Postgame Quotes • December 14, 2013
North Carolina 82, Kentucky 77
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"Well there were a lot of young guys out there that fought pretty doggone hard on both teams. I didn't think the most artistic game ever, but I thought both teams played really, really hard. I think Marcus Paige was just sensational for us in the second half, James Michael [McAdoo] was big, J.P. [Tokoto] was really big. He got in foul trouble because he was doing things so well. Steve [Kirschner] gave me a good stat when it was tied at 46 - our next five baskets were scored by five different guys. I love that balance. I always think that's the most difficult thing to do but for us we feel extremely good to say the least. We shoot 57-percent in the second half and being able to overcome some more of the free throw woes. It was a stretch there in the fourth to say the least. James Michael got a big tip out for us, and Marcus made the two free throws for us then. I told Kennedy [Meeks] to take the ball out of bounds because he is such a good passer, and then I was over there just cussing myself out if I could because I meant to tell him to look deep because we did send J.P. and he didn't do it. But he's probably twice as...well no he's not, I know the guy. I was about to say that he was probably twice as smart as I am but he's not. But he saw J.P. down there and made a great pass, and then J.P. made the big dunk. But it was a fun time in the locker room with my kids."
On if the players have accepted and adjusted to their roles on the team
"I think they've accepted it but I'm not sure they've figured it out yet. But I think they've accepted. I think J.P. [Tokoto] knows he's going to spend some time at the two. James Michael [McAdoo] knows he's going to spend some time at the three. We're such a young group and sometimes an immature group. You don't want to get them too fat and happy type of thing. Those games coming up are still pretty big, but I do think they understand what we want them to do. It's not a natural position for either one of them, so I don't think you can do that in nine games, but they do understand it more."
On the aggressive style of the team and James Michael McAdoo
"It's strange because I told the whole team I wanted them to be aggressive, aggressive and patient. That's hard because those are opposites there. I wanted us to be aggressive, trying to get the ball to the basket on the break those kind of things, but then get good shots when you get there. And I think James Michael did that. I love when you look down there and he's 4-6, I'll take that any day. Especially when you get 19 free throws."North Carolina Player Quotes
North Carolina Player Quotes
Marcus Paige, So., G
On making a free throw to go up by four points
"In that situation, you know, you need four. Being up four is a lot better than being up three because if you don't get any they can come down and send the game to overtime - completely change the game. We've had some interesting finishes to games so far this year, especially at home with the Belmont game. So when that first free throw dropped I could relax and just knock down the second one."
On the physicality of the game
"We had to (get after them) because that's part of the way they score and part of the way they're successful is by beating up on other teams and using their size on the glass. So we had to match that, otherwise it was going to be ugly for us. We have some big guys too, so we were able to rough them up on the inside and just match their physicality, especially on the boards. Even though we lost the rebound battle, the fact that we competed, chased down loose balls, really helped us in the game."
J.P. Tokoto, So., F
On what they did to overcome the slow start
"We just kept fighting. You can't give in, even if you do have a slow start, what's giving up going to help? So just keep fighting hard."
On his foul trouble
"It's tough, coming in and out of the game, you know, you're coming in cold and expected to guard these really good drivers. It's an adjustment, but you've got to do it. If Coach calls on you, he needs you, he needs you."
James Michael McAdoo, Jr., F
On whether they've stopped waiting for P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald
"Yes, but I feel like we've done that since the beginning of the season. Everyone tries to talk about how big of a distraction it might be, but for us it's just having two great guys that we're looking forward to getting back hopefully soon and they help us out in practice a lot. But definitely, as far as turning the page, that's something we did a long time ago."
On what's changed for him over the last few games
"Just not forcing things, I think that's the biggest thing. Looking back to the UAB game, I feel like I forced a lot of shots. Even when we got to the Louisville game, just taking shots that aren't high-percentage shots. Everything I made to today was a shot that I'm capable of doing, something that I practice and they went down."
