On ESPN GameDay in Chapel Hill Saturday –
The ESPN guys said it was by far the best location they’ve ever had, the best reception, the best everything. The crowd that was there during the festivities was great.
On Wednesday’s game at Wake Forest –
It’s been a long time since we played them in the Smith Center, I know that. They’re struggling right now, they’ll be anxious to get us. Skip will have some time to try and mend their thoughts. But we’ve got to go in there and take care of it ourselves and not be concerned with what’s going on with them. We’ve got to go in and play a great game defensively. I still think that if you play on the defensive end you’ve always got a chance to win on the road.
On recognizing Marcus Ginyard’s character during his recruitment –
I hope we always do that. We have to, No. 1, look for ability. We can’t go into a high school and say ‘Gve me your valedictorian or good citizenship winner.’ If I do that, then three years later there’s another guy doing this radio show. We look for ability first and then as soon as we make that decision we look for character immediately – and we thought Marcus was just a great, great young man. I tell guys when I recruit them, ‘When I come to watch you play, I watch every move you make.’ You may remember the story of Marvin Williams getting the water for all his teammates after he fouled out of a game. So we did recognize we were getting a great youngster and he’s continued to grow and mature. He’s got a great family, mom, dad, big brother, that taught him a lot, but he’s made a lot of great decisions and deserves all the credit himself.
On Reyshawn Terry’s defensive performances of late –
He’s really been doing a great job. He won the defensive player of the game at Clemson barely beating out Marcus and then turned around against Georgia Tech and barely beat out Tyler. That’s what has enabled me to keep him in the lineup. He hasn’t shot the ball as well as he wanted to, or scored as well as he’s wanted to and some of those things, but defensively he’s really been sensational. [Being named our defensive player of the game seven of the last 14 games] has just allowed me to keep him in the game. He’s going to get it going offensively – I’ve been trying to have him take the ball to the basket and he did more of that against Georgia Tech.
He’s pressing [offensively], he’s trying to do too much. He’s got a lot of people telling him to do this or that and I told him ‘You’ve got to please two people - one is me and one is you.’ When you get to be a senior you start to think you need to do this or that. There are a lot of pressures on a youngster in a position like Reyshawn is. Defensively he’s done a great job and I expect that to continue, and I expect him to be an offensive force as well.
On Quentin Thomas –
Quentin is playing much, much better. The second half of last season he started getting his confidence back. Most people forget last year in the first round of the ACC Tournament Bobby got into foul trouble and Quentin played 24 minutes in that game and really did a nice job. He played well at Duke in the last regular season game, too. I’m still a little concerned, he took himself out of the game a couple times Saturday because his foot was starting to bother him again. He is doing some nicer things and is taking care of the basketball, which is what we need him to do.
On Bobby Frasor’s injury status –
Bobby did not practice today. We hope to have him do a few things tomorrow and see how he’s coming along. I don’t expect him to play Wednesday night.
On Tyler Hansbrough bringing the ball down -
What he’s trying to do – and we’re working with him … every big guy is always worried about somebody blocking their shot. Tyler is such a physical player that he’ll take the action to the defensive player and he gathers himself. He takes a split second so he can explode as much as he possibly can. When he does the two-hand power dribble between his knees, that doesn’t bother me, but when he dribbles it and it gets out away from his body, that gives the other team and small guys involved and slows it all down a bit. Tyler’s biggest thing is he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing because he’s having a great, great year and improve a little each and every game. He doesn’t need to do anything drastic. It’s amazing how people think he’s not playing nearly as well as last year, and that’s wrong, because he’s playing better. He’s rebounding better, playing defense better, scoring the same numbers with the defense aimed at him. We would like him to get to a situation where when we throw it into the post, he makes a quicker move to shoot or get it out.
He’s such a fierce competitive that when he gets the ball inside, he thinks he can score. He focuses on that goal and that’s a good thing. Tyler Hansbrough makes more baskets and gets fouled because he’s not concerned with being fouled. So many guys go up thinking about being fouled and miss an easy shot. That boy goes up and focuses on the basket and puts it in and if he gets fouled he says ‘Oh, I get to go to the free throw line’. He’s about as focused as anybody can ever be and it’s hard to correct him because you just love what he’s doing.
On the improvement of the freshmen -
Brandan Wright and Wayne Ellington picked up things quicker than the other four guys, but Ty Lawson is getting better and better. Wayne has improved more dramatically on the defensive end of the floor than anybody else. With Ty, Brandan and Wayne we’re extremely happy with them. Deon and Alex are giving us good minutes off the bench. And I strong, strongly believe this – Dean and Alex are going to be big time players as North Carolina Tar Heels before their career is over with, it’s just that they weren’t as ready as the other guys. Deon is performing when he gets in there. And when Alex gets a ball off the backcourt it’s his. He’s the only guy that when Tyler gets it, Alex has enough strength to take it from him. I think Alex is going to be a wonderful rebounder and defender and will be able to score, too.
On criticism that UNC isn’t a good halfcourt team -
Those are the same guys in 2005 who said we weren’t good enough to play halfcourt offense and it worked out all right that year. We run the ball better. What we do the best, somebody else has to stop. And if they stop that, then we have to be able to score in a halfcourt offense. But we work on that pretty doggone often. Do we do that as well as we run the ball? No. But if you’ve got to stop us from running the ball and you know we’re going to run the ball, most people still can’t stop it. I think that somebody that’s great in a halfcourt offense may not be as good running the ball as we are. We work on that, we realize we’re better at the running game, but I’ll tell you one thing – I’m not going to stop running it just to work on halfcourt offense during the game so somebody with a microphone over there can say, ‘They’re down 12 freakin’ points, but they’re doing a great job running the halfcourt offense.’ We’re going to run the suckers as long as we can run it.
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.