UNC-GU: Tar Heels Press Conference Quotes

Inside Carolina
Posted Mar 25, 2007


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- North Carolina coach Roy Williams and players Brandan Wright and Tyler Hansbrough addressed the media following the Tar Heels’ 96-84 overtime loss to Georgetown on Sunday.

Opening Statement -

ROY WILLIAMS: This is an extremely disappointing time for our team. It’s not the way you want your season to end, with a loss, because you never want that. Congratulations to Georgetown and Young John. Young John is like family to me, because of his relationship with his father and Smith and the way his dad has treated me, and the way Young John and I have, the respect we have for each other, so we say congratulations to Georgetown. I would give every cent I have right now for my team to be out there cutting down those nets and feeling those feelings that Georgetown’s players are feeling. But life doesn’t always go like you want. Life is never as sweet as you think it could possibly be. I told my youngsters they have to be able to handle this extremely disappointing time.

My team was fun to be with. You heard me say sometimes that I had a team full of whackos, and that was said with such a positive thought and positive feeling it could possibly be. I loved coaching my team. I loved being with them. We just didn’t make enough shots down the stretch today. Georgetown got the ball inside better than we did, and the shots that we had, we didn’t make. It was a ten-point game, and we came down and got a wide open three and I didn’t even want it because it was so early in the shot clock but it missed and all of a sudden they dunk it on the other end, we come down, miss, all of a sudden they make it on the other end and it’s a five-point game.

But congratulations to Georgetown. You know, I said I would give almost anything, and I mean that, to have my guys out there, but I’ll take coaching these kids. We lost, and I wouldn’t trade my kids for anybody. It’s a very disappointing afternoon, but we’ve got to be able to handle it and we’ve got to be able to bounce back.

Tyler, it seemed like you were having such an easy time of it. What happened in those last six minutes?

TYLER HANSBROUGH: I mean, shots just weren’t falling. I mean, you have times where, you know, you get a little bump and it throws you off. You know, just didn’t go in the hole late in the game.

Brandan, can you just talk about I think there was an eleven-minute stretch where you didn’t hit a field goal. What were they doing defensively? What was your reaction when you saw your ten-point lead evaporate like that?

BRANDAN WRIGHT: Well, it was a combination of a lot of things. You know, I think they played well on defense. I think we missed a lot of easy shots. Like said, we missed some wide open threes. But I had to give them credit, they played well on defense, kept us off the boards, and that really hurt us.

You mentioned the one three in particular when you were up ten. You guys took a couple threes down the stretch there when you were trying to hold off the lead. Were you happy with any of those looks? Also, can you describe the last possession where Wayne took a three at the end of the regulation, if that was the shot you wanted?

ROY WILLIAMS: I was not ecstatic with a couple of the shots, but the one three that when it was a ten-point lead I think that Danny took, it was wide open. It was so early in the shot clock, I wanted to get the ball inside and possibly get fouled because they had some foul trouble. I thought at the end of the game we may be able to play against some of their subs as opposed to Hibbert or some of their starters.

We took one three across from our bench that I thought was guarded, but the shots didn’t go in. The play at the end, we had a play set if it was man and a play set if it was zone. They played zone. That’s pretty good look. I’d take that any time, any day, and the shot just didn’t go in but nobody hates it worse than that youngster.

You guys threw the scramble at them once, got a turnover that passed that went out of bounds. With the timing offense they have, is there an explanation for maybe why you didn’t throw a couple more different looks at them to throw the timing off?

ROY WILLIAMS: We ran it two other times and got nothing out of it. But we were much better in the straight man-to-man. Teams that have really good spacing are harder to double team, and I think that if it’s a little bit overloaded on one side or the spacing is not as good, you do have a better opportunity to double team.

But you’ve got to do with what you do best, and our defense, we weren’t as good in the scramble this year as we wanted to do and down the stretch we didn’t do it very much at all. Michigan State we did it once, and that was about it. Just didn’t feel like it was what we wanted.

Both you guys got big decisions to make in the next month or so. Will today’s game have any influence on the way you look at what you’re going to do next season?

BRANDAN WRIGHT: No, not at all. I’m not even in a position to talk about the future or anything like that. I’m just, you know, focused on my season and looking ahead to next season.

I know this is difficult for you guys right now, believe it or not this Georgetown team has been told that it’s not as tough as previous teams. After having played them now, just your thoughts on admiration for them being down ten like that and being able to come back in force all the time. Are they a tough team to you guys?

TYLER HANSBROUGH: I don’t think any team in the elite eight is not tough. I think it takes a tough team to get here.

But, I mean, yeah, they had some tough plays, and they came down the stretch and, you know, hit shots and we didn’t.

BRANDAN WRIGHT: Like Tyler said, you know, if you still playing at this point of the season, you’re obviously a tough team. You know, mixed with their talent, athletic ability, they’re a great team. That’s why they’re moving on.

Those guys were physical, tough around the basket. I give them a lot of credit.

