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UNC-Long Beach State Quotes
Release: 11/16/2016

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams


Opening Statement

“It looked like the third game in five days a lot of times out there, and we caught Long Beach [State]. They’ve had a heck of a travel schedule as well being in Wichita [Kansas] Sunday night, and flying to Charlotte and busing down here. But you’ve got to win some games ugly and they had something to do with making us look ugly. We’ve got to still do a better job on the offensive backboards. They had 13 points on offensive rebounds in the first half, but they had more opportunities. They didn’t shoot it well. In the second half, they shot it a little better and only got four points in the second half, but Joel Berry [II] was really good – seven for ten from the floor, 23 points, six rebounds, four assists, one turnover. Didn’t like him getting the two fouls in the first half. Had to manage because he had two, Tony [Bradley] had two, Isaiah [Hicks] had two and tried to get to halftime with everybody just having two, and that got some other guys some minutes, but it was good. We had nine guys play 17 or more minutes. First ten minutes of the second half, other than Isaiah’s dunk on the fast break on the lob, it was about as bad offensively as I’ve seen us in 31 practices, in three games and one exhibition. But again we’re more gifted and made enough shots and again I thought that they made us look bad on the backboards. We’ve got to find a way to cure that. We’ve always been a great rebounding team and I know you look and we’ve got 45 rebounds to their 33, but I always look at margin number one but how many points they get on offensive rebounds, so we have to do a better job there. Again, Seventh [Woods] had 17 minutes, Kenny  [Williams] had 17, Tony had 18, and would have had more if he hadn’t been in foul trouble in the first half, so I like that.”

On being aggravated by the offense in the second half

“It was sloppiness and inattention to detail. Kennedy [Meeks] can’t post up and stay in there the whole time, he has to get out so we have some space to drive, and he was in there. Isaiah never went in there, because he thought that Kennedy was in there all the time, and then Justin [Jackson] started driving from the wing, and Kenny cut in and just ran right into Justin. Spacing was really bad. Movement was really bad, and that’s what caused the spacing to be so bad. The good news is we have a couple of days that we can practice this a little bit, and then one game, and then another day that we can practice before we get to Maui. Again, three games in five days is not easy, and losing Luke [Maye] and not having Theo [Pinson] to start with, that’s made us a little short. We spent quite a bit of time with Justin as four-man, and I like his line when he looked down there and –six for 13 is not great, but he missed his first three or four, but he also had ten rebounds so I like 14 points and ten rebounds, and he spent more time at the four then I would have liked him to.”

On the evolution of Joel Berry II

“Well I think the biggest thing he did is that he had a heck of a year last year. I mean he was a big time player. He was the MVP of the ACC tournament. So that gave him a great deal of confidence, and what he did over the course of the summer. He continued to work, put in the time shooting the basketball.  I told him I didn’t like him getting the second foul because the second one was just a silly foul and then he ran the guy down from behind, which I love, but would have been called a block in the back if it was in football, so it was a foul. He’s really worked hard on his game. He listens. He tries to do what I want him to do. Basically he’s been setting the tone of the defense by getting out and pressuring the guy without fouling. First three games, he’s had a heck of a start.”

On having one player as “the guy”

“I hope I never have a team that somebody looks for the guy as the guy…I like five guys in double figures, and a guy that is the guy will step up and be willing to make the play. I think if you’re all the time, I mean we lost a game because somebody was waiting for Marcus [Paige] to come around on a screen, Kennedy [Meeks] didn’t set a screen, that’s what you get.”

On Seventh Woods’ performance

“Seventh is still a freshman. I’m not calling him Seventh because I haven’t seen the guy I recruited show up yet, but he’s going to get here. But he did have six assists. When he gets completely healthy, because he’s been battling little nagging injuries, but I do think that we really need him to be a player, need him to be a player that I think he can be.”

