Note: Roy Williams was in California recruiting and called in for a brief interview.
On the 500-win celebration –
I’ve been very fortunate with the players I’ve had. I’ve gotten a bunch of phone calls the last few days from former players and the guys that brought a lot of those wins. I’ve also been very fortunate with the assistant coaches that I’ve had that have meant so much to me. I’ve been about as lucky as I can be. The combination of great players and assistant coaches has made me look pretty good.
On exam week –
This is a tough time for them, and I want them to really focus on [studying]. We gave them two days off on Sunday and Monday. Then we’ll come back Tuesday and Wednesday and do some running and shooting. But when I come back on Thursday, we’re going to have the most difficult practices of the year, and I know our guys are going to be really fired up about it.
On the development of the team so far –
We’ve done some good things, but there’s one big thing missing that has to take place – not just something we want to take place. We have to get more pride in what we’re doing on the defensive end of the floor. Everybody has to do it individually, and we have to do it as a team. We’re at the point right now that it’s not OK to say, ‘Yeah, I made a mistake.’ We’re at the point right now where you ought to stop making those mistakes, and if you don’t, then I can’t afford to put you in the game. We’ve got to do the job defensively if we really want to reach those dreams and goals that we have, or if we’re just going to talk about it.
On this week’s No. 3 ranking -
We certainly are [proud]. It speaks about our team and what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this season. It’s still very early in the season. I speak for everyone in our program when I say, at the end of the year we would like to have that No. 1 spot. That’s what we work for everyday, and that’s what we’re going to continue to work for. Hopefully we’ll get a little bit lucky and win some games at the right time, and you never know what might happen.
On the team’s 64 percent shooting against High Point –
One of the things I said on the bench during the course of the game is that we’re not running like we’re capable of running. In that game I didn’t think we were up and down the floor, then I looked up and all of a sudden we had 94 points. Our team has the ability to put the ball in the hole. We can score. We have players with the ability to score.
On having five players in double figures –
We have players playing as a team, not just one guy having to do it. When you shoot the ball 65 percent that means a lot of guys are going to get opportunities when you have 90 to 100 possessions a game.
On 25 assists on 35 field goals –
That is our M.O. in terms of how we play. That’s what we have to be able to do – we have to share the basketball.
On out-rebounding opponents –
We’re active. And as long as we’re active, we’re going to get the opportunity to rebound the basketball. It has to do with our defensive mode. We want our opponents to take one bad shot, if they’re going to take a shot at all. If we cover the boards, then we can push the ball on the offensive end and play like we want to play.
On Roy Williams’ 500th win –
What was great about it is I was there for win No. 1. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to be there for win No. 1 and win No. 500. I was excited for him. I think it’s a great honor, and he deserves that opportunity. It’s a big-time honor.
On the first win in the Great Alaska Shootout over Alaska-Anchorage –
I remember it was cold. We didn’t know how we were going to perform. Ironically we also scored 94 points, but we didn’t shoot 64 percent.
Describe Roy Williams in one word.
He is a competitor. He is competitive, but he doesn’t go overboard. He’s fair and he’s honest. All the things you can think about as a high quality person, he’s got it. I think he’s just a fantastic person and a fantastic coach.