For the players, can you talk about how it felt, you know, going into overtime where they had had momentum? Was there a sense of panic, desperation? Did you start pressing too hard in overtime?

BRANDAN WRIGHT: No, not at all. You know, we just wanted to go out there, you know. Wallace hit a tough shot at the end of regulation. We got a good look with Wayne. Just didn’t fall.

We were ready to go in overtime. The shots didn’t fall. They were making a lot of shots. Combination of that, that leads to what happened.

Roy, you have such a young team. Do you think youth in any way contributed to some of what happened late in the game?

ROY WILLIAMS: Not really. I think that, you know, Georgetown has no seniors. They have a freshmen and junior team. Ball didn’t go in the hole a couple times. We did have really good looks. You know, Wallace did make a big basket. We had a three-point lead and didn’t get a very good shot the possession before that, but then they go down. He came off the screen and we were a split second late getting there and he made the shot. But I don’t think that the youthfulness of our team had anything to do with it. I think we missed shots; they guarded us. They contributed to us missing shots. They closed on us quickly and we thought we were more open than we were. That’s it.

Two things, Roy. One, just discuss the effect of Hibbert. How good is Hibbert in your opinion and how much of a role in this game? Secondly, is Sapp an underrated player?

ROY WILLIAMS: I think both the youngsters - and I haven’t followed them closely enough to know what kind of coverage and what people say about Sapp, but my own personal opinion, he’s a great player. He does great things out there leadership-wise and he make shots. Just looking down he was five for nine, he’s two for four from the three-point line, he has eight assists, two turnovers, those are the kind of numbers that everybody would like to have out of their point guard.

So I don’t know if he’s underrated to other people, but I really think he’s really a good player. Hibbert is effective. He’s a load defensively. Early in the game, Tyler changed one of his shots, Tyler shot three or four jump shots early instead of taking it to him. Deon made a great spin move he really likes and Hibbert is still big enough to be there. Defensively, he bothers your inside game and makes it difficult for you to get those shots that you can normally make. Then offensively, he’s probably surprised some people with his agility and the way he can put the ball in the floor. He made a left-handed hook out there today. I think he’s a really, really good player. From what I know about him, what I read, he hasn’t been playing a long time, but I think he’s going to play a heck of a long time from here on out. Tyler Hansbrough doesn’t usually go 6-15, it’s just because guys inside really made it difficult for him.

You mentioned the threes coming down the stretch. A couple of those appeared to be drawn up, coming out of time-outs. I guess you were going for a dagger shot along the way there. You also appeared to call more time-outs than normal. Would you address those two points?

ROY WILLIAMS: Yeah, I called one other time-out ‘cause Ty looked a little tired. Bobby couldn’t play in the second half today. Hurt his foot in the first half and he couldn’t play, so I called a time-out once just to let Ty rest. I called another time-out to set up one play, but it wasn’t just designed for a three-point shot, it was a first in, second option was inside and then we ended up taking a three. The last play of the regulation was based on Ty’s penetration and not knowing what defense they were going to be in.

But I was pleased with that shot. I think that Wayne is a good shooter. He didn’t shoot it as well today as he wants to, there’s no question about that. But that’s a pretty good look, to have a chance to win the game right there. We did want it to be the last shot, and so he took it at a perfect time because if we had gotten a rebound, we had a chance to put it back in if we had gotten a tip for it. I don’t think there was a single play that I diagrammed to intentionally take a three. It was a second or third option.

You guys have been excellent on defense basically 40% or lower throughout the postseason. Today, 57.6%. How much did that prevent you, you had 31 points in the second half, from getting the quick rebound, the pace you wanted?

ROY WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think their offensive play was really good. As I said earlier, they had good spacing. I was disappointed in our defensive play in the first half because we let a couple people drive us to the basket, and they had eleven layups. I think six of them on back door cuts. We’ve played against teams that try to go back door. Just didn’t guard it as effectively today. We didn’t do as good a job of putting pressure on the passer. When Herb Sendek, who I have a great deal of respect for, was at NC State, that was their primary offense. Back door cuts never bothered us, they’d get one or two, but we’d get some turnovers. Even Eastern Kentucky was a little bit of the same kind of thing. Didn’t really bother us because we got some turnovers, too. But today we didn’t get turnovers and their back door cuts led to dunks.

So we didn’t get bad shots, we didn’t get turnovers, and so our defensive play, even in the first half we got an eight-point lead or whatever it was, they shot 60% in the first half. Only because we were so good on the backboards did we have that lead.

We didn’t make enough shots in the second half ourselves, and they continued playing really, really well. But, you know, I’ve said this, when somebody asked me Sunday night about the brackets, I said Georgetown may be playing - in my opinion - Georgetown was the best No. 2 seed and in fact you could make a case they were playing as good basketball as anybody in the country.

Was that when the brackets came out?

ROY WILLIAMS: Yes. (Inaudible). The next day.

