Sean May: Expects a 'high pace game'

North Carolina head <B>Roy Williams</B> and sophomore big man <B>Sean May</B> and junior <B>Jackie Manuel</B> faced the media Friday afternoon in Denver heading into the NCAA second round contest between the Horns and Heels.

Opening Statement

"We are excited to be here, and we're happy to be one of the 32 teams left in the tournament. Texas will be a big time challenge for us, and I think they have done a fantastic job playing without T.J. Ford this year. Everyone has pulled together as a team, and Texas finished second in the conference this year. Rick has done a fantastic job, and I have a great deal of respect for him and the rest of their squad."

On UNC lacking the tournament experience of Texas

"I think the game will be decided by the players, Roy Williams won't do anything fantastic and Rick Barnes probably won't do anything fantastic. The challenge for us will not only be their experience but their depth as well. I don't know that a coach can do anything to counteract that. We just have to find a way to play well."

On winning in the first round

"It was huge for us and it remains to be seen how much it helps us down the line. There were two feelings in the locker room, a sense relief and exhilaration. The guys were kind of giddy."

On familiarity with Texas as an advantage

"It is definitely better than if we were playing someone we didn't know as well, but once again, it's the NCAA Tournament. I allow my assistants to look at the two teams we may play against, but I didn't even look at Texas' tape until early this morning. I don't like to overload my players, because I think I should let them play. It helps to be familiar, but I don't like to give my guys too much."

On Sean May

"The biggest factor for us will be how we handle the number of people Texas will throw at him. Our true test will be to keep Sean out of foul trouble, and for our boys to step it up."

On winning a championship

"My relationships are more important than any ring, trophy, or moment, but I would be the first to admit I want it more than anything."

On impressions of last night's game

"I love to compete, and I was really impressed with our game last night. We were down five points and everything was against us. It was a true road game, and our guys were tough enough to compete harder in the second half, and I always hope that is the kind of thing they will do."

Sean May

On his knowledge of Texas

"I am familiar with a lot of the players that play for Texas; just being a big basketball fan and watching them the past few years. I know they rotate three or four big guys and they go deep into their bench, so it is going to be a tough game for us. We know they are a very talented team. We are looking for an exciting game tomorrow."

On the shooting of the Texas post players

"I played with Brian Boddicker last summer. Before that I didn't know he could shoot the way he can. For his size he is able to step out and shoot, so it is going to present a great challenge for us. They rotate so many big guys, it is going to be hard to match up defensively all night."

On playing a team that plays so many players

"I don't think we have played a team that has had as many big guys that can pick up fouls. They don't worry about it, because the seventh or eighth guy off the bench is just as good as the eleventh or twelfth."

On balancing aggressive play and staying out of foul trouble

"With a team like this, you can't worry about it. It's going to be a man's game in there and you have to be aggressive and hope that you don't pick up silly fouls. If you are being aggressive and going for the ball, then that's different; but don't pick up something you can do without."

On the pace of the game

"They run just like us, so I think it's going to be an up and down game. This time of season you don't see a lot of teams run. It's more about the half-court sets and who can and who can grind it out on defense. I do expect a high pace game."

On playing a faster pace

"Every game you have to work and work hard. Air Force was a tough match-up for us because we aren't use to playing teams like that where they back cut and run constantly. Texas is more of the kind of team we are used to playing."

On your development of your post game

"I was pretty displeased with the way I played and shot the ball last night. Right now, I am playing pretty good basketball and I am looking forward to tomorrow night's match-up with their big men. I fell better when I play against guys who are bigger and stronger than I do against guys who are a little bit shorter and quicker."

Jackie Manuel

On his knowledge of Texas

"I know they play hard. They play physical inside and they are deep."

On buying into Coach Roy Williams' system

"I think it started last night. Every player bought into the system and what Coach has been talking about. No one has been here before and Coach has all the experience, so why not listen to him."

On the key to defending Texas' perimeter players

"It's going to be tough. We have to contain them and be there when they are getting ready to take a shot. Hopefully we can get them to just take one shot and box out, then push it down to the other end and make them play defense."


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