Thursday PC Quotes + Audio

Inside Carolina's Thursday NCAA press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams, Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson, who spoke to the media at the RBC Center as the top-seeded Tar Heels prepare for NCAA Tournament opening round action on Friday.

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His thoughts on the East Region:
"I said on Monday that everybody can talk about it and say that we've got the toughest region, and that's what we're supposed to do as coaches. I was a little surprised that Tennessee was put in the same region as us – if they said we are the [overall] No. 1 seed, because they have to be the No. 1, No. 2 seed. The No. 8/No. 9 matchup I think is the toughest by far. Arkansas had a great [season] and Indiana was the No. 1 team in the Big Ten [for a while]. All that said, I can go on and on, but bottom line is that you have to play on game day. We are focused on Mount St. Mary's and that's it."

On how the ACC was treated with only four NCAA bids:
"I would have loved to see some other ACC teams in. I believe that some of the other ACC teams are some of the top-65 teams in the country – there's no doubt in my mind about that. What we have to do to get to that point… I'd hate to speak to each and every individual situation, but we've got to do some things, whether it's more marketing, playing tougher schedules, winning games, or my guess is, it's going to have to be a combination of all of those things. I was surprised that Virginia Tech, for example, was not in because I do believe that they are one of the top-65 teams in the country."

On if Lawson is finally over his mental block with his ankle:
"I don't think we'll know until the game starts tomorrow. At practice yesterday, he and Quentin [Thomas] split time again because I'm still trying to get past Quentin's knee and his ankle but I think he is practicing better. And he should be feeling more confident on it, I think, with each and every day that his ankle is not going to explode or anything like that."

On his talk with Deon Thompson earlier this week:
"I won't get real specific, but just that he had to play better and not just focus on what he was doing offensively. Do the job rebounding-wise, do the job defensively, and that gives me an opportunity to play you more. If the shots are not going in for you, and you're struggling on the other end, you don't give me anything to hang my hat on. It was partly private, but other than that, it was just, ‘Let's get focused and put that stuff behind you.' I think the biggest reason is that he's finally starting to feel better. It's been a long run for him not feeling well since the Virginia game at Virginia."



Did you watch any of Tuesday night's play-in game?
"I just watched bits and pieces of it to see who was going to win and who we are going to be playing against. Other than that, we are just excited to practice and get the scouting report and get ready to play somebody tomorrow."

On playing at the RBC Center:
"We're going to have a lot of fans here, so we'll feel very comfortable. Of course, it's still going to be that tournament atmosphere – do-or-die. You have to come out and give it 100 percent and you have to stay focused the whole game."

On Lawson's strong play in the second half of the ACC Tournament finals:
"You could just see that Ty is gaining his confidence back and just see him jump off that ankle and getting the speed back. It's good. It's all coming back at the right time."

On how his ankle felt after the ACC Tournament:
"It felt a little sore going hard on it, but I think playing three game will strengthen it, and right now, it feels good, so hopefully, it will just keep holding up for the next three weeks."

On the team's mindset:
"I feel like we're ready. This is the time of year everybody has been waiting for. So we are ready to get out and get started playing games. We've been practicing hard the last two days, getting after it."

On playing at the RBC Center:
"I feel like it's probably good playing here, because we're already used to the court and things like that. It's not like a new atmosphere and a new arena to get used to. We're going to be playing here and we'll have a lot of fans here and it might feel like a home game."

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