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UNC-UNI Quotes
Release: 12/22/2016

North Carolina 85, Northern Iowa 42 • December 21, 2016

Postgame Quotes

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

 

Opening Statement

“My Christmas wish at halftime was to play better defense, and I think we did, but also they missed some shots that they normally make. I thought Kennedy Meeks was the difference. I got so mad at him in the first half. We talked about number two, Klint Carlson, going left, going left, going left, and [Kennedy] lets him drive in there and lay it up left-handed. So he did it a little bit later and I took him out. I was also discouraged with Isaiah [Hicks] and Joel [Berry II] because they both had two fouls and I couldn’t play them as much, and at least both of them, Joel’s second one and Isaiah’s first one, were silly fouls. You don’t need to do those kind of things so you can stay and play in the basketball game.

"But in the second half, again I though defensively we were much better…For us, good defense leads to some breaks, and I think that helps us. Rebounding, they were so worried about our break they didn’t send many guys to the boards. At halftime I don’t think they had any offensive rebounds and they finished with three.”

 

On Kennedy Meeks as the difference in the game

“I thought he was the difference in the game the second half. He was into it. He got his arm out there denying. You saw him switching. You saw him playing defense the way he can play...I went and told him things if I had told yah, I’d have to kill yah. It’s just some things, as the coach I was really proud of him.”

 

On playing with a small line-up

“We went with Justin [Jackson] as the four-man to try to match them up, and I told our guys I didn’t want to do that in the second half. I wanted them to have to match us. I wanted to go big, and that depended on Kennedy and Isaiah playing, playing defense without fouling and being productive inside, and as long as they do that I wanted to stay big. If they’re not going to give you something then we’ll go small. We did it for foul trouble more than anything, except I was mad at Kennedy.”

 

On Kennedy Meeks this season compared to previous years

“Against Wisconsin, I thought he was sensational. I thought he was the best player we had in that game. In the second half, I though he was the best player in the game for us today. He’s got to have that attention, and got to have that attention to detail and listen. Defensively, I have no idea who’s going to win the defensive player of the game, but I think he’s going to have the best grade that he’s had in awhile….Last year, he stayed out of Brice [Johnson]’s way is the best thing he did, because Brice was pretty doggone good. But I do think he helped us his first three years with his passing and some other things, and I think now he’s helping us on the defensive end and scoring in the low post.”

 

On the NCAA’s third notice of allegations

“My reaction is I’m tired of this junk. I’ve said everything I’m going to say. I felt all along that we have done the right thing, and whatever they do they have to do. Our athletic director was a great guy here at Christmas and told me if I wanted to tell everybody to talk to him that they could talk to him, and that’s what I’m close to doing because I’m tired of the junk. I did have one goal, and I’m going to have to change it. I had hoped the NCAA thing would be over with before I retired, and now I’m hoping it will be over with before I die.”

 

Northern Iowa Head Coach Ben Jacobson

On improvement

“I think him (Bennett Koch) and Klint (Carlson) both got some confidence. Klint started the game aggressive with a little bounce in his step, made some good plays, and continued to make some good plays. Bennett was just much more comfortable. That’s something, for our team, Bennett and Klint both need to be involved in what we’re doing offensively. For Klint to get off to a good start and play well for a lot of the game, for Bennett to just get back in that scoring column and make some plays on the block and get some points for us, that was important tonight. But it’s also going to be important for us going forward.”

 

On foul trouble and defense

“We’ve got to find a way to limit that [foul trouble], so we can be on the floor for longer stretches. This is a hard team, not only are their guys that start the basketball game are big and physical, can make plays and go and rebound, but they bring guys off the bench that continue to do the same thing. So you’re playing against somebody no matter who is in the game, with the ability to score the ball. They also do such a great job of having that emphasis of throwing the ball inside. If they don’t get something easy, that game is going inside. In this game, Bennett along with the other