has done a better job and he has concentrated more on getting to the backboards, which we really need him to do. Danny's started making more shots which definitely opens things up, because he has the ability to shoot that 3-point shot."

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