Well, it was definitely a better day for us than it was for Skip's team. We were pretty attentive. A lot of people wondered if we would have a let-down after the Duke game, and I challenged the kids a little bit and talked about that before the game. The fact that we had the '57 and the '82 teams back here also made our guys be a little more attentive to what we wanted to do and had the intensity right from the start.
We had one stretch of about three and a half minutes in the first half that we didn't score, we didn't rebound, we didn't guard, we didn't do much of anything. Other than that, the other 16:30 of the first half we were really good.
It's 19 points at half and then we started making some more shots too, but for us it was just a much better day than it was for Skip, and I think it was like that snowball effect--it started rolling and got bigger and bigger and bigger for us. I liked our attention with the guys coming off the bench. Everybody, with the exception of Surry [Wood] scored. Deon [Thompson] came in and played 20 minutes.
I liked the fact that the most minutes of any of our guys played was 22 minutes so we had 22, 21, 21, 21, 20, and I think that [speaks] to the depth we have. It was a good day for us. Brandan [Wright] and Tyler [Hansbrough], and Reyshawn [Terry] inside--we talked about how in the Duke game, in the first half we settled for the outside shot too quickly and we didn't want to do that today. That's how you shoot 61 percent in the first half. It was a very good day for us.
You said at the NC State game that Reyshawn wasn't feeling very good that night. Apparently, you got him well.
Well he's feeling a lot better right now. It always looks good and feels good when the shot goes in, there's no question about that. He felt--he really looked bad the last two days. I guess Thursday he practiced hardly at all. I nicknamed him 'Fred' because he moved around like Fred Sanford out there.
We usually give guys--they can run all the way down the court and back in nine seconds, and sometimes I'll make them do it yelling to end practice. On Thursday I guess it was I made him run to the top of the key on the other end and back in 16 seconds yelling and he barely made it but it was a good comic relief for our team because he looked so bad.
He fell in the Duke game on the coccyx bone in his back and it was really painful yesterday. He did much more at practice and I felt like he got loose. He's 7-8 [on field goals] and 3-3 from the three-point line, eight rebounds. That's a pretty good stat sheet, and the best thing I see is no turnovers. That's something where he's had some of those silly plays lately, but he was big-time today.
Our front line was 7-8, 4-6, 7-7 [on field goals]. That's pretty impressive, but we've got more bodies up there than Wake does.
The last 7:23 of the first half--could you have played any better offensively?
Well who knows? I was mad every time we missed a shot, but that's me. I thought we were pretty dog-gone good during that time period. Again I think it was about three and a half minutes where we didn't score, and they came and took the lead. After that we were really good. We were really good on both ends of the court. I think at that point, holding them to 32 percent and shooting 61 percent, that means a big-time margin. The only thing we didn't do is keep them off the offensive boards. They had seven offensive rebounds at halftime to our two.
Can you comment on having the two NCAA Championship teams here today and what it means to you and to this university?
It means a great deal to me. You can't be a bigger North Carolina basketball fan than Roy Williams--it's just the bottom line. To have those guys back, I was very fortunate to be involved with the '82 team. I was here 10 years as an assistant and got to know the guys on the '57 team quite well. I coached Joe Quigg's son. I have great feelings about those guys.
When I came back here, I knew my first job is I had to win--that's the bottom line. I really wanted to do a lot of things to get the old-timers and everybody that's ever played here to feel like this was their program. I felt like we tried to do that every day at Kansas, and that's what I've tried to do everyday here. It has been a two-fold thing. I knew I had to win--that's the name of the game. But I did want to make sure that all those guys felt like that I knew they were extremely special, so it was a thrill for me.
Tommy Kearns, I've been fortunate enough to play golf with and enjoyed that. I probably know Tommy a little better than the rest of them except for Joe. As I said, I was able to coach his son.
And then to see Michael [Jordan], James [Worthy], and those guys coming back and knowing how James had to fly red-eye from the west coast last night. Michael had the Bobcats game and then drove down this morning. He's going drive back tonight because he's going out of town tomorrow. I know how their schedule is. I wish Matt Doherty's schedule would have enabled him to be here today, but his team was playing. I was really happy, or proud, for Buzz [Peterson] that Buzz could be here. I know he left before the end of the game because he's playing tonight at High Point. I think he wanted to see if he could steal a couple of these extra points that we had. I told him I didn't think High Point would allow that. But, no, it's a great thrill for me.
What did you defensively against Kyle Visser? It looked like you took him out of the game. Did you do anything differently?
Well, we tried to do a better job than we did at Wake. The first half he was 1-6 [from the field], and the second half he was 3-4. He's a load for one guy, and we did try to give some help to the post player who was guarding him. I tried not to front him so much that we let him in for an easy lay-up because they do a good job of high-low. If you go back and look at the tape at Wake he got two of those against us. We tried to make sure he didn't do that. The guys were very attentive to it.
The other thing, up at Wake they made some three's early and that makes you stay out on them more. Today they didn't make those three's early, so that enabled us to jam back on Visser a little more.
Can you address the way Brandan in the last month sees his open teammates a lot more and the recognition is there?
Did you see that pass that he threw away over Marcus's head?
No, he's really doing a much better job of that. He and Tyler have really developed and are developing into looking for each other, which is what two big guys should do. And then Brandan does have an ability--his high school coach really did a good job with the fundamentals--he can put the ball on the floor. I don't mind him catching it out in the middle of the floor on the break. Everyday in practice we work on our big guys handling the ball in the middle of the court. Brandan is doing a better job passing it, not holding it as long.
One time he got the steal and threw it to Wayne [Ellington] and Wayne threw it right back to him. I told all our guys if you give it up to your teammates, they are going to give it back to you.
Don't tell him I'm bragging on him because I'm on his case about that pass he threw over Marcus's head. I said, 'I assume that one slipped.' He said, 'It did, it did.' I'm telling you I'd like to take up for you because I'm not saying what I'd like to tell you.
I'll tell you who else is doing a much, much better job of passing the ball is Wayne Ellington. I mean, five assists, zero turnovers today, and he's really done a much better job of doing that.
Tell us about Marcus Ginyard. All these other guys get a lot of headlines, and he rarely is the star, but he doesn't mind that.
Well, he's the star when he's screaming in the video board up there. I told him I put him back in the game just because he looked good doing that.
No, he's a huge, huge factor on our basketball team every day in practice. You watch the Duke game the other night--he can guard and he works at it. In fact, yesterday in practice Wayne Ellington came across the court and got a big offensive rebound, and I stopped practice to make sure it wasn't Marcus. I was kidding Wayne a little bit and said, 'I thought that was Marcus.' That's the kind of example that he sets. It's a little bit like--anytime that you have one guy like a Jackie Manuel, if you keep bragging on him, hopefully everybody else will accept that behavior and try to do it themselves. I brag on Marcus a lot, and he deserves it too.