Postgame Quotes: North Carolina 59, Miami 68
Head Coach Roy Williams
"Needless to say it's not a very good feeling right now, it's not a very good feeling in that locker room. We knew Miami was a very good team. They were 4-1 on the road. First half we didn't play as well as we wanted to play, but yet we were still hanging in there. At about the five or six minute mark we still haven't played great but it's a one-point game. 3 possessions in a row they get a two and two threes. I think they outscored us 8-0 at that time. We went from 9 minutes to 1 minute with one three-pointer from P.J. (Hairston) as our only basket. Give them (Miami) some credit, it's not just about North Carolina. They made some plays down the stretch, they shoot 48% in the second half and we shoot 33%. Our kids have been doing some really nice things in practice, we just haven't taken it from the practice court to the game court. When you play basketball at North Carolina people expect a lot from you. I've got some really good kids that are hurting right now and they are also feeling a little stressed. There's no question about that. I've got to coach better. I have to do a better job coaching my team"
On why North Carolina can't finish games strong
"If I knew what it was I would have already changed it. It's a smartaleck response but it's true also. We had defensive breakdown and we missed some open shots. When the ball goes in the basket, everything gets a heck of a lot better. We missed the first shot on a one-and-one. That's probably a non-answer but that's all I got."
On if there are similarities in how North Carolina lost tonight and against Virginia
"We are probably never going to play with the sense of urgency that I want to. I thought that killed us up in Virginia. I don't think that's what it was tonight. There was a screen on the ball and Marcus (Paige) and James Michael (McAdoo) just stand there and they make a pass and they are still standing over there and they make another pass and that guy makes a three. P.J. (Hairston) is trying to cover two and Roy Williams has to make sure that Marcus and James Michael don't do that. That's partially the kids fault and it's my fault too. I've got to be able to do a better job to get them to come off. They (Miami) made nice plays. If I'm not mistaken they blocked three of our shots in the last four or five minutes of the game. We tried to go small and we had trouble matching up with Kadji. Gamble did some really nice things and I told him that he played a big time game for them. They're experienced and they're good and you have to give them some credit."
On differences between the games and practice: "During practice we do everything great, but when we get in the game it's just for certain spans of the game, like the eight-minute run, it was like hitting shots, knocking down shots, but not guarding the ball or three-point shooters. That little span right there was stuff that we work on in practice and we do in practice, but we can't have those little lapses like this that good teams like Miami can capitalize on."
On his shots at the end of the game: "I had some great looks. It just didn't fall for me. My teammates got me open. I give credit to them. They got me open. I used the head fake and stepped into the shot, but it just didn't fall for me. I take that shot everyday in practice, but it just didn't fall for me tonight."
On the 0-2 ACC start: "I'd probably say inexperience, but I don't think we should lean on that and say that's the problem because in practice we have a drill for when we're down six points and we have to play smart basketball and get great shots. We just didn't capitalize on it in the game tonight."
On blocked shots: "Those are the shots we want every time. We had some guys cutting to the basket and moving and getting opportunities, and they did a great job coming over and blocking them and contesting them every time. It was a physical team. On the other hand, they made some tough shots. We had some good looks and didn't convert, and they got some good looks and made a couple of tough shots. Sometimes it comes down to that."
On the emotions after the game: "It's extremely stressful. You play the game to win, and when you have a lot of opportunities like we did and then to just see it kind of slip away gradually really hurts. This is one we wanted, trying to get our first conference win. No one's panicking. It was really an emotional locker room afterwards. We really wanted this one."
On Marcus Paige: "Yeah, I think he's doing great. I mean, I can only imagine. I had it easy as a freshman coming in and just being able to take a back seat role, but Marcus, he's the point guard for the University of North Carolina. I can only imagine the pressures that come with that. And he's just doing a phenomenal job leading this team out on the court.
On what worked in the first half that didn't in the second: "I just think our shots really weren't falling. We didn't get to the free throw line as much as we would want to. Like I said, our shooters got great looks, especially down the stretch. Towards the end of the game we were still there and had a chance, but the shots just didn't go in."
On outlook for the season: "I mean I'm a basketball player. I've been playing basketball all my life and I hate to lose. I don't really know what to do but come every day ready to work and get better; and don't leave the results up to the other team, but just impose my will and our will as a team.
University of Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga
It's a good win for us. We opened up conference play with two straight road games. We were able to get two wins, so we're very happy about that. We didn't play very well in the first half. We played a good bit better in the second half. We shared the ball, ended up with four guys in double figures. Which is really what we want, four or five guys sharing the ball and four or five guys in double figures. We made some key threes from the corner right in front of our bench in the stretch where we took the lead and were able to push ahead. We're at the Dean Dome, it's North Carolina, the game is never over until the final horn sounds. Our guys finished up pretty strong making some free throws.
On the team's three pointers
When we play a team that pressures us and is going to be trapping the ball handler, we share the ball and spread them out. If you get an open three, you have the green light to shoot it. If we could have gotten a layup like Trey McKinney Jones late in the game went to the basket had that nice reburst layup, he passed up the three, but that's got to be the player's decision. If he's feeling good and he sees that shot open for him, he knows that I want him to shoot it.
On Kenny Kadji's performance
Kenny is the recipient of a lot of good ball movement. When he gets in rhythm, he shoots the ball as well as any big man I've ever coached. When the middle opens up because of Shane Larkin and Durand Scott being guarded so hard on the perimeter, he every once in a while will get a running layup. He got two of those tonight, one he laid in and the other he dunked. He played big, big, big tonight. The blocked shots were huge. He and Julian [Gamble] were a real presence inside. We blocked some shots and he got nine rebounds as well. Julian and Kenny are fifth and sixth year college guys. They're older.
On UNC's 0-2 start in the ACC
I think the last time they did it they won the national championship. The one major difference is, in all the years that I coached against North Carolina, they were always much bigger than us. When I was at Virginia, even when we had Ralph Sampson, they had a ton of big guys. Last year we came in here and it was [Tyler] Zeller and [John] Henson, and they were huge. This year they're a little different. They shoot more threes than ever before. Although only tonight they shot 15, normally they shoot 24. They made 6 of 15, which we're disappointed in. We don't want to give up 40 percent from three. Being able to maybe limit those threes to 15 instead of 24 probably helped us.