ROY WILLIAMS, TYLER HANSBROUGH & WAYNE ELLINGTON
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“I feel very fortunate to come into a tough atmosphere and win. The thing that is most pleasing is that early in the game they hit us with a pretty good three or four baskets in a row and our guys maintained their poise and kept playing and never got frustrated or flustered at any point. That maturity and that focus we had on the basketball court was really important to us...
“I was disappointed the way we kept putting them on the free throw line in the second half. We let them shoot 20 free throws in the second half and it’s not what we wanted to do and to have them out rebound us, but you got to win some games like this that are a little uglier than you like.
"We have a pretty good basketball team, but we took a good shot from a good team and came out on top. I feel good about it. Wayne [Ellington] did some nice things and Tyler [Hansbrough] did some nice things, but Ty did not have the kind of game that he has been having.
“We played a team that played hard against us and outhustled us a little bit.”
On utilizing the trap early:
"We didn't trap very much. We tried it a couple of times early, but when you start trying to trap, you're trying to take people out of an offensive flow, and I thought what they were doing -- particularly in the second half -- was more dribble penetration, so we didn't do it as much in the second half. Trying to make sure that they don't see the same thing all the time is important to us."
On the game:
“I think they came out pretty strong. Obviously I didn’t think overall we played a good game. but we’re going to practice and get better rebounding the ball and get some better passing.”
On playing in a different time zone and altitude:
“It may be a little of altitude or it may just be my lack of conditioning. But it really didn’t affect me.”
On Nevada forward Luke Babbitt:
“I think he shot the ball well tonight. I think he’s a good player. He’s a little hard to guard because he’s a lefty. He does some things outside that were different.”
On UNC's defensive pressure:
“We got out in the passing lanes. We’ve got some skills to pick up the tempo a little bit. That is the style we want to play. That’s how we want to start out every game.”
On the transition game sparking his play:
“I just kind of get out on the break, run the floor and get as many buckets.”
On how the non-conference schedule has prepared UNC for ACC play:
“We’ve had some tough games and we’ve had some tough opponents. We’re definitely looking forward to our league starting. I think we’re well prepared.”
Listen to Audio (2:57)
How does it feel to finally get back out there after recovering from your ACL surgery back in June?
“It feels great. It feels good. It’s just tough sitting on the bench the whole time and then going in there like that, because I’m real stiff. But like I said, it felt good after I got warmed up a little bit.”
It seemed as though your teammates were focused on getting you some touches...
“Yeah, my teammates love me. I appreciate that. Larry [Drew] gave me a great pass and Marcus [Ginyard] gave me a great pass, and I just appreciate them doing that for me.”
Are you back earlier than you expected?
“Yes, I am. I’ve been ready, but I haven’t been doing a lot of contact stuff, so I started doing that and it felt good. It’s quicker than I thought it would be.”
How tough was it having to face this injury heading into your senior season?
“What scared me was when Bobby [Frasor] tore his [ACL], I saw hard of a time he went through. But I saw how motivated he was and how focused he was at getting back, and he got back sooner than we thought, too. That motivated me, and I worked my butt off this whole summer trying to get back ready. This is a tough injury to come back from.”
What were your teammates ribbing you about on the free throw line?
“They were just saying how I pump-faked the guy and then I went up again, but I couldn’t jump… But there was somebody on my back. It was like I was an old man out there.”