Postgame Quotes • Roy Williams
North Carolina 62, Holy Cross 54
"Well, 62-54 is probably a little different game than you expected since they were 122-118 and we like a really fast pace also. But neither team could make a shot in the first half; they shot 22 percent, we shot 27 (percent). Fortunately for us, we were a little more patient in the second half, got a little better shots and made shots. I thought Marcus (Paige) was really good; I thought JP (Tokoto) was really good in the second half - he was 0-6 in the first half, second half he was 2-2 and five assists. But I think the guys that really gave us a lift were Luke (Davis), Desmond (Hubert) defensively, (and) Brice (Johnson) coming off the bench. I think those guys really gave us something. (Holy Cross) took a three point lead and Marcus gets a layup and cuts it to one and Steve (Kirschner) told me on the way down we went on a little run then. Marcus and Brice, and Kennedy (Meeks) had a put-back in that stretch there too, so those guys did a nice job. You've got to congratulate Holy Cross, they did some really good things, just needed them to make a shot in the first half. It was pretty ugly but at the end I liked what we did in the second half."
On Paige's performance
"I thought it was really good except for I can't believe he was Academic All ACC after that dumb pass by the bench, he was falling out of bounds and throws it to their guy for a layup. But I didn't have to say a word, he was sitting on the floor wondering, 'what in the world did I do that for?' But he was a big time player for us tonight, he really was. He's our best shooter and the guys need to work harder to help him get open. But he made some big plays for us."
On Paige's improvement as a scorer
"He was a scorer in high school, and I like scoring point guards. Ty Lawson was a scorer, Raymond Felton was a scorer, and I like scoring point guards - I think it gives them an extra dimension. Kendall Marshall was able to score, but he was such a passer and we had such threats with Harrison (Barnes) and (Tyler Zeller) and John (Henson) that Kendall didn't look for that. But Marcus is a good scorer. Marcus is a basketball player. He has tremendous savvy and he's good defensively. I've got to try and give him more breaks so he doesn't play 36 minutes in a game."
On what got the run going in the second half
"I think it was a steal - I don't think it was a missed shot - I think it was a steal that Marcus got and went down and laid it up, and then we did get a stop and Kennedy gets an offensive rebound. We didn't have many (rebounds) - I don't know what it ended up, 39-38, and they outrebounded us by five in the first half - so they were boxing us out and we weren't getting off the box out. We didn't have many second chance points, so that was a big play for us. I think, wasn't Kennedy's basket the first one that gave us the lead? Then Brice had some hoops in that stretch. But I think it was just being more patient on the offensive end and getting a little better movement."
Post Game Quotes - Coach Milan Brown, Head Coach of Holy Cross
North Carolina 62, Holy Cross 54
"Obviously, I'm proud the guys' effort, not that I expected anything less of us to play as hard as we possibly could, but we ran out gas towards the end. You can tell with our free throws that we missed that we could have made a little bit more interesting, but I'm extremely proud of my guys and how they competed against such a good basketball team. So, we'll learn from our mistakes and try to build on this momentum."
"I thought we did a tremendous job. [North Carolina] is so big and so athletic, so it makes it tough. Sometimes we had stops and they just jumped over top of us and grabbed some rebounds. I think we followed the game plan to the tee, to the best of our ability. Now the thing is understanding we have the ability to play different ways. Two days ago we played a game where we scored 122 points, tonight we ran a rock fight. So it's great and encouraging to me to know that whatever game presents itself, we're able to compete."
Missed shots tonight
"I think a part of it is that it was one of those nights, but also I attribute part of that to North Carolina as well. We tried to battle, but when you're trying to keep those guys off the glass and keep them out of the lane as big, strong, and athletic as they are, sometimes that wears on your legs. I think that showed not only in the jump shots that we missed, because we had some open looks, but down the stretch. We're a good free throw shooting team but we missed some 'and one's' and only made one out of two shots and that's were you started to tell. So I think overall their athleticism and strength kind of wore us down for how hard we had to compete on the other end just to contest a shot."
