Postgame Quotes • December 31, 2013
North Carolina 84, UNC Wilmington 51
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"We were much better in the second half. In the first half our scrambles were good for them. Our double teams weren't very good. We didn't get a goaltender, and they made the pass to the post-up area and got good shots out of it. The first half also we didn't shoot the ball well because we took bad shots. Three or four different times, or probably five or six different times, we had somebody shoot the ball when their teammate had a better shot. We talked about that at great length at halftime - about being more unselfish and getting a better shot and playing harder and doing a better job defensively. I think we did a much better job defensively in the second half. Our traps helped us as opposed to helping them. In the first half, as I said, I think it helped them. I thought James Michael [McAdoo] was really efficient tonight, 11 for 14 [from the field]. That's something you love having. [He had] 23 points and 10 rebounds. Nate [Britt] in the second half had six assists and zero turnovers. I thought Marcus [Paige] was more effective in the second half, but really you shoot 63-percent in the second half because you're unselfish, you move yourself and you move the basketball. You do those things and you're going to get better shots. At halftime they had 11 offensive rebounds and ended up with 16. So I think we did a much better job on the backboards as well. It was a good night for us. [We] got some guys in the game. My favorite play of the game was Wade [Moody] ¬- Wade had a chance to go down and lay it up. [Even though] he hadn't scored all year, he didn't hesitate and he passed it to Isaiah [Hicks] and he dunked it. That was my favorite play of the game."
On how prepared the freshmen are for conference play
"Well, you never know. I told them in the locker room the level of intensity goes up about 10 levels, and you better be ready to go up with it. Or just stay in the locker room. That's what I just got finished telling them. It is a different level now, and the intensity, the level of play, the level of quickness, the level of strength, everything is so much higher now. I think they've done a decent job of preparing. I think their teammates have helped them get ready. We'll have to wait and see what it looks like when we get over there on Sunday [at Wake Forest]."
On the decision to start Kennedy Meeks
"Well, Brice [Johnson] started the last two games and didn't play well, so I decided to give Kennedy a shot. When Joel [James] gets healthy we might put Joel back in there. We could put Brice in there. I'm not married to any individual starting."
UNC Player Quotes
Marcus Paige • So. • G
On whether the team is ready for ACC team play
"I think we're close. We're probably a couple of really good practices away to going on the road to our first game. We had two really good practices before this game. After a little bit of a sluggish start, we were able to apply what we got better at. We're working on those traps that we used the whole game. It really extended out and got a big lead. We're pretty close."
On if he is concerned about the team's slow starts in games
"I didn't think so tonight. Our defensive points per possession was pretty good. It was 0.5-something, and we like to keep it below 0.75. We just couldn't score and we turned the ball over. We had nine turnovers. Just not getting great shots. Guys weren't moving the ball very much. Those are easy fixes. Whereas, especially in other games, the slow starts have been for effort. That really wasn't the case. I know they outrebounded us, but it was just a different type of slow start for us. "
James Michael McAdoo • Jr. • F
On the many dunks in the second half and if it energized the team
"Yeah, you definitely do get energized. Just to hear the crowd and getting easy baskets like that - highlights, I guess you can call them [that]. I definitely think it helps us energize ourselves and the crowd. Being on the other end of that I think is very demoralizing."
On what he learned about the team before the ACC schedule
"We can be really good, but when we don't show up to play we can lose to anybody. I think that's definitely something that the ACC is going to be a test for us. Night in and night out we know we're going to go up against a top-tier team, no matter who we play. We're up for the challenge. It definitely feels good after a win like this, but we know after this there's no cupcake games. Every team we play is going to be a tough matchup, so we have to be focused and that starts tomorrow."
Brice Johnson • So. • F
On the successful traps in the second half
"We're being more aggressive and we weren't passive with them. We were more aggressive on the traps. We were getting up on them and not letting them pivot out like we were in the first half. We were just a lot more aggressive."
On if the team is ready to play against ACC opponents
"Yeah, we're ready for them. We've had some big games this year and some ups and downs, but I think we're ready for them. We came out with intensity tonight and that's the way we need to play every game."
UNC Wilmington Head Coach Buzz Peterson
"The second half I thought was the tale of the game, the first half I thought we did a pretty good job handling the traps and we got some decent shots. We missed so many easy looks at the beginning of the game. We shot the ball so well in here two days ago, but a lot of times we haven't shot the ball well all year. But sometimes you start missing when they start pressing a little bit more and that goal gets a little tighter and tighter. So if we could have hit a couple of those and had a couple of box-outs in the first half that would have been a little bit better for us. But the start of the second half those turnovers hurt us. If we could have made them pay for those, then I don't think the outcome would have been as bad as it was. The bottom line we came in here and we wanted to come out with something positive. I felt like Chris Dixon had one of his better games of the year. He's been struggling all year and we need him to step up. Our two freshman post guys did a nice job for us. Big concern I have is Shane Reybold who's been our go-to-guy for us, he has a foot problem and we don't quite know what it is. We have to get an MRI on Thursday and see what we can find out about that. Dixon and those two young kids gave us a bright spot in everything, I like the first 20 minutes that we played, the kids came out and played hard; they fought, they competed, and did a nice job. But when you turn the ball over it's hard to get back on defense and transition to stop the dunks and everything. But Carolina is a top-20 program, they're a very good basketball team and if you make mistakes like that then they will make you pay."
On the lineup change
"I couldn't go with Shane [Reybold], and so I went with C.J. [Gettys] because I saw something in him during the first half when he caught the ball. He went at them, he tried to score, and he was aggressive. That's the thing I'm looking for. When you've lost two, three, four games in a row you're looking for young men who are ready to fight and compete. He got the ball in there and he took it to them, and that's what we need. So I gave him the honor to start the second half and when he came out the game people clapped for him behind our bench and I was proud of him. But I looked at him and said ‘I'm proud of you but dang'on you need to hit some free throws big boy'. He's someone who can really help us out.
On possibly going with three big's
"You know when you lose several games in a row, you think about a lot as a coach. You ears get wider, you listen a little bit more. I've always listened to my staff, you're only as good as your staff you have out there. I've got a tremendous staff, so we'll look at some things and see how we're going to play. But we're in the second part of our season now, getting ready for James Madison on Saturday. It's a big game for us, huge game, biggest game of the year for us. So we have to get ready for that."