UNC-UP: Roy Williams Postgame

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes a transcript of head coach Roy Williams's postgame press conference following UNC's loss to Pittsburgh on Friday.

Opening comments:
"Needless to say, it's extremely disappointing to play the way we did the first 30, 32 minutes of the game. You have to congratulate Pittsburgh because they made us play that way. They were really effective. They had a great sense of urgency. They got to the back boards. They got to the loose balls. We were in too much of a rush on the offensive end of the floor. We had some good shots the first three or four possessions and then they didn't go in and we started really rushing thing s and that's how it got to be the margin.

"And I thought we did a nice job and got back into the ball game right before the half and then we came out in the second half and didn't play very well in the second half early either. But again, you have to congratulate those guys. Talib Zanna 19points, 21 rebounds at our place. He had a difficult day and he was much more fired up at the end of the game and played well, very well. I think James Robinson, Lamar, all of those guys really did some good things.

"Jamie's club I thought was sensational yesterday and I thought they played extremely well for the first 30minutes of the game or 32minutes of the game, whatever it was. We're really disappointed to say the least. We wanted to be here awhile. The last two years we lost in the championship game. We had some chances. We really tried hard. Got it to four with the ball two different occasions and got it three and didn't get a stop, but it was -- the kids tried exceptionally hard and they're a wonderful bunch of kids. But we just didn't play nearly as well as we wanted to play early."

Roy, throughout the game it looked like you were sort of looking for combinations, something that would work against this team, and then like you said, seven minutes left, something like that, you went to the full court press. What sparked that or what did you see that made you want to go to that at that time?
"What we were doing wasn't working very well. We wanted to try something else. At that point I'm dumb enough to still think we had a chance to win the game. If we got some turnovers and got some momentum and got things going in our direction, maybe they missed some free throws, miss some shots, turn it over a little bit. We did a good job in the full court. Once we got in the half court we didn't do as good a job there then. Once they broke our trap we didn't do as well as we needed to do.

"I don't think many coaches are just going to sit there and let it play out. I'm always the guy that thinks we're going to come back from anything. I've never been behind enough in the game that I didn't think we were going to win. It's just that old saying the clock ran out first. I really did, I thought we were going to come back and win the game. Especially when we got it down to single digits, I thought we it was going to be one of the great finishes. I really believed that. Some people think I'm a little wacko anyway. But you've got to try something different, is probably the best answer."

Roy, your press has been very effective the last couple of games. Is this something you might want to use more during post-season?
"We could. It's very taxing on the kids. I mean, it really is. I took Brice and J.P. out one time because I thought they were about to stop breathing out there. Because it is very taxing. But if the other team gets caught up in it and turns it over, you should get more energy from that.

"Marcus said there have been times where we've been very good defensively in the half court. It's easier to cover the half court than the full court. We did get some turnovers but they scored every time that we didn't get the turnover. So we've got to do a good job in the full court press, but stop them once we get back in the half court set. We could use it some more...

"This is the answer I gave somebody after three or four games when they were saying that North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke, was I worried, I said, 'Don't bury us yet.' I'd say the same thing right now. "Don't bury us yet." We've still got some play left."

Coach, Kennedy was limited to eight minutes. Is that just a matter of him still trying to get his feet back underneath him from that virus?
"No. The coach has got to put in the guys that he thinks is going to do the job at that specific time. I didn't think we were getting as much out of Kennedy as we could have gotten. I had Joel and Desmond in there. Brice did some really good things. He's got to get better defensively.

"Same thing with Kennedy. Kennedy has had some unbelievably good games for us. At the same time he's had some games where he hasn't played as well. I've got to get some other guys in there that will play better when he isn't playing as well."

You mentioned the feeling of losing on Sunday the last couple of years. You've also won on Sunday in this event. You've been at this event many times even as an assistant coach. Do you feel a difference in terms of rest, preparation? I mean, I know it's hard to find a silver lining when you lose, but do you notice a difference when you're preparing for the NCAA Tournament when you get to go back to Chapel Hill today rather than Sunday night?
"I think you do feel that difference. But I want to win. You know, who knows what the crap's going to happen next week. For me, if I have a chance to win, I want to win. And my teams have taken me to seven Final Fours. And only one time did we win the conference tournament.

"But every one of those other times we've tried like crazy to win the sucker. Three or four here and three or four at Kansas. I can't remember how many we've won. But I like to win. And I think that gives you even more confidence kind of thing. It is a little bit of now we got to start another tournament. There's no question you have that feeling. But I like winning."

Roy, I think all of us were wondering which half we were in after you said that. Right at the end you put Wade Moody in, 25seconds left, senior. I don't know what your rotation would be at that point, but why did you play him, what were you looking at, was that rewarding him for practice?
"I put him in because the guy beside me just fouled out is the first reason. And Leslie had already fouled out. And Wade is the best shooter of all of the little guys left over there. I do things on senior day to reward those guys. Start the seniors. I don't think I've ever had a team that I didn't start all of the seniors and two times tried to start six of them. The referee never would let me. But I do that to reward.

"What I was doing with Wade is I thought that gave us the best chance to win. At that time it was a three-point game. And I think I'm right. If we penetrate and all of a sudden throw it to Wade, he's so wacko, he probably would have made the thing. So that's the reason I put him. I really thought it gave us the best chance to win."

The ACC and the Barclays Center are close to reaching the agreement to move the tournament there in 2017. With the tournament in D.C. in 2016, what's your thoughts on it being out of Greensboro for three years?
"Frankly, my dear... I know that's an improper answer but, I mean, we just got our butts kicked. And we got to get ready for the NCAA Tournament. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a blankety-blank where the hell they put it. If they put it in Siberia, I'm going to try to go play. If they put it in Owen High School in Black Mountain, Swannanoa Valley, I'm going to try our best to go out and play. I know that's not the answer you wanted but you got to remember I'm an old guy up here and we just our butts kicked."

 

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