What hurt them
"We lost [Marcus] Paige a couple times and he hurt us. He was the big difference for us. We wanted to make sure our presence was felt as far as trying to defend them inside because we knew they had such a size advantage. But Paige made some really big plays; he came off a couple down screens and made a big three. He loosened the paint up, to that point we contracted our defense and kept everybody out the lane and just fight. But after he made a few jump shots, he loosened some things up and next thing you know [James Michael] McAdoo gets a rim to rim run and lays the ball up. Then we tried to gamble on the post feed, but he still laid the ball up. So I thought Paige was good, we had some problems with him. But he's a really good player, it wasn't for lack of effort."
Player Quotes: J.P. Tokoto
On the slow offensive start in the 1st half:
"[It was] A lack of concentration, not thinking about what I was doing. It was a lack of concentration on everybody's part. We just didn't come out with the same intensity we did last game first half. I mean - in my opinion - I think we kind of flip-flopped what we did the last game."
On Marcus Paige's game:
"He had a tremendous game and really, just fell back on his shoulders. He kind of carried us tonight, which is what we needed. Coach CB [McGrath] in the locker room at halftime said, 'All it takes is one guy to know, to just make a difference and it just keeps everybody else going,' so [that is] what kind of happened. He just stepped up; it's part of being a leader, that's what he did."
"On the faster and better ball movement after their rough start:
It was more of just concentrating more and working as a team. We were just, coming off, I know I did. Just coming off the screen, first pass, shooting it. It wasn't a good shot, or it just came off the hand wrong. Just had to focus on it."
Player Quotes: Brice Johnson
On enjoying this win:
"I'm not going to enjoy this win. That, that was ugly. That was terrible. I will not enjoy this win. I mean it's a win at the end of the day, but I'm not going to enjoy it. We could have done a lot better that that. We had 25 points in the first half, that's not Carolina basketball."
On the halftime talk in the locker room:
"Selfishness. Coach [Roy Williams] was like, 'It's not about you, it's not about you, it's about this team. You can't go out there and play like its about you, you have to go out there and play for North Carolina.' You can't play for yourself man."
On his court awareness:
"I'm starting to figure out where I can like pump fake and throw it in, instead of just trying to throw it to somebody and get it stolen. I've been working on that in practice and just throwing it up high where we need to get it, try to get it away from the defense, cause in the first half, I was like trying to pay attention, who can jump higher, who can try to get a steal, so I'm trying to work on that."
Player Quotes: Marcus Paige
On having to step up tonight:
"I mean we have to get somebody to score from the perimeter consistently and I feel - being one of the veterans I guess - I'm the perimeter. It's a job I can take on and be aggressive you know, Coach has confidence in me as a shooter and as a scorer, so its just something I felt I had to do to step up, especially with P.J. [Hairston] and Leslie [McDonald] out."
On the team stepping up in the second half:
"We just started getting better shots. In the first half we played a lot of me ball instead of team ball. We didn't share it as much. We didn't set screens, we didn't use screens and that's what got us beat badly a couple of times last year. So, we just deviated from what we've been working on in practice, but second half we were able to take our time and get better shots."
On confidence level going into Sunday:
"We are still very confident. We understand that we didn't play very well in this first half and for a lot of the game honestly. We got outrebounded, 20 to 25 against a team that we were bigger than. We know we can play a lot better than we did tonight. It was good to have a little diversity. It makes us a better team in the long run."
On getting his scoring mentality on offense:
"It's obviously a work in progress just because it's something that I haven't had to do here yet, but at the same time, you're a basketball player, [if] the team needs you to step up and be a scorer, then that's what you have to do. And my teammates trust me enough to be a good decision maker while still maybe taking more shots and being more aggressive. It's just something I know how to do."