On not having Coach Steve Robinson in Maui

“You know we did it in Tulane and weren’t happy about it. It’s uncomfortable for me. It’s year 22, I think he passed Coach [Joe] Holladay. I think Joe was with me 21 years, or 20 or 21. So I’m comfortable with him. The guys are comfortable with him. I hate it because we’re not going to a place where there’s 24 feet of snow and wind. It’s a nice place to go and we’ve had some good moments in the Maui Tournament. We won a couple of them. But I’ll miss him from a personal viewpoint, but he’s got to take care of his body. He had a great line today, he said if it was going to happen he wished it happen next week, then he could have stayed in Hawaii for a month.”

On the value in going to the Maui Invitational

“I’ve always thought that getting them going on the road for an extended time period helps your team chemistry, if you’re successful. If you’re not successful, sometimes it shows the warts, but if it’s really good and you’re not successful and your team pulls together than it’s even stronger though than it would be if you were successful. But I like the fact that our guys are together, and spending time together, and getting to know each other a lot more. We are going to Pearl Harbor; make sure they understand some things that went on in history. So I like it, not just because I like Hawaii, but we do go to Maui every four years for a reason.”


Long Beach State Head Coach Dan Monson

Opening Statement

“Well, I’m disappointed that we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to come out here and play a little bit better early. I thought our guys fought to stay in, but when you’re down 14-0 against a six rated team, or 16-2 whatever it was, it was just disappointing that we didn’t start better. Coming off a Monday I think we were a little bit hesitant and you can’t hesitate. We were not very aggressive offensively. We let the shot clock get down and they took us out. And they’re very good. They took us out of the game in the first ten minutes.”

On moving forward

“We’ve got Louisville on Thursday. So we’re up at 4:30 [a.m. Wednesday] and out of here at 5 [a.m.]. This is a true preseason for us. This game will help us get better. Hopefully Thursday will too. We just have to continue to improve.”


North Carolina Player Quotes

Kennedy Meeks, Senior, Forward

On how it feels to play three games in five days

“It’s not an excuse. I think we do a great job of getting in the cold tub, stretching every day, and coming in here on off days and getting work done with our bodies. I don’t think that’s an excuse. We just had some bad lapses that Coach [Williams] got on us about.”

On adjusting to the new lineup

“It helps me a lot as far as spacing. I don’t think we did a great job of spacing today and getting Justin [Jackson] those shots he usually gets, but we’ll get better at that. With Luke [Maye] being out, it gave more of us an opportunity to dominate down low and I think guys like Tony did a great job getting in his post position. Isaiah [Hicks] kind of had an off day, but he’ll be back. It’s just a work in progress and I think that Coach [Williams] does it for a reason.”

On whether or not Joel [Berry II] has become more vocal

“Yeah, I think so. I think he’s a great leader for us. I think he’s definitely picking up some slack from Marcus [Paige] and Brice [Johnson] being those vocal leaders for us, getting us going. He gets us going by his defensive play, by picking up full court and getting our team going. That’s what he does best. I think when he does that, everybody is high energy and effort.”


Justin Jackson, Junior, Forward

On playing physically:

“Honestly, the past two games, the teams did a really good job of boxing us out, and today there were a couple of times I was able to slip off of my defender and get some. Overall, I’d probably say I was just a little bit more, you could say physical, but just overall a little bit more aggressive.”

On his role with Luke Maye out:

“Coach gives me the freedom to still run the play as the four. Once things kind of breakdown and we go into freelance, he gives me a lot of freedom just to move around wherever, so it’s more of a four out, one in. For me, my aggressiveness doesn’t change. Me looking for my shot doesn’t change. I’m just a different position.”

On his effort to be more aggressive:

“Tonight, my shot didn’t fall, so I just tried to do other things to help my team. Whether that’s being more aggressive to rebound, being more aggressive to take the ball to the basket, whatever it is, I just felt like I needed to do something else for the team.”


Joel Berry II, Junior, Guard

On his performance this year compared to last:

“I am just getting more shot opportunities. I am just trying to shoot it and make it this time and that’s always my thought process. I am just trying to take open shots and not try to force anything or play on the outside of my game. I am just trying to do what I got to do to help this team win and if that’s knocking down shots, you know I am capable of doing that.”

On being ready for a challenge:

“I think that is what the whole team wants. We want a good challenge. We still have to go out there and play our hardest, so we can try and get better. I think going out to Maui and playing against some better competition will help us out.”

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