Did the hard foul on Tyler wake you up so you could put High Point away?
I think so. Any time you have a hard foul like that, everybody's adrenaline level is going to rise. But we really tried to look at this
as another game where we had to come out and do what we had to do. I think they were beating Cincinnati at Cincinnati, and they were only
down by four at Maryland or something. So we understand that this is a team that takes advantage of situations like this, playing big time schools. We knew they weren't going to come in here scared because they were playing in the Smith Center. So we understood from the beginning
that we had to take this team seriously.
What does it mean to be a part of Coach Williams's 500th win?
It's a big time honor. It's a great milestone for Coach. Everybody's happy for Coach and happy to be a part of it. It's tough to grasp 500 wins. You maybe only win 30 games in a season, so 500 are just crazy to think about it. It was great to be on that court, getting to be in that picture with that jersey.
Did you think Coach Williams was ever going to bring the 500th win up to you guys?
He didn't. Actually, after the Kentucky game one of you guys was telling me about how he was approaching that 500th win, asking was I aware of it. The first I heard about it was last Saturday, so I had no idea either. That's just typical of Coach Williams. He's just focused on the next game. If that's something that comes with it, then congratulations Coach Williams on 500. But that's not something he was focused on.
Were you worried you were going to have run wind sprints before the ceremony when he got mad at you guys about your defense?
No doubt. Actually, in the huddle around 3:00 he challenged us, the first five guys that were out there, if they didn't get a stop that one possession, they were going to have to run in practice on Tuesday. So everybody on the bench was yelling, and everybody on the court was into it. And they got that stop. But we have to understand we have to do that every time. We can't have our backs up against the walls with running or something like that to have to play like that.
“This is a team that takes advantages of situations like this, playing big-time schools. They’re not going to come in here and be scared if they’re playing in the Smith Center. We understood from the beginning that we have to take this team seriously. Something like that is just going to get everybody a little more intense.”
On Roy Williams getting his 500th win -
“It’s a big time honor. It’s a great milestone for Coach and everybody is happy for Coach and happy they could be a part of it. It’s such a big time thing for Coach Williams.”
On if Williams mentioned No. 500 to the team -
“He didn’t. Actually, after the Kentucky game, one of you guys were telling me that he was approaching that 500th win, and that’s when I became award of it. I had just become aware of it when the question was asked last Saturday, so I had no idea either. That’s just typical of Coach Williams. He’s focused on the next game, and that’s just something that comes with it.”
On intentional foul against him -
“I don’t think it fired me up. I think I was already fired up by that point, but it was a hard foul and I bounced back from it. It didn’t change my mindset at all; I just played the same.”
On being more efficient with the ball -
“We have a whole new team and a lot of weapons. We have shooters, and we have Brandan [Wright] down low who can do a lot of things, too. This year is different, but tonight they double-teamed me and I saw it coming, and I kicked it back out and at times I was in good position to score.”
On hitting shots from the outside -
“It’s something I work on everyday in practice. I was open and I felt like I could shoot. That one three I pulled, I kind of hesitated at first and then just let it fly. If I miss it, I might come out of the game. If I make it, I’ll probably stay in.”
“It’s a very good feeling to help Coach reach his 500th win, and he’s happy for the team, happy for himself. It’s a great feeling for us also.”
Were you guys afraid you were going to have to run after the game?
“Yeah, around the 3:00 mark [Coach] was saying if you guys don't get a stop, that's a fifty-five [ten lengths of the court run in 55 seconds].
We were looking at each other like, yo, we've got to get a stop. It wasn't lucky. We got in our stance and played solid defense for 35 seconds. We were able to get the defensive stop.”
Were you thinking, Coach, we're up by 20?
“Nah, not at all. I was thinking we had to get a stop. He said fifty-five. That's all I was thinking about.”
How special is it to be part of the team when Coach Williams got his 500th victory?
“It was a great feeling, just to help Coach reach his 500th win today.
I'm happy for the team and for him. It's a great feeling.”
What kind of advice are you giving the freshmen during this time of exams, when you still have games going on?
“It's just as important to me as it is to the freshmen, so I'm just telling guys to focus down a little more on academics. You know, before
the game today we were definitely emphasizing academics first. A couple of guys had exams today. So with this game out of the way, by the time the next game comes up, everybody will be done. So we'll get back to basketball and really tune into what we have to do for the next game.”