On the team getting distracted with the Roy/Kansas talk:
"I don't think my team can get distracted from it, and I'm getting very close to putting an end to it right now, because it's not the story. The story is Kansas and their great program and their great team in 2008, and North Carolina and their great program and team of 2008. My team, five years ago, they didn't even know who the dickens Roy Williams was or care. Most of the Kansas kids are the same way. It's taking up a lot of time right now, but you guys have got to touch all of the bases, and some people want to hear about more about that than they probably should, so it's got to be done right now."
On the enjoyment of watching his players' grow:
"You get even more satisfaction after they leave. Because then you see them grow up into adults and make decisions. Yesterday, I heard that Kirk [Hinrich] and his wife – she's five months pregnant. I mean, those are the kinds of things that are even more satisfying. But is what is satisfying from a coach's standpoint as well, is seeing Wayne Ellington. [As a defensive player now], he's getting pretty doggone good and he's going to get a lot better. And when I talked to him about that somebody [asked] if he could have done those things last year, he said, ‘Oh no, not on the defensive end of the floor.' And it just jumps out at you. The improvement of the players is something you do enjoy seeing and take pride in seeing guys get better."
What does it mean to be in your first Final Four:
"It means a lot. It's a goal we set out. Obviously, we beat some good teams to get here, and we feel like we're playing really well. We want to keep on moving."
Did your class having to play right away help set the backbone for this run?
"Yes, definitely. My freshman year, I felt like I was forced to come into a situation where I saw a lot of playing time, and a lot of my teammates – Bobby [Frasor], Marcus and Danny – saw the same situation… I feel like there are a lot of guys on our team that have a lot of experience. Only Quentin has the Final Four experience and knows what to do, but for the Final Four, we're young and it's kind of a new situation. But I think we'll use that experience that we've been using all along and can keep doing those same things that have gotten us these wins lately."
How much will this weekend affect your decision to come back next year?
"It will affect it a little bit, but I wouldn't say it has a huge role. I love being here, and I'm not going to base my decision off of that. I'm just going to have to look at my situation, talk to some of my family, and see what they think. Ultimately, it will come down to what I feel like I want to do, and we'll just have to wait and see."
When did it sink in that you were going to the Final Four?
"The next day, when I called my mom to check up on her that she got back alright, I was talking to her, and was like, ‘Can you believe we're going to the Final Four?' It's kind of a crazy situation. Who would have ever thought, starting out in Poplar Bluff, I would end up playing at North Carolina, and then go play at a Final Four. It's just a situation I'm really happy to be in."
On leaving UNC as the all-time winningest player:
"It means a lot to say that I was a part of a team for four years that just cared about nothing but winning. I was just fortunate to be around a great team, great teammates and a great coaching staff."
On getting the starting job after Lawson's injury:
"When it came up, it was just an opportunity for me to basically not only showcase my talent, but to show that I could lead this team. And that helped us as a team as a whole, and it helped me individually as a team player. I just gained confidence off that."
How hungry is Coach Williams to win this game?
"I think he's real hungry, because that's his old team. Also, it's the Final Four right now. Our goal is the championship, so that's two big things that he's trying to conquer right now."
On Kansas guard Sherron Collins:
"I think he's like a similar player to me, kind of short, kind of strong. He's a big-time player, so I've just got to limit his play-making abilities, because that's how he gets the team going when they're down or in tough spots."
How it sunk in that you're going to a Final Four?
"A little bit. I don't think it's really going to hit us until we get there. But there's been a lot of excitement and we're all pretty ecstatic about getting there."
How tough was the journey to the Final Four?
"It was a lot of hard work to get here. It's something that we've focused on all season long, and it's been one of our top goals. And to finally be there, we feel great about it, and the level of competition that we're going to face when we get there, we're excited about that, also."
On playing better this season:
"We had a lot of guys on the team last year. We had a deep team, so there wasn't as many minutes to be played and it was just harder to get into a rhythm a little bit, for me. And I struggled because some of the things going on off the court."
On how much his father's issues affected him last season:
"I would say that it affected me a decent amount, especially at the beginning of the year… It didn't affect me as much when I was down here, but when I would go back home to go visit and see what was going on with him…"
Only playing so much as a freshman:
"It was a surprise to me. I just wanted to be here at North Carolina, at this great program with a great coach, and just to know that we could be in the position that we're in now."
Have those experiences helped this team reach the Final Four?
"Everything that we've gone through is obviously something that's going to shape this team and mold this team. And it's going to make us the people that we are and the players that we are. For us to come in and having been thrown to the fire, as they say, so young and right away, it was great for this team. Everybody has got that experience… We're all just excited that here and what this team is capable of doing."