"Yeah it was [emotional]. It's not one of the most pleasant things I've ever had as a coach and when I walk around that corner and open that door and he's standing in there and the look on his face – it was one of the tougher times for me. I'm fairly emotional anyways, so that was a difficult time and then getting his parents in there and discussing the whole thing. It hasn't been pleasant.
"His dad and I got a little emotional a couple of times over at the hospital this morning, but the surgery went great. They felt like everything was as good as it could be. On the scaphoid bone… the fracture is at a point where it does get better blood supply. They know the parts of the bone and it went really really well. The bottom-line is we made a statement this afternoon that there's nothing else to say. Everything is uncertain. We can talk about it all we want to about ‘if this and if that and if that and this.' That's just a bunch of wasted time. There's nothing to talk about until we find out what the crap is going to happen and then we'll talk about it."
How do you avoid the "woe is me" attitude that can come along with an injury like this?
"Well we've had enough for four years that we can spend all day. You go back to '09 we lose Marcus [Ginyard] for the whole year, Tyler Hansbrough early, Ty Lawson late, all kinds of junk. 2010, Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller didn't play with each other but one conference game I think and the Wear's. I mean everybody. Last year we had some tough things. Not necessarily injuries, but off the court. So we've had some adversity, but if you wallow around in that junk, that's where you stay and so we try to move forward as much as we can. You got to be tough and I know that's an old saying, but by golly the bottom-line is you got to be tough enough to go on and you're not going to be given enough things you can't handle and I got the guys together last night and talked about we've been handed some adversity and we've handled it great for the last couple of years. Last year's team and this year's team – just loved the way they've handled the tough stuff and this is something else we got to handle."
What are some of the strategies that your staff discussed today about what to do next?
"Well we've had a lot of guys that play the five spot and the four spot that have called and want to give it a try at the point guard spot. No, we have a bunch of wackos, but today, we've had a couple guys come and get treatment. Like I said, we gave them the day off. We talked about it as a staff. We spent a great portion of our day grading the tape from yesterday's game. I spent part of the day at the hospital, so we talked a little bit, but tomorrow we'll really get into the planning kind of thing. I wrote a page and a half of notes last night down and every coach is doing the same thing and we'll see what happens tomorrow."
If it is not certain that Marshall cannot play, how do you go about deciding if he can play?
"I have no freaking idea. I'm serious, Jones [Angell], nobody knows and I'm not trying to be mean to you or the press, but there's nothing we can do. Jerod Haase broke his wrist, the same bone, in November of 1996 and played 36 games and had surgery afterwards. C.B. McGrath broke the same bone in his left hand. Jerod's was even his right hand. C.B. McGrath broke the same bone in his left hand, missed an exhibition game and one day of practice and practiced the next day, yet every injury is not the same.
"Jerod played the whole year and it started getting a little worse at the end of the year and the doctor, and I had no problem with the decision, but it just didn't work out, decided to give him a shot of cortisone the day before we played Arizona in the Sweet 16 and Jerod couldn't play. The day of the game we went to shoot-around and he'd been crying – literally crying for 24 hours holding his hand up in the air in the meetings and everything and was just about to go bananas, go crazy, because he had an allergic reaction to it and I said let me see you shoot a free throw and Jerod Haase shot a free throw and it fell four feet short. He looked at me and said ‘Coach, I'd like to try' and I've said it and meant it. If you had told me that we were going to lose the game if I played him, I still would've played that sucker, because I wanted him to try.
"So, you never know what the heck is going to happen. You just got to show up at whatever time when the powers that be that call themselves T.V. – when they say what time we're going to play and what time I got to meet the press, that's what we're going to do, but we have no idea. He has no idea, but we'll just have to wait and see."
If Kendall can not play anymore can your team achieve the goals that you hope to achieve?
"We'll see. We're sure as the dickens not going to not go. When the plane leaves Wednesday night, I'm going to be on the sucker. You can't look at things like that and I'm trying to put you down Jones, but you keep asking more questions and I haven't told you one answer the whole show… We don't have any idea, but we can't just roll up and play dead. North Carolina is going to play, so I'm going to show up and play and coach and scream and rant and rave and we're going to see, but my guess is, purely guess, is that he will not play. But as I said, we're uncertain and so you've waited until half the dadgum show without letting me tell you that I'm uncertain about everything."
On John Henson's performance against Creighton and the status of his wrist injury:
"I think if you look at the stats, you'd say he did some good things. I thought two plays on offensive rebounds that [his wrist] came into play in a negative way for us. I thought one time on a defensive rebound it did and one catch, but other than that, I thought John really did some good things. There's no question in my mind he was a very important factor in the game, particularly his defense against Doug McDermott and also against Greg Echenique. I think that we missed John and yet James Michael really did some great things for us and I think helped out his own confidence and everything a great deal during those times John was out.
"Chris [Hirth], our trainer, saw John today. I did not see John and [Chris] gave him some treatment and we think that he didn't hurt himself yesterday – that's a positive, because each and every day it will get better."
Did you think some of the plays by Creighton were too physical?
"First of all, I'm probably going to disappoint everybody, because I don't have any big-time problems with the plays… Well I shouldn't say any of the plays. The foul where Gregory Echenique forearmed Tyler Zeller in the throat face region – I think that was uncalled for. I've known Gregory for four years. He went to St. Benedicts up in New Jersey and I saw him play up there when he played for Danny Hurley and he's a nice young man and the whole bit. He is physical.