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari
"Here's what you had. You had a team that came at us physically. We couldn't even get open on the wings. They fought us in the post. We couldn't throw post passes. We ended up going down to a pick-and-roll trying to create and the only thing we were creating was a shot for the point guard and still had a chance. The rebounding, we missed two dunks, and then the rebounding at the end of the game where we just couldn't come up with a ball that mattered. What we are right now is a not a good basketball team. We're not a good team because everything, our emotion, is all based on our individual play instead of our team play. Like, ‘We just got a great stop, let's all five-chest each other, and let's go nuts.' We're not close to that right now. Our stuff is all based on ‘Did I miss a free throw? Did I get beat on the dribble? Did I miss a shot? Did I turn it over?' We've got to get through this, but we had chances to let go of the rope, and we didn't. We are what we are right now. We've got a long way to go."
On the loss
"If you want to keep losing, keep acting that way. We're not a good team, and players aren't looking real good. And that's what happens. When your team doesn't play well, individual players look bad too. And so when they really hit that sport, where it's like, ‘Okay, we have to do this together.' We're just not there right now. We did some good things, 17 turnovers, just some of them were forced because they came up on us and you've got to give them credit. I mean, they're shorthanded in this environment, and Roy [Williams] had them prepared to play. They came right after us. Where we look like, "Okay, we're ready to get away from them," they came right back, and now all of the sudden I'm looking, we're down six, how did this happen? And they just kept fighting. I thought [James Michael] McAdoo just absolutely killed us. Willie [Cauley-Stein] had 12 rebounds, and I thought Alex [Poythress] played well. If Alex can give us that kind of effort every game, we're going to be alright."
On being a team
"It's just hard to do it that way, so let me do it this other way because it's a lot easier. The problem is it just doesn't work. I'm fine. I'm saying I'm going to keep coaching them. We're going to keep getting better. We're going to try to point things out. But it doesn't matter how bad I want them to get it. They've got to want it. They've got to want to get this. They've got to want to understand this. If Dakari [Johnson], Alex [Poythress], and Dominque [Hawkins] give us what they did today, we should win basketball games."
On Kentucky's future
"I've got good kids, and I'm coaching them hard. I'm all over them at times. They're not bad kids. It's been tough. It's a tough road. It's tough to play here. Every game we play it's a white out, a blue out, a red out. Every game. Not just this game - every game. You knew that when you signed up for this, so you better get ready because it's not changing. And our schedule doesn't get any easier. And we did this kind of schedule because we had to find out right away what are we? Where do we need to go?"
On North Carolina
"They deserved to win the game. They played well. They fought like crazy. They played physical. And I thought we did enough to keep ourselves in the game, and they gave us a chance to win. This is kind of like the Baylor game and I'll be honest with you like the Michigan State game. We had a chance to win in both games. We had a chance to win this game, and we lose it in that one span of three minutes. And then when you look back, it was an effort play. It was a team play. We broke down on our team. And you came back with this. All of the sudden we're in trouble. That's what they've got to learn."
On Julius Randle being excited for the game
"Maybe too excited because [James Michael] McAdoo made a statement."
Kentucky Player Quotes
Andrew Harrison, G, Fr.
On free throw shooting
"I missed a lot."
On how well he thought his team competed
"I think after halftime we lost our focus. We need to pick up each other and bring a little bit more energy."
On how they can go about fixing lapses in focus
"Just the want and the desire to do it. We have so much talent on our team, and that's never the question when we lose. It's just, ‘Can we take a punch?'"
James Young, G, Fr.
On free throw shooting
"I just think it's a lack of concentration and focus on our half. We just seemed to be a little tired and fatigued, so [we] just lost focus. [We] just have to get better at that."
On how well he thought his team competed
"We were playing well and then we had points in the game where we stopped playing. One or two plays make up a game."
On if he expected J.P. Tokoto to have such a good game offensively
"No, not really. He's a good defender. He's really athletic so for him to come out scoring like that, we didn't really think he was going to do that. I think that was my fault a little bit. I should have played a little more defense and face-guarded him a little bit more."