Can you compare the disappointment of losing this one with the joy you felt winning two years ago?

ROY WILLIAMS: You know, coaching, I’m very lucky because I’m doing exactly what I want to do. But the highs in coaching aren’t nearly as high as the lows are low. It was a tremendous feeling of satisfaction in 2005, but, you know, some of my detractors or fans of the other team always said, it’s fun to watch Roy cry at the end, but no sucker has ever been tough enough to say that to my face. Think about Wes Miller. Here is a guy who has done everything he could possibly do. I do have those feelings for Wes, for example, that 2005 can’t take that away what you feel. But here is a little kid who has killed himself trying to be every ounce of his potential every day and that’s hard.

You spent a lot of time talking to the Georgetown players, particularly compared to most es when after a loss like that, especially Jonathan Wallace, what did you say to them, what kind of things did you say?

ROY WILLIAMS: I love kids. You know, I enjoy coaching, and I told Jonathan Wallace, "Son, you made a big-time shot, and congratulations. Good luck to you." I told all of them that, Patrick Ewing, Hibbert, you know, just congratulations, enjoy this feeling, and go on and keep playing well. But when you got a kid like Jonathan Wallace that made that shot, I mean, I think as a you’ve got to be proud of him. It’s just that for me, it was bad he was on the other team.

I’m sure you addressed this already, but can you describe what you were looking to get out of the last possession of regulation?

ROY WILLIAMS: We didn’t know what defense they were going to be in so we called two plays, one if they were in man-to-man, one if they were in zone. They came out and played zone, which is sort of what I expected, if I would have had to make a choice. We had Ty’s penetration. We had a screen inside, and we had Reyshawn on one wing and I’d taken -- I put Wayne back in as opposed to Marcus. Ty penetrated. Got a screen for Wayne. He got a good look. As a , I should have drawn up something else, that would have made it better.

First of all, thanks for your time here. You heard me ask the players this. Believe it or not, there was a perception of this Georgetown team that they’re not as tough as the Big John teams of the ‘80s. Certainly, as a you can appreciate the toughness it takes for them to come back from ten down. What do you see in them?

ROY WILLIAMS: I think they are a tough basketball team. It was a different style of play when Big John was coaching than it is now. Thompson, his size, his mannerisms, his person, he was able to intimidate people. I love him to death. He could probably intimidate me, but I know what’s underneath that shell.

But Young John is not his dad, and I think that’s something that’s really strong for him. Young John es the way that he feels is best for him. I think that team is extremely tough. Toughness is not just - and I’m not saying this is what their old teams did - but toughness is just not hard fouls and being willing to fight people. Toughness is being ten down and continuing to do what your wants you to do. Toughness is being like Wallace, that got a three-point shot. If you miss that shot, you’re probably not gonna win the game, but he was tough enough to step up and make that shot.

So Young John is gonna have a wonderful career, and he’s gonna his way. He’s gonna his team the way that he is comfortable with. I’ve never asked this, but I would bet his dad is extremely proud because he’s coaching it the way he wants to it. He’s not trying to be Big John.

I would think that, knowing him as I do, I would think that as a father, he is really proud and doesn’t feel like that his son has got to be a clone of himself.

Ten minutes into the second half, your team still has momentum. It’s still going your way. I know you’ve talked about having good looks and a few shots just missing. Is momentum such a fragile thing it can just go like that? I was wondering what you thought those last ten minutes as you saw the game change.

ROY WILLIAMS: Well, I saw the game changing, and they were getting much better looks than we were. So their defense was guarding us better than our defense was guarding them.

And, you know, we were continuing to just try to play, try to play through it, which I think you always should do. I think the momentum, as you say, it’s sort of fleeting. You don’t know when it’s going, where it’s going, when it’s gonna come back. Maybe some es do, I’m probably not as good a as a lot of other people.

But, you know, it gets to the point that basketball, you have to understand, it’s a pretty simple game, that you’ve got to get better shots than the other team does and hopefully get more of them. I think that that’s what happened down the stretch, is they got better shots than we did. You know, we had even in the overtime, I mean, we go down and miss and then they come down and miss and we get the basketball, Reyshawn gets it and we foul it out of bounds. They get a score. Then we come down and miss and then they get a better shot again.

But, you know, it’s what gives coaches gray hairs ... Georgetown deserved to win.


Related Stories
UNC-GU: Hoyas Press Conference Quotes
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Mar 25, 2007
UNC-GU: Box Score
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Mar 25, 2007
Too Much Talent for Tar Heels?
 -by ScoutHoopsExperts.com  Mar 25, 2007

Inside Carolina's Official Online Store:
johnnytshirt.com


Get the Inside Carolina Magazine!
THIS MONTH

April
The glossy, monthly magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE IC MAG
NEXT MONTH

Spring

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today to the Inside Carolina Magazine, our glossy monthly publication covering Tar Heel sports!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsideCarolina.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > North Carolina
[View My HotList]