"What everybody has to understand is that, even with John's play early when John got the technical, the youngster did swipe at the basketball. After that, I'm not sure that I saw everything that John perceived was happening. I didn't like the fact that the referee would call a technical on John because he should understand the guy took a swipe where John's wearing a cast kind of thing. The problem I think was increased when people said they saw the youngster wink at the bench and I understand that guys. I've seen hundreds of players that if they felt like they got somebody's goad on the other team, that they would wink at the bench or feel like they'd accomplished something. The kid supposedly made a statement that he did wink at the bench, but that it was that ‘I goaded him into a technical.' Would Roy Williams do that? No, I wouldn't do that, but Michael Jordan would and I love the ground he walks on. People perceive it as being that ‘I wacked him on the wrist and I hurt him and he got a technical.' I didn't perceive it being that way.
"The foul on Kendall, which we have a picture here… I've seen that, I've seen it on replay. When the play happened, I said ‘gosh, I wish he hadn't hit him that hard' and it made Kendall go down really hard, but I think that if I looked at it on tape, I would not call it anything other than a foul. Again, Gregory's play against Tyler Zeller, I think if the officials would have looked at it on tape, they would've called it a flagrant foul, but the dadgum officials didn't even call it a foul, so it's hard to say.
"The other thing I would say is that I know Greg McDermott, the Creighton coach. I get a call this morning as I'm coming back from the hospital from Greg McDermott. He said that they were getting a lot of negative mail and even some death threat kind of things, which I think is way out of whack. He said ‘Coach, I want you to know we wouldn't play like that. We don't play like that. It was unfortunate.' He said the kid that the foul that was called on with Kendall is a great kid and I said ‘Greg, let me tell you. When that play happened I said ‘gosh I wish he hadn't hit him quite as hard,' but it was an uncomfortable, uncoordinated fall. Had Kendall been going left like he goes 90% of the time, he would've bounced right back up, because he would've landed the way he lands all the time.' I said, ‘Greg I have no problem with that. Yes, when it happened I said to myself ‘boy I wish he hadn't hit him quite that hard,' but I can live with that.' I said, ‘one play that I would question you about,' he said, ‘Coach I know which play you're going to talk about.' He said, ‘when Greg forearmed Tyler Zeller coming down the lane,' he said ‘I've already met with Greg. I showed it to him on tape. I told him that was not acceptable. I have no problem with somebody boxing out somebody if they go to the basket at a run, but you've got to stand your ground to do it, but there was no call for him to get his forearms up there as high as he did and hit him like that. I would apologize to Tyler Zeller. I would apologize to Tyler's family. Greg would apologize to him, but you've known Greg for a long time and Greg is not that kind of player.'
"So, again, I'm not going to get on the bandwagon and say they were dirty plays or anything. I wanted to watch this play where Harrison gets turned around and all of a sudden lands out of bounds. I wanted to find out who hit him – he tripped over his own feet… Doug McDermott hit Harrison at the end of that, but it was inadvertent…
"In this picture right here… you can see the guy is trying to block the shot, got his left hand up. If I'm trying to block Jones's shot and he's laying it up and Kendall's laying it up right handed, I've got to go across my body and across Jones's body. I cannot take my right hand and put it behind my back and put it in my left pocket. It's got to be somewhere. If I'm going to go block that, I've have to take my arms up with my body and so I see that and it looks bad when it happened, but no I don't think that was an unnecessarily rough play. I do think the play on Tyler Zeller was an unnecessarily rough play. You're talking to a guy in the last two weeks that has screamed so hard, been so mad at Kendall Marshall, because he has fouled guys going in for a layup the way I would give my grandson's a love pat and Kendall's guy goes up and… the referee blows the whistle and gives him the basket and gives him the foul and I say ‘Kendall, I do not mind if you foul him, but don't let him make the dadgum layup too. If you're going to foul the guy, foul the guy, don't let him make the layup, don't give him a freaking love pat and let him lay the ball up and a free throw.' So how can I be disappointed that when a guy makes a foul and doesn't let a guy give up a layup unless it's a flagrant foul? I look at that play and every official would look at that play and they would not call that a flagrant foul. They would call the one that Gregory hit Tyler, so you asked me, I gave you my thoughts."
What are your expectations for Justin Watts and Stilman White going forward?
"Well, I think they will play extended minutes. Our expectations will really come from how we do in practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I'm not going to go out there and say ‘well Kendall does this and Kendall does that. That's what you have to do', because that's not fair. I think the first thing I'm going to tell them to do is don't turn the ball over, make the easiest play you can possibly make and then we'll try to build on that, but don't try to do anything that you're not capable of doing. Play your game. ‘J-Watts' is going to have an opportunity to do some things that Stilman can't and both of them will have the opportunity that maybe Kendall can't as Kendall would have those advantages over them. In a half court situation, we've got to get shots. We still have some other really good players in their positions. We've got to be able to get the ball to those players in that position. Running the ball – I still hope that we can run it after a rebound, after a turnover. We may not be able to push the pace as much after a field goal, because you're taking out of the game the guy… that's better than anybody I've ever seen at pitch-aheads and making you get a fast break after the other team scores. But again, all those things will have to come out in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practices. "
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.