North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
On if today's success makes the previous performance against Texas more frustrating:
"Yeah, because I think we can really shoot, and if you can really shoot then you are supposed to do it every night. It makes it more frustrating, but also we've got to establish more of an inside game to have balance. To me, the key to the game today was that we just made a lot of shots. Everybody has heard me say it a thousand times, but everything looks better when the ball goes in the basket - but we've got to have more balance inside."
On Marcus Paige's performance:
"Like I said it was a good day, 9-0 [assists-turnovers]. That's the best he's ever been. His assist-turnover ratio has been okay, but it hasn't been great. 9-0 is great. We had a nice chat yesterday after practice. I still think he's a really good shooter, too. The ball just hasn't gone in the basket as often this year. I think he played better defensively, too. The last two games I thought Dexter [Strickland] and Marcus [Paige] didn't do what we wanted them to do as the two guys out in front of our defense, and I challenged them a little bit before the game."
On if today was a step forward for the team:
"I think so. Again, I go back to the defensive side of the ball more than anything because we've had trouble this year stopping dribble penetration. I said, whenever the preseason press conference was, that I thought we would be a good defensive team, and we have not been so far. Teams haven't shot great percentages against us in most cases, but we haven't been a great defensive team. I think we did some things today that we can build on, particularly with supporting and containing the dribble."
McNeese State Head Coach Dave Simmons
Toughness of the North Carolina team:
"[In] this type of environment, you cannot build a big deficit like we did in the first half. They affected our shots in the post and they are a tremendous rebounding team. They were good all night, the three-point line, we played some zone, played some man, and still could not stop them. We missed shots, and they hit shots to build their confidence and they made us nervous and caused us to turn the ball over."
Bright spots in the team's game today:
"I am proud of the way our guys fought back in the end. It was a good game for us, it is telling us where we need to go if we want to play teams like this. It's humbling. There are some positive things that came out of this. We only had ten turnovers compared to the twenty we've had in the past few games. "
North Carolina's Perimeter Shooting in today's game:
"The one thing they have done well the last few games is shoot the ball well, and they did tonight. To guard the three-point line we tried to mix it up, played some zone, played some man, and they were just tough all night. Bullock and their perimeter guys lit us up when we went zone. If they shoot the ball like that it is going to be tough for anybody to beat them. Leslie McDonald hit some big shots for them in game, and that made the difference in this game. We respected them and knew that they were capable of playing like this."
UNC Player Quotes
On how the team performs when they pass and assist well:
"We do a great job sharing the ball. Sometimes one player holds the ball too long when there's an open teammate, but I think we do a great job of sharing the ball and transitioning and finding shooters. We have to continue to do those things in order to succeed against UNLV and moving into conference play."
On how the Texas game pushed the team to play better today:
"We saw the little mental mistakes that we were making, and we practiced those things and tried to prepare for McNeese State."
On how well the team did after losing to Texas
"A win always makes you feel better. The main thing is that we did better this game and we played with more heart and we played together as a team. Against Texas I think we tried to do a little too much on our own and tried to force shots. Texas was converting on our turnovers and getting fast break points off of bad shots."
On being asked what the difference is between the games North Carolina has won and the ones North Carolina has lost
"It's just a matter of making the shots. There hasn't been anything that has bothered me. I have to come out and make open shots; sometimes I make them, sometimes I don't. I try to do other things like getting on the offensive boards and getting rebounds and easy baskets."
On how "together" the team is
"Me and Reggie (Bullock) talked about it and basically we just need to play together as a unit and if we play together and play well, there's no one that can beat us. I'm not saying we're prefect, but we're going to make it hard for other teams to guard us."
On how North Carolina was able to keep a big lead in the second half
"At halftime I told the team, 'We can't come out in the second half and let the other team score 60 points in the second half', like we have been doing. I said, 'We need to keep up the intensity on defense and try to contain their two best players and we'll be fine.' We came out in the second half and did it."
On his team's performance today compared to Wednesday's game
"I think we just had a lot more focus. We didn't play even close to what we're capable of playing. We really wanted to come out and set the tone early at Texas and that didn't happen. We're trying to come together as a team and really buy in, like Coach has been saying these last couple days."
On his performance today (9 assists, 0 turnovers) and how it is apart of his team's growing process
"It feels good to see those numbers as a point guard. Guys were making shots and because we held them to a low field goal percentage, we were able to get easy baskets. That made my job a whole lot easier too. "
On the key to keeping turnovers low
"Just having confidence in my own abilities is a lot of it. I sat down and talked to Coach a little bit about being confident in who I am as a player and playing to my own strengths instead of trying to do everything the right way. I just need to play my own game. "
On his post-practice conversations with Coach Williams
"It's not a frequent thing but every once in awhile he'll pull me over and chat about anything he can do it help me, and vice versa. He's really good at getting the best out of his guys. He's a great 'player's coach.'"
On whether or not he needs a frequent confidence boost
"I don't think I need one, but when you sit down and your coach tells you he's still confident in you, it doesn't hurt. It definitely helps. It didn't do anything but boost my confidence even more and help me relax and play my game. "