Postgame Quotes • February 22, 2014
North Carolina 105, Wake Forest 72
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"You guys who have been here awhile have known and heard me say this a thousand times: everything looks so much better when the ball goes in the basket. And that's what happened tonight. First half, I thought for a long stretch early we weren't really into it. We were just trying to outscore them. And we were willing to give up too early on the defensive end. And they capitalized on that because we thought we could outscore them. And then I thought we beat them a little better defensively but it was just one of those games where we shot the ball really well. The ball went in the basket and we made free throws. It's amazing that you have the legs and the whole thing for doing that in four games in eight days. Four games in eight days is not easy by any means but we're practicing and guys did a nice job staying focused after that first six or seven minutes of the game, and I thought right before the half we had a nice little run to stretch it out to 19. Six guys in double figures, all five starters, a lot of things to like out there today, but the ball going in the basket is the best thing."
On practice Friday after the Duke game Thursday night
"We only actually were active doing things for about 45 minutes in practice, but the whole thing was just talking to them. Guys, it's what it is; it's our schedule. We've got to play it. You can't feel sorry for yourself. You've got to feel good about playing four games in eight days. If I were a player, I would have loved that. I tried to go from the positive side of it. And the other thing is that that shorter practice, you're young, you've got plenty of time for your legs to get back. It's how you handle it mentally. And that's all we talked about is just hey, it's what it is, let's go play, let's not worry about it, let's not make excuses. You did have a big win, but this game here today is just as important as Thursday night's game."
On differences in the team in the last eight days
"It wasn't just during this eight day stretch. Our kids have shown a lot greater attention to details. They've shown a greater sense of urgency. We've played pretty good basketball here in this whole stretch, not just in these eight days. And so, I didn't learn anything different because I thought we were playing pretty well before this four game stretch. I think today, when the ball goes in the basket, everything looks better."
On the motivation after losing to Wake Forest earlier this year
"I told them, I think it would be easy for me if someone beat my rear end last time, I wouldn't have any problem if it was four games in eight days or eight games in four days, I'd be ready to play their rear ends. And that was the other thing I said. They did, they whacked us the last time."
On taking the day off Sunday
"Tomorrow's going to be off, and then we'll go back to work on Monday. It's a long season. You can't just say, ‘Oh gosh, let's catch our breath. That's really good.' There's four games left to play, and everybody plays basically the same number of games. We've got four left, and I would assume everybody in the ACC has got about four left. So we're not any different than anybody else. Three on the road, one at home. Bottom line is, it's near the end of the season, and we've got to keep playing."
On differences in the team from the first time playing Wake Forest
"We're a lot better, but Wake Forest really played well. It wasn't just our poor play up there in Winston[-Salem], we beat them badly on the backboards that day, but that's the only place we beat them. Every other stat you look at, they really hurt us. They shot 21 layups that time, 46 points inside the lane, 17 turnovers for us the last time, so we're a lot better, and we caught them on a day where they didn't play well and our shots were going in."
UNC Player Quotes
Nate Britt, Fr., G
On Marcus Paige's demeanor
"He's always poised, he's even cool throughout the whole game no matter if we're down or up. No matter what's going on he keeps a calm demeanor and I feel like that's good for the rest of the team because he never get's flustered or too hype. I feel like the rest of us can feed off that...you can look at him and he will always be the same. That helps us, that is him being our leader. If we see that he's okay, then the rest of us will be okay."
On how much fun he is having right now
"I'm having a whole lot of fun right now. We just beat our rivals the other night. We lost to Wake [Forest] earlier in the season and we got a big win tonight. So I feel like I'm on cloud nine right now and I'm just hoping that we can keep the intensity going and just keep it moving forward."
On Wake Forest's intensity
"Not anything specifically. We were just worried about coming out and playing our game. We felt like we owed them one because we lost to them earlier in the season and whenever you lose to someone you always want to get them back. So we just wanted to make sure that we came out with more intensity defensively and be on our ‘A' game tonight."
Brice Johnson, So., F
On practice yesterday
"We went through everything we usually go through, just a little lighter because of our four game stretch. We did our scouting reports and pretty much had a regular practice just in shorter amount of time."
On how much losing to Wake Forest earlier in the season motivated him tonight
"I mean it was a big motivation, just knowing that we could have beat them the first time. We didn't play as well as we could have and we almost beat them but at the same time we didn't play up to par the way we are now. We still had that feeling where we said ‘it's been a long week' but we still had to play."
On the difference in playing Wake Forest now compared to earlier in the season
"It was our all-around playing, I guess we weren't ready to play them when we played them the first time. I was more ready this time especially because they beat us. Both times it was a team effort it's just last time they were running us and we weren't running them. They gave a little bit more effort at their place than we did."
Wake Forest Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik
"We let their guards be very comfortable and their perimeter players be comfortable. They were able to run their offense. Unless the ball is under your write, the defense just falls apart from there. For whatever reason we were not into the basketball and allowed them to be very comfortable."
On the differences in playing North Carolina this game versus the last meeting
"I think that they are playing with a lot more confidence right now. I think [Leslie] McDonald is starting to really get in the groove because he missed so many games early on. I can't remember exactly how many games he missed but it was unsettling, I'm sure, for them. Of course he gives them another scorer. I just think the confidence. Confidence is such a big thing in any sport, at any level, with any athlete."
On their defensive focus
"I work on it a lot. I think that we struggle ourselves from the free throw line. We've had some recent struggles and what happens is you work hard to get a good shot, manufacture a good shot and you work hard to have the opportunity to get free throws and you come up empty it just deflating and over a period of time it deflates you. We're not mentally strong enough yet to fight through those droughts offensively. When we've been shooting a good percentage in our last three games, Florida State, Maryland, and here, we've shot a good percentage. Just like today even in the first half 47 percent and the second half 52 percent, but we miss free throws and we're not defending. It starts with guarding the ball and I think a lot of Codi [Miller-McIntyre]'s injury has a lot to do with that.
On the success of the team around Marcus Paige
"Every really good team has a really good player, and you can't win at any level unless you have great guards. Marcus Paige is certainly a very, very good guard."
On if the team had an edge trying to beat North Carolina after a short rest
"No, first of all the motivation on the fact that we got them the firs time around helped them and gave Coach Williams something to bark on so to speak. They're excited over their past win. As you approach tournament play, you have to play every day. So no, I never thought about any kind of let down."