Postgame Quotes • December 7, 2013
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"Well it's a W. First half we were very active defensively - about as active as we've been at any time this year. I like that part of...they didn't score in the first half, and that was really the basketball game. Steve [Kirschner] said it was a 25-1 run or something like that. I didn't like the way we started in the second half, but we're trying to get better every day and see if we can do some things. You look down there and you know that Marcus [Paige] didn't score the entire second half, but he had eight assists and one turnover - we like that passing. J.P. [Tokoto] was 4-2, Marcus was 8-1, and Kennedy was 2-0. For us to force 21 turnovers, that's the most I think we've forced this year. Five guys in double figures. If you go down there, Jackson [Simmons] missed one at the end, somebody else missed one right at the end or we could've been 50-percent for the game. But all in all it's a W, and I think we did improve, I think we did get better, and that's our goal right now."
On if he was worried about a letdown
"I was worried some because we had a big win at Louisville and then we don't play nearly as well with the activity in the next game. So that's basically what we talked about was great intensity, I didn't talk about winning or scoring or anything, I just talked about having better concentration and more intensity and I think we did that in the first half."
On how Nate Britt has grown
"Well tonight, I see four assists and four turnovers - we can't have that. But that was his second straight game of him getting in double figures, so I think he is getting more comfortable. I don't know what happened - one time in the first half when he broke loose and wide-open lay-up, laid it up against the bottom of the board or something. But we need him to work on his assist error ratio and not have the silly turnovers like tonight - palming the ball with nobody around him kind of thing. But he's getting better and better and I'm pleased...no, no that's a bad way, I'm partially pleased. I'm not satisfied with him because I think I think he's going to get better."
On James Michael McAdoo's performance
"Well it's the first game, I think Steve [Kirschner] said in five games he's been in double figures, you know 4-8, but I like three steals and his alertness. The play that J.P. [Tokoto] got the dunk on was because James Michael wasn't even guarding, he springed for Marcus [Paige], Marcus turns a corner and then they have to help and so that's the reason everybody's going on about J.P.'s dunk - and it was a heck of a dunk - but it was James Michael's play. The team players are really good because the dunk that James Michael had inside went and made that play and J.P. got a finger on it and it went in. I don't want James Michael to pressure himself, just be a basketball player. Do the best you can do and if the shots aren't going in, be a better defender."
Brice Johnson, So., F
On if there was a chance of a let down this game
"No, we were focused and ready to come out and ready to play."
On their mindset this game versus their mindset during the UAB game
"We were just more focused this time. It just seemed like we weren't focused after the Louisville game, probably but we were more focused for this game. We were like we can't keep doing that. We have to play up to our standards."
On what they expected from the opponents
"The coaches always tell us, they run everything just like us except for a couple plays. It's just like playing us. It's like practice."
Marcus Paige, So., G
On the growth of Nate Britt
"I think he's starting to get more aggressive, which helps. You know it's hard early you want to do everything right. I went through that stage where you just want to do everything right, and you're trying not to make mistakes, but now he's just relaxing and putting pressure on the defense by trying to penetrate. And it's working out well, he had four turnovers tonight but he's still getting in the lane, finishing, and creating opportunities for others. So as long as he keeps doing that he's going to be alright."
On the role of Kennedy Meeks, James Michael McAdoo, and Brice Johnson at the post
"It's great to establish them inside, especially all three of them. They were getting to the basket, getting to the free throw line, and controlling the boards. That's big for our team, when we have multiple guys that can score inside. It takes some pressure off our perimeter shooters. We don't have to rely so much on me hitting a three or anything like that. So to keep getting them to produce the way they are is great for our team.
On their mindset during the 25-1 run in the first half
"We settled in after a while, it was back and forth in the beginning but then our defense of intensity and attention to what they were trying to do. We started taking away. They run secondary break just like we do, and we started taking away some of that, getting some run outs, and easy baskets. And the momentum of that just carried on. Definitely defensively we were able to get stops and get easier shots on the offensive end.
James Michael McAdoo, Jr., F
On pressing his shots and the way it's affecting his game
"It's definitely been affecting my game; I feel like it's just a part of the game. You know when you are on, you can close your eyes and throw it up, when you're off, that's just how it goes so I think that today was really just trying to focus on like coach said doing other things. So I feel like I was able to get a bunch of rebounds, make some plays off of the ball and just try to be positive when I was in there as far as on the offensive end, my shots didn't fall, just keep attacking."
On being active helping his game
"Definitely, I think it just helps me personally get in the rhythm, you know getting the easy buckets, getting on the passing lane, I feel like that's something I have always been really good at, and it's something that I haven't been really able to do a lot this year. I feel like I was able to get a couple of those baskets today and that really just helped me."
On worrying about starting the game 0-4
"No, just playing the game for so long, I feel like Coach [Roy Williams] said, just give in the effort and things will just start to turn around so that's what I have been doing, just trying to showing up every day ready to work at practice, but then you know in that situation definitely getting some momentum, getting some energy, trying to get to the free throw line, it always helps seeing the ball go in."
UNC Greensboro Head Coach Wes Miller
"I thought this was an awkward feeling walking in here to play after having so many good experiences and memories in this building. I told Coach [Roy Williams] before the game, this was the first time that I ever truly loved the person that I'm playing against on the other end of the bench. I didn't look down there one time. I couldn't look at him because that was really awkward. But as far as the game goes, I have to give them a lot of credit. You have to give those guys a lot of credit. Coming off a big win against Michigan State, I think that they are starting to hit some strides, especially defensively. Their pressure and their ability to get in the passing lanes just really shell-shocked us there in the first half, especially the last eight minutes. I thought it really dismantled the things we were trying to do offensively. It led to some turnovers, got some run-outs. Certainly they have made a living doing that here for a long time - by getting easy baskets in transition off their defense. They did that to us in the first half. I was proud of my guys in the second half. I thought that they came out and fought. They saw the ball go in a little bit and that helped their energy defensively. I think we're a young group, but we have to figure out how to become a mature group come January and February. If we can be mature - we are still going to be young - but if we can be mature come January and February, we can have a chance to do some good things in our league. I was proud of the way they responded in the second half."
On how UNC's size advantage gave his team trouble
"We got dismantled on the backboards. I think that the numbers say that. It just felt like every possession, when a shot goes up I'm sitting there praying that it won't go in and I'm praying right back again that we'll get the ball. Their size is a hug factor; their athleticism is a huge factor. And not just going up to get the ball, but they do such a good job at tipping it out. Coach does such a good job at teaching that technique and tipping it out and getting extra possessions that way. So whether it was getting true offensive rebound, which we gave up quite a few of those, more than I can even count at this point, or whether it was a tip out, we got destroyed on the backboards. Some of that was their size; some of that, in my opinion, our inability to compete on the boards the way we needed to, to stay in the game."
On how he prepared to deal with the size disadvantage
"We went into the game trying to double the post a little bit, we hadn't done that all year. I thought that we actually executed that in the first four or five minutes in the game, but we struggled to kind of sustain that kind of focus. We tried to do that the whole game. We tried to sag off on everybody but Marcus Paige on the perimeter. I don't know how well we actually executed that; I don't think that we did perfectly, but we did it well in stretches. That was all to just try and make it more difficult for them around the basket."