“We’d rather be 3-0 than the other alternatives right now. We’ve made some strides from one game to the next, but [Sunday] in the second half I was really discouraged about how we played. The kids were discouraged with how we played. So it was good today – it was a wonderful day because they didn’t have to see me. I gave them the day off.
"We’ll get back together tomorrow and try to have a little meeting and show some tape from [Sunday’s] game. Try to point out some mistakes and then go out on the court and work on those and then come back in and watch the tape again and try to have a really good session tomorrow, which we need to. And then practice Wednesday and leave Wednesday night heading for New York. We’ve got our work cut out for us up there.”
On Ohio State and turnovers:
“I think C.B. [McGrath] told me they are 45 and 19 – they’ve had 45 assists and 19 turnovers. We have 19 turnovers going to the bathroom. It’s the worst exhibition of handling the basketball I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how many people are going. I know it’ll be a decent crowd. But when you walk in the Garden, they’re going to give everybody some mitts because we’re going to throw the ball in the stands a few times and get them ready for it.”
On the signed recruiting class:
“We felt really good about it. It’s funny because Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock are the first two sophomores that I’ve ever offered a scholarship to and I’ve been as nervous as I can be for the last two years wanting to make sure that they continue to develop. And they really have. They’re going to be really good basketball players for us. They’re great kids.
“And then the third one – we got the announcement last Friday and have the signed national letter of intent already in our possession that Harrison Barnes from Ames, Iowa is coming. It was really a team effort. It really was. Kendall and Reggie were big for us. The people in the business school did a great job when he and his family were here. The Chancellor met with them; they were good. Our current players were great. It was about as exhausting a recruiting effort as I’ve ever been around. I told him a month or so ago, ‘Well, you’ve taken over first place.’ He said, ‘What’s that?’ And I said, ‘My entire career, I’ve thought Raef LaFrentz, also from Iowa, was the player I had recruited hardest of anybody in my entire 22 years.’ And Harrison took over that role.
“I spent more time recruiting him and did more things trying to recruit him… I thought it was 11 trips to Ames, Iowa, but Steve Robinson says it was 10. So maybe he slept through one or maybe I dreamed one, but there were a lot of trips up there in the last 15 months – starting last September. He really is a unique young man.”
Who has improved the most defensively since last season?
“That’s a good question. Part of our identity will be what we do on the defensive end of the floor, regardless of what it looked like [Sunday] in the second half. But Deon Thompson has done a nice job in every phase of the game. I think he’s shooting the basketball better, he’s rebounding better [and] he’s sliding his feet better.
"But it’s hard to say who has done so much improvement because we have two seniors, one junior and everybody else is freshmen and sophomores. That’s nine guys. So they haven’t been around too long to even establish what they’re doing themselves. But I would probably say Deon defensively, particularly since the time he got here. He’s done just a really, really good job in improving on the defensive end of the floor.”
Weren’t you recently on an ice cream drought?
“Yes… This is sort of sensitive, okay? I told Harrison Barnes one night, I said, ‘You know, son, I’ve thrown everything at you but the kitchen sink. There’s nothing else I can do so I’m going to resort to some difficult measures. I’m not going to have dessert until you tell me that you’re coming to North Carolina.’ So I did without dessert for 30 days.”
On Marcus Ginyard:
“I think Marcus has improved. His shot has improved; he’s making a bunch of them in practice. I just don’t want him to lose his identity of being Marcus. Don’t try to be something you’re not. I was a little disappointed in a lot of people [on Sunday], but I told him I was going to say this. Marcus got the same number of rebounds as my wife got [on Sunday].
“So he’s got to do a better job than that, because he played 28 minutes and got zero rebounds. So we’ve got to do better job there. We’ve going to have some things [Tuesday] that I think will help everybody. But I do think that he has improved every phase of his game. He’s so much more healthy this year. Knock on wood, let’s keep it that way because he’s a great young man.”
"Roy Williams Live" airs Monday evenings on Tar Heel Sports Network affiliates.