UNC-KU: Locker Room Report II


IC: Talk about how satisfying this win is for you, after last year:

Williams: It feels real good. We played big, got a good win, now we've got to get better everyday.

IC: Any surprise that this team is capable of this level of performance already.

Williams: We know what we're capable of, and that's all that matters. We'll continue to work hard and get better every game.

IC: What was your challenge coming into the game -- the knock on you is that people question your ability to really bang the boards -- did you answer some of that tonight?

Williams: I really don't care what other people think -- they're not in my shoes. I proved that I can play with anybody, I just use my quickness to my advantage. I've got this build for a reason, and I'm using it to my advantage.

IC: It seemed like the first half, you had an idea where the ball was going, especially to get you the ball in the corner for a lot of open looks?

Williams: Yeah, we had a great game plan that Coach Doherty came up with. We always fill the weak wing, and when I got the ball it was time for me to drive, so I used my quickness once again.

IC: How important was the good start to the game -- you had a dunk early, Rashad had a dunk early, how important was that start?

Williams: It was huge. We got ourselves off to a great start and continued to play possession by possession to build on our lead.

IC: Was there any point in the second half where you said, look, there's no way we're going to lose this game, this is ours, they're not making a run, period?

Williams: No -- we didn't even look at the time or the score. We just had to continue to play possession by possession and we did. Kansas is a great team and they can get back into the game, but we did a good job of keeping our focus on the moment at hand.


IC: Any surprise that you pulled this off already?

Felton: No, I'm not surprised -- it's a great win. I knew we could come out and do it, we work hard every day in practice, we've got great talent, great players who control the ball well and play great defense. So yeah, we beat a great team, but being surprised? I'm not surprised. I knew we could do it.

IC: Was there a concerted effort at the end of the game to use a lot of clock -- was that something Doherty talked to you specifically about or just you being aware of the situation.

Felton: Me being aware of the situation and Coach Doherty just telling me, control the ball, get a great shot. You don't really have to push the ball up the court, just get into our offense and let Kansas come to us, and that's what I did.

IC: You took a three-pointer with about 4 minutes left in the game that came up short going into a timeout, Doherty came out and met you halfway as you were coming off, what did he have to say then?

Felton: He just said, use my quickness and go by the man. Don't worry about that pullup jump shot right then, which I shouldn't have taken, I should have just gone by my man and made something happen going towards the basket, make a pass or make somebody foul me. He said I should use my quickness, use my penetrating skills, which I didn't, so that's my fault.

IC: With all the hype around Raymond Felton, some people thought you were going to come in like Allen Iverson and score 25 points a game -- are points important to you at all?

Felton: Points are not important to me. Everybody knows I can score, I just want to come out and win games every night and have games like this. If I get my assists and score like 10 points, 12 points, hey, that's cool with me. I don't have to score 25, 30 points a night like I did in high school, that doesn't bother me. As long as we win and I know I helped my team out, I control the tempo, I control the game, I'm satisfied.

IC: Was this a question of you guys stepping up to the level of the challenge -- there were some rough spots the last couple of games and yet you were on a totally different level as a team tonight.

Felton: Oh yeah, we showed that we can be a great team, we showed that we can make a run in the NCAA this year. All we have to do is keep our heads together, come out and play hard every night. I think we're going to do great this year.

IC: Talk about the defensive pressure you're able to apply 30, 40 feet from the basket.

Felton: I mean, that's something I've got to do, something I've been working on in practice, I've got great quickness -- we've got to scramble them. I just put pressure on the ball to try to make things happen, put pressure on the ball to try to keep them out of their offense. We all did - Jackie played great D, Jawad played great D, Sean played great D, all five of us that were on the court and those that came off the bench played great D. It's a great win -- defense was the main thing that won it for us, defense in transition and just running the offense.

IC: One thing I've always wanted to ask you, do you go to South of the Border much when you're down in Latta?

Felton: Ha-ha, nah, I used to when I was little, I never really went that way much when I got older...

IC: So you outgrew it...

Felton: (chuckles) yeah, I outgrew it.

IC: Any regrets you're not going to be in Chapel Hill tonight to celebrate this a little bit?

Felton: No, I mean, it's fine -- as long as I'm with my teammates we can celebrate, my family, my mom and dad are up here, all my loved ones. There's some people in Chapel Hill I'd love to celebrate with but I'll see them when I get back.

IC: Talk about the 3 of you being in the McDonald's game and playing in this arena before, did it help you prepare for an occasion like this?

Felton: Yeah -- it let us know how the crowd was going to be, how the feel of the court was, so yeah. We weren't really surprised, we knew what it was like to play in this type of environment, so we were ready. Nobody was nervous, nobody was shaky, everybody was ready.

IC: Any time tonight where you sensed Kansas's players might have been shocked or surprised at what was going on?

Felton: Kansas is a great team, and they knew we were a great team, they knew we were going to give them a fight for the game. I'm not saying they were surprised. Maybe they were, but I'm not going to say that.

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