ROY WILLIAMS, TYLER ZELLER & KENDALL MARSHALL
Listen to Audio (12:26)
“Well right now we feel very fortunate to say the least. If you want to put ‘lucky’ in there, we’ll take that as well. We didn’t play nearly as well as we wanted to play and give North Carolina State credit for that, because they made us play for it. They did a nice job and took some things away from us, attacked us… we were a little thinner and I didn’t do a very good job over there coaching or whatever.
"Harrison made two big free throws. Kendall made a big basket there at the end and ‘J-Watts’ probably made the biggest play of the game. We had new assignments out of the timeout as to who was guarding who and had a mix-up and Painter was underneath the basket wide open and I’m screaming ‘go get him’ at one of our guys and ‘J-Watts’, and it was not his man, heard me or saw it, I cant tell you which one, and went sprinting down there and saved it because they were throwing it to Painter for a layup, but big play by him. We feel very fortunate as I said, but we also feel very happy. There’s been a couple of games this year, at Kentucky and Duke at home, that we lost on last second plays and today ‘J-Watts’ made a big one for us and we we’re lucky enough to get out.
"These guys up here – Kendall did not have his best day by any means, but really a good basketball player and made a big-time play at the end and ‘Z’ was a load for them to handle inside… 8-11 from the floor. Just as happy as we can be to still be here.”
On Henson’s status for the game tomorrow:
“We have no idea… The plan today was come to the arena, see how he felt, get in the locker room, tape it up, see how it felt when he had a basketball in his hand, see how it felt trying to catch a basketball, trying to dribble a basketball. If he had any pain or felt uncomfortable then we weren’t going to play him. If he didn’t have pain and didn’t feel that uncomfortable I was going to let him warm-up and I was going to watch him as closely as I could and then make the determination of whether he would be effective and it didn’t get to that stage, because John didn’t feel that comfortable.
"If it had been the Final Four I think he probably would’ve played, but that’s not and indication, that’s not ‘Ole Roy’ saying anything about this tournament. That’s just a fact, but he didn’t feel comfortable so we didn’t even take it to the second stage. He said today that he feels considerably better than he did yesterday. Now is he going to improve at that same rate by tomorrow? I personally have my doubts, but we’ll just wait and see and go with the same procedure tomorrow.”
On the versatility of Justin Watts, who played point guard and power forward during the game:
“He’s been a great leader first. I told Harrison, when we had that timeout with 1.2 seconds, I told him he should kiss ‘J-Watts’ and he looked at me like ‘why?’ I said ‘because you should’ve been sprinting back picking up that other guy and he saved your bacon and our whole team’ so I took it upon myself to kiss him on the top of his head myself.
"He fills so many roles for us - tremendous leader, tremendous young man, tremendous versatility. He’s been asked to do so many things this year and he had a three right in front of our bench and it looked good, but he just rushed it a little bit. He can do a lot of things and provides us with so many areas. It’s a little like Reggie. ‘J-Watts’ play is not going to be looked at like really important, because you look at numbers, but it was extremely important for us today without John, without Dexter, without Leslie. We had three guys over there in suits and ties that at the end of the year last year we thought would be three of our top six guys this year, so ‘J-Watts’ has really given us a lot. Kendall and I were talking about Reggie’s play up here so I didn’t say anything about it in the opening, but he does a great deal for us out there on both ends of the court.”
On Mark Gottfried not knowing that CJ Leslie had four fouls when he left Leslie in the game:
“I’ll go with what Mark said. That’s not for me to judge. I’m dumb enough to leave PJ in in the first half when he got his second foul. They said he’s got two fouls and I said ‘he can play forty seconds without making a foul’ and, my God, he made a foul 75 freaking feet from the basket, so I think that Mark told you what happened and I don’t know what happened down there. We’ve all had things that happen that we look back on and wish we didn’t, but it did… It was James Michael that had the second foul and fouled a guy 75 feet from the basket.”
On the strategy in the ?nal possession:
“We wanted to put the ball in (Harrison Barnes)’ hands. He does a tremendous job of taking and making those shots. Lorenzo
Brown did a tremendous job on defense on that play. By the time I got it back, we didn’t have time to get into another set, and I
was able to make the shot.”
On C.J. Leslie:
“He’s a di?cult person to guard. He’s not overly big as far as weight is concerned, but he’s very versatile and he can move well. He’s someone who can be very dangerous.”
On James Michael McAdoo’s performance in the absence of John Henson:
“James Michael is a fantastic player. It took a little getting used to in the beginning. Little things, mainly. Di?erent situations
where I knew John would normally be there. But we just had to make a few adjustments, and after that, james Michael did a
fantastic job of ?lling in."
Listen to Audio (5:28)
After just three points in the first half what happened in the second half that allowed you to be more productive scoring the ball?
“You could just tell shots were going to fall, but you just had to be tough and fight through it. I knew they’d fall at some point, so you just continue to shoot, continue to be aggressive.”
How crucial has this weekend been in terms of building confidence for the bench players?
“It’s been big, especially since earlier in the year I don’t think the bench necessarily contributed as much as we wanted them to and now they’re the glue that keeps this team together. ‘J-Watts’, James, PJ all come off the bench and contribute, especially now that Reggie starts. It’s nice to have that lift.”
Was it difficult to get a read on what was being called a charge and what was being called a block?
“Yeah it was up and down. You look at some of ‘Z’s’ fouls and you’re like ‘ehh those were fouls’, but then we come through sometimes just blasting through the lane and it’s like ‘OK, wow we got lucky they didn’t call an offensive foul’, so it was up and down, but you just got to play through that. You got to realize guys stand in there and take charges and depending on what time in the game it is they may call a charge, may call a block, so you just got to adjust.”
Listen to Audio (8:56)
Did you not know or was there some miscommunication with CJ Leslie’s foul situation?
“Miscommunication by our staff. That’s our responsibility. Now the two fouls happened so fast… and our other bigs had four as well, so we were in a quandary either way. We were in a tough situation there so that was that.”
What were your thoughts about the officiating today?
“Can’t talk about that or you’ll get fined.”
How much do you think today mattered as far as proving your team is worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid?
“I believe we’re an NCAA Tournament team, but I’m not on the committee. I think our team has earned the right to play in the tournament. I think if you watched that game today I think you should be impressed with our team. Did we help our seeding today, even in a loss? Maybe, could’ve. I think North Carolina is a number one seed. They’ve earned it throughout the year and we were toe-to-toe and had a chance to win the game, in a position to win, so I think that our players have proven that we are going to be a tough out if we’re fortunate enough to get in.”