North Carolina - 93, East Carolina - 87
December 15, 2012
UNC Head Coach Roy Williams
"Don't know where to start...I hope we did a gob job with exams this week. We'll get those grades back. But congratulate Jeff (Lebo) and his team. They kept fighting, kept fighting. We gave them a lot of opportunities, screwing things up a bit. I got more frustrated today, perhaps, than I have in a long time. Looked down at the stat sheet, no post player got an offensive rebound in the entire game. Reggie (Bullock) had four, P.J. (Hairston) had three, J.P. (Tokoto) had two and then we got a team rebound, so I was frustrated with that. I was frustrated that we didn't pick up the three-point shooter soon enough. Akeem Richmond, who we know is a really good shooter, we didn't pick him up soon enough. They were pressing us. We had one silly turnover and then the other times we converted on the other end. We were making one or two then giving up three to them. Not surprised at all by the way Jeff's team fought. An experienced team, he's got a good team. It was a little frustrating out there to say the least. But it's another game; it's another opportunity to get better. Yesterday afternoon we even had a player leave practice early, yesterday, for something to complete on one of his final exams. So, it was a tough week. We looked like we hadn't practiced all week, and we didn't do a lot of practicing, but still, it's enough."
On the empty possessions early in the second half
"We ran a set play the first play of the second half, got a guy wide up for a layup and didn't throw the ball. Then they go down and score first. They did a nice job. Give them some credit. I'm very frustrated with my team, but around here, particularly, we always just focus on our team and don't just give the other team credit. But, again, I've never had a game where a post player never got an offensive rebound the whole game. So, I got really frustrated and I went really small. We've gone small, keeping one post player in there. Today at one time, I had J.P. and Reggie as the four, five. That way we could switch all the screens on the ball and do a better job and then get where we're supposed to be switching. Then one of the next to last plays, we don't switch and they pull up their big guy for a layup underneath. So, the head coach at North Carolina has got to do a better job."
On shot selection
"First half we took four bad shots, and second half I'd have to think back, but I knew exactly how many we took. It's an easy deal: anticipate your teammate's shot. You guys in the stands, you guys that are knowledgeable about basketball, even people that aren't knowledgeable sort of can tell when a guy is getting ready to shoot. So, anticipate your teammate's shot and go to the board. That's a pretty simple thing to do right there. Again, we've got some time period now for three practices before we play, then a couple more when we get back before we play again...let people go home. We've got to do a lot of work, bottom line."
On Lebo being back in the Smith Center
"The atmosphere was sort of like my team. It was a little different. We didn't practice until Thursday. Then, Thursday we had a pretty good practice, but had to let three guys go early or come late. Then practice yesterday, I think two guys had to leave early. It was an unusual game. It's hard for me. I tried to never look at Jeff and it's because that's somebody on the other end that I really for. I helped recruit him; I helped coach him. When the game was over with, I was happy that we won. I'm ticked off by the way we played, but then you look at that guy, and he's got an 'L'. His team may have played better, close to their potential, than our team did. So it's hard, but he's such a good...I used to call him a kid, I'm not going to call him a kid anymore...I don't know what color his hair would be because he won't let it grow out, but it's different. I'll just put it to you that way. But that's the way our team played today-like we hadn't been practicing."
East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
"I thought that we battled hard. They have a very good offensive team and I thought we did some good things out there. They made some key plays coming down the stretch. We shot the ball very well in the second half to make things interesting. The kids competed awfully hard. Coach Williams has a young team and I've got a little bit more experienced guys and I like experienced guys. I'm proud of my group, proud of my team. We battled. First half we got a lot of good looks and we didn't shoot it particularly well. They came out on fire, I think they were up about 70% from the field to start."
On his pregame welcome by the Carolina fans
"When I missed a lot of shots they didn't give me a standing ovation here. It's a special place for me obviously having played, and that was awfully nice of the people here to do it...It meant a lot to me as well as my family."
On what this game will mean to his team
"I think being able to play in this environment, on this stage, our kids don't get a chance to do it. We competed awfully hard and it'll hopefully give us some confidence. Basketball is a funny game. You can look one way one day and turn around and play two days later and not look like the same team. So hopefully we can build with this. This was obviously big for our university and big for our program. We'd never played here before."
UNC Player Quotes
On finding everyone's role
"I think it's a little longer than usual. At the five position, we feel like we can go with Joel [James], Brice [Johnson] or Desmond [Hubert], and all three of those players are totally different players. I felt like tonight was a great option for us, but just on the defensive end of the floor we made stupid little mental breakdowns not getting to the boards, not following through on our rotations on the offensive end."
On practicing during exams
"I feel like we shouldn't blame it on exams because we still had time to get better as a team. We had two days to prepare before we played ECU. We were making the right rotations in practice, doing what Coach told us to do, but it just felt like we've just got to be a better team at transferring things over from practice to an actual game."
On the differences between the first and second halves
"Starting out our defense kind of took care of everything. We got open shots. We got the shots we wanted. Everybody was working hard. Second half, they started hitting shots the last ten minutes. Coach wasn't too happy about that, especially number one. So Coach wasn't too happy about that, but overall it was a good game."
On his experience and role
"I'm definitely more comfortable out there now. It was just that first up and down, then you get your juices flowing and you feel like you can get up and down pretty easily now. It's just getting that experience under my belt. That's about it... I know where I come in. I know where Coach needs me. I know where the team needs me. It helps a lot."
"I don't want to put the excuse on exams. I think we, including myself, do a great job of balancing that out. I just think that we didn't have that energy that we should have had tonight. That's something we'll have to get better on."
On having a sense of urgency
"We want to come out with a sense of urgency every game we play. We want to be ready and focused every game we play, so when we play like that it's kind of frustrating. It's just something you've got to learn from, something you've got to build on."
"It's just confidence alone. It's my last year, so my confidence is at an all-time high since I've been here, with my shot and getting guys involved. But it's because of Reggie, P.J. [Hairston] and Leslie [McDonald] stepping up and making shots and Brice and [James Michael] McAdoo being ready to catch the ball off my penetration. My team, on offense, I think we're doing a great job. "