Friday PC Quotes + Audio

Inside Carolina's Friday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Roy Williams and Deon Thompson, who spoke to the media as the Tar Heels prepare for Sunday's ACC opener against Virginia Tech at the Smith Center.

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Injury update:
"Marcus will not play. He is still being bothered by the ankle. Will is questionable. We tried to get him to go through one out of every four plays today. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how he reacts to that. Leslie is almost exactly the same thing. So Leslie and Will are questionable. If we played today they would not play and if we played tomorrow they would not play. The extra day may give them more time, so we'll just have to wait and see."

If these three players don't play on Sunday, how would that affect your rotation?
"Well, it would be very similar to what we did in Charleston because I wasn't initially planning on playing Leslie that much, but he did some nice things when he got in there. I'm one of those guys – I've said before – that if you play better, you get to play more. Justin [Watts] is healthier now than he was at Charleston, but we went with Larry, Dexter and David Wear as the starters. I was trying to decide whether to go with David or John, so it was a knockout as to which one I was going to pick there so it would still be in that same range… If Leslie was healthy, I'd start Leslie. I don't mind saying that, because again, the better you play, the more you get to play."

Has Marcus Ginyard's injuries prevented him from filling that David Noel leadership role?
"I think it's hurt him immensely because I don't care how good a leader you are, what's the best way to lead? By example. You can be the greatest speaker in the world, but guys respect guys that can practice what they preach and walk the walk and all of those lingos you want to throw in there. Pick out your own one if you want to. So that has been really difficult."

Is the leadership concern starting to play itself out?
"I think it is, but do you want me to tell you what really cemented David Noel's great leadership? Making the first three against Gardner-Webb. That's the bottom line. ‘Hey, look what he just did.' Not only did he get them through practice, but he won a game for us. And then he played great and you get a little bit of that, too. I think David was so honest with them that I think even when he made a mistake he was just very straightforward about it to them. ‘Okay, I screwed that up – I'll do better.'

"It's hard to compare this group to David and I've said that David was the best leader that I've ever been around for a basketball team. And guys, I've had some really good leaders. I've been so lucky, it's unbelievable… So it's really not a fair comparison to say that Deon and Marcus have got to be like David, because none of those other guys ever were, either."



On the team missing a lot of close-range shots:
"Coach has been talking about us getting the ball back out after a rebound. We don't have to be so rushed to shoot it right then, right there. We have to make them pay for giving us an offensive rebound."

On playing shorthanded due to injuries:
"We're getting better at it. It feels like Marcus hasn't played in like a year. He's out here and there and things like that. But he's starting to be more mobile and starting to move around a lot more and helping us. Coach is finding some new ways to put guys in different positions, like having me at the 3 and having three big guys out there to fill in for when Marcus is gone and Will right now, so Coach is trying to find some new ways and give us different looks with those guys out."

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