"David Wear will not play Wednesday night. And to be honest with you, we may have lost David for the rest of the season, too. He's got a possible labrum tear in his hip. We don't feel real good about it. I thought I'd try a different routine. I thought I'd just say something about it up front and then if it was not that, then I would say, ‘Golly, I'm glad we were wrong.' Because with everything else, we've had these fears and we don't say anything about it and then it comes out that it is [true]. So we'll find out late [Tuesday] afternoon or evening about David."
Have you ever had to endure an injury-riddled season like this one before?
"I think we've started 10 different players and it may be 11 this season. I've never had that in my career, if you take out Senior Day, because I've always started the seniors. But it has been injuries that have affected players that are playing. But we've had a three-year run that's been pretty difficult. Everything evens out and I'm waiting for one of those years, which I had a year at Kansas one time. We played 35 games one year. We had two guys start 35, two guys start 34 – the two games they didn't start was Senior Day – and one guy start 33 during the course of the whole season.
"I'm waiting for that to swing back around in our favor and have some of those years. But it's an excuse and that's the bottom line. It's still North Carolina playing Boston College and it's still North Carolina playing Duke and North Carolina playing Wake Forest. But it has hit us harder and it's not something we enjoy."
On recruiting more guards and players with leadership qualities:
"We've got three kids that signed with us in the fall – all three of them play on the perimeter. I won't just say guards, but all three of them play on the perimeter. We have two kids that are already committed to us in the next class and we're continuing to recruit some people. As we talked about in the preseason, our depth in the backcourt was a problem, so we tried to find a solution to that, and our lack of consistency in shooting the basketball outside. For example, Reggie Bullock and Harrison Barnes are both very good shooters, so we think we've addressed some of that. The other kids that we have coming in we hope will address some of that as well.
"The bottom line is the game just works so much easier [when you make shots]. We missed a dead layup in the game Saturday at Boston College and one of their players drove in and makes a running one-hander over John Henson and banks it in. Being able to put the ball in the basket helps. We felt like we needed to recruit some shooters and some scorers.
"As far as leadership qualities, I've seen kids who were great leaders as freshmen and were not as good leaders later on. But there's no question that we would like to get some more toughness in the backcourt, as well as upfront. We miss Tyler Hansbrough, there's no question about that, because that big sucker set the table for everybody."
On Larry Drew and Dexter Strickland:
"We've got to do a better job guarding the ball on the perimeter. I put some pressure on two kids today, and I honestly believe this. I'll never hit another golf ball if this is a lie. In my opinion, Larry Drew and Dexter Strickland have the potential to be the two best defensive guards that I have ever coached. I think I've had 11 guards – 1 or 2 men – play in the NBA, and those guys have the potential to be the two best defensively I've ever coached. So I told them, ‘Potential is what get coaches fired. How about starting to do what I think you can do?' And I do. Larry's got length, he's got good feet, he's got good hands and he has the agility. Dexter has wonderful feet, he's got the toughness and the whole bit. And so now it depends on the want-to and how tough you are…
"I asked them a question and I got Coach [Joe] Holladay over there. I don't share things with you that I shouldn't share, but I said, ‘Coach, what did I say about these two guys today?' And he repeated it, because I had told the staff. So I told them, ‘At this point, the two best defensive guards I've ever coached were Jacque Vaughn and Jerrod Haase.' And I said, ‘Coach, now compare these two guys right in front of us to Jerrod Haase for toughness.' And Joe had a great line. He looked at me and said, ‘Jerrod was a 10 and these two are ones, on a scale of 1-10.' And I said, ‘Well, that's about what I thought because I was going to say that Jerrod was a 1,000 times tougher than they are.'
"So I said, ‘Guys, you've got to change. You have the skills, now use the skills. You have the gifts – the Man upstairs blessed you with these gifts – now use them better.' So I'm trying to motivate them and trying to push them, but we do need to get better on the perimeter defensively and I think we can. And I hope it's in my lifetime."
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.