On the closing seconds in the loss to Belmont:
“It was disappointing. It’s one of those losses that hurts. It’s the kind of thing that hopefully we can learn from. I’m one of those guys that thinks you can learn from winning just as much as you can learn from losing, so I like that part better. Coach Smith used to just say, ‘If we play well, I can handle it.’ And I said I’d rather play poorly and win. We watched the tape for about two hours this afternoon. I was very disappointed at the end of the game because for 25 years as a head coach and 10 years as an assistant, I’ve always had the philosophy - and Coach Smith the same thing – that if there’s more than seven seconds on the clock when the other team takes the lead, we’re going to push it up the floor and not allow them to set their defense.
“But we were so unorganized. Marcus [Paige] is playing the two and not the one, it’s just… it was a weird scenario. I liked our chances of getting the ball in the open court and then as soon as we miss the shot and they throw it down, I was second-guessing myself, saying, ‘Why didn’t I call a timeout?’ So that was really disappointing to me from a coaching viewpoint, and yet, watching the tape, there were a lot of opportunities that we had that we didn’t take advantage of.”
On Monday’s film review session:
“It was not a very positive sessions with the review session this afternoon. We didn’t go out on the court at all. We went in the weight room and did a weight workout and then went in the locker room and then went in the locker room and watched the tape. We only watched it for a little over two hours and we have 12 minutes left. Some plays we watched once. Some plays we watched twice or three or four or five times. We’re going to finish watching tomorrow because we have to learn. It’s part of the process, we have to learn and not make the same mistakes again.”
On Belmont’s 3-point shooting and how UNC defended the final three 3-pointers:
“It was hard because it took Joel [James] and Kennedy [Meeks] out of the game. But it’s so strange. Again, the game of basketball… People say, ‘well, gosh, you’re not shooting very many threes.’ Before [Sunday’s] game, we were averaging four made threes per game. Belmont was averaging five made threes. That was not their offense, but they made a couple of them early and then they got a little more confidence and they made some more.
“Again, the guy that was 3-for-27 made three in a row at the end of the game. You’ve got to congratulate him. And, at the same time, I am really ticked at the way we guarded him on two of those three. The reason I don’t say 3-of-3 is because one of those times we made a halfhearted effort, but the other two times, we just did a sorry job.”
On UNC’s method of guarding the 3-point shot:
“We tried three ways. I don’t want to get too technical. We played regular, which we go over the screen, under your teammate. We show a hard hedge and go over the screen, under your teammate. We did that and it really wasn’t that bad but we just wanted something different. And so then we started squeezing and going under and that really wasn’t that bad, but we just didn’t feel like it was what we wanted. And so then we started switching and yet we don’t get a major switch on the first of [Mann’s] 3-point shots. We just didn’t get a switch when we should have. But the bottom line is we tried three different ways. I asked them today, ‘when did we start playing that?’ because a couple of times we defended it a fourth way, one that I had never seen before.”
How do you try to keep P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald integrated in practice while their situation plays out while also focusing on the players that are currently available?
"Who knows if it's going to work or not but we've really tried. Up until we started playing the games, I mixed P.J. and Leslie up with the first and second teams as I did with everybody. And then the week we started playing games, I put them on the blue squad or the second squad, whatever you want to call it, and have not had them running with the first team since then.
"It's been difficult for our team. I got on our guys today. I said 'Guys, I don't know when they’re coming back. I don't know if they are coming back. I don't know if they're going to show up in 2018 or not. We’ve got to go ahead and play.’ … It is a tough situation, the NCAA is trying to do what they think is best, we're trying to work together with this thing. It's a difficult thing for our kids because their saying 'Well, we need to get this happening. We need those guys back.' Or, 'We're going to be better.' I told them, I said, ‘Stop thinking that stuff. Play. Play the game.’ One of our coaches even said he thought it might be hurting them during the game and I said, ‘I'm not buying that.’ When the game's being played I don't care who's out there as long as I got four other jerseys the same color as I am. But you know, it's no question it's a distraction but our kids are really handling it very, very well and those two kids, Leslie and P.J., are doing a nice job handling it."
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates, including UNC's flagship station (WCHL 1360AM/97.9FM).