ROY WILLIAMS, JOHN HENSON & REGGIE BULLOCK
Listen to Audio (8:51)
"Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Kendall has a fractured wrist and that's all I can tell you. We don't know. He's got a fracture of the scaphoid bone of the right wrist. And you can ask any question you want, but I just told you all we know. We do not know anything else. So be intelligent and don't ask. We'll speak to the hand specialist tonight with Kendall and his family and we'll see what happens after that.
"It was a great win for our team, great win for our kids, and it was a team game to say the least. We got help from everybody. But it's sort of overshadowed by what's happened to a wonderful young man right now."
Tyler took a real hard shot from Echenique and didn't retaliate, didn't even complain to the officials. Is he always so level headed?
"He's pretty composed out there. I don't think he's ever gotten a technical, I don't think he's ever even been warned about a technical. He's a very composed youngster, very focused on what is important and that's continuing to play. So I would answer the question by saying, yes, that's Tyler. That's what he is. We were worried a little bit about his foul trouble and tried to keep getting him in and out, didn't want it to get down to five minutes and him have four fouls, but he's one of the best leaders I've ever been around."
I know certainly the news of Marshall's bad now, but he's been playing so well. Can you talk about how well he's played the last really two or three months, the entire season, but particularly the last couple games?
"He's really played well. As you said, the entire season, the first half today, four turnovers. As a matter of fact, he had I think 13 points at halftime. I told our staff I would rather him not have the 13 points and not have the four turnovers. But he's been really, really good.
"Second half he had zero turnovers. I think that for us, he's starting to look for his shot a little bit more because it's going in more. Earlier in the season, he didn't look for it as much because when he shot it it wasn't going in. You can look at the stats through the first 15 games and then through 25 games and then through 36 games, and you'll see that as the season has continued along, his shot has gone in more often and more often and his percentages have just continued to rise.
"But you just hate it for the kid. My gosh, we have handled a little bit of adversity the last two years and I'm just so proud of my group. But he's been a big time basketball player for us."
Henson mentioned that he thought that it was unnecessary the way he was hit on the wrist. Did you feel like there was a lot of that going on in the game today? Were you comfortable with what was happening out there and Kendall's injury I guess as well on that point?
"Well, it was a hard foul, but you know, I don't think there was anything else there. John's play I saw a glimpse of it at halftime because they were showing it over in the waiting room where the coaches were talking ourselves, but I just saw a glimpse of it. Kids get emotional during the game and I don't want to make anything bigger of it than what it was. It was just John didn't like what it was and he said something to the youngster and the referee did what he was supposed to do is he called a technical."
I know you don't know about the severity or the future extent of Kendall's injury. Did it happen on that play when he went down hard?
"Yes, when he was fouled on the play."
If he's not available who would be your primary ball handler going forward?
"It would be Stillman or J Watts. When you go to the Sweet 16, it's supposed to be a lot more fun than this."
John, I guess you just went through something related to an injury, obviously the team rose up and dealt with the challenge. Could you talk about this obvious challenge that you guys got to deal with after such a positive game today?
"It's part of the game of basketball and Kendall's an intricate part of the team, to say the least. And I know it's going to hurt a little bit, but we don't know what his status is, so we're just going to keep praying for him and hoping for the best."
How did you feel like did you on the back boards today?
"My coach expected me to get to the back board, so I just tried to make another part of my game other than just shooting, just playing defense and getting to the offensive and defensive boards, and I just tried to bring that factor because I know when I'm rebounding at the two guard position I know we're one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. And I just got to keep consistently bringing that throughout the tournament."
Listen to Audio (4:28)
On the extent of the injury:
“All we know is that it’s a fracture. I get on the bus. That’s the next step.”
On the initial pain:
“When I first fell, it was more of my funny bone that hurt. But it started hurting a little bit more as the game wore on.”
When did you feel the most pain?
“Any time I tried to dribble with my right hand.”
On whether or not it was a clean play:
"It was hard for me to tell. I was focused on making the basket. I watched the replay from one angle, and it was still hard to tell. Hopefully, he had his best intentions in mind of making a team play."
Listen to Audio (2:28)
Is there some silver lining in that it's Marshall's off-hand?
"It is. His left wrist is his shooting wrist and his primary dribbling hand. He's still got to be able to do something with his right hand, but we don't know what will happen. We'll have to assess it this week and see if he can play whenever we play."
On the injury news:
"It sucks, but I think this team has done a great job of dealing with all of the other injuries we've had, and hopefully we can press on and go forward."
Listen to Audio (7:50)
"First and foremost, I couldn't be more proud of my basketball team and our basketball program. It's been a remarkable ride. My good friend Bill Fennelly at Iowa State once told me, I don't know where he got it, but he said don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. And that's really how I feel about this team. We're disappointed that we lost. We came here with every intention of winning this game. You don't get to this point if you don't feel that way, regardless of who you're playing. Obviously we have tremendous respect for North Carolina, they're a very, very talented basketball team, and we had to hope that they missed some shots today and we had to hope that when they missed those shots they bounced our direction. Because their ability to rebound the basketball is a lot to overcome.
"But I'm proud that we didn't quit, proud that we kept fighting, very proud that we're able to get back in the game before halftime to have a chance. But the taste in my mouth now is not how I'm going to remember this season and this group of guys. It's been a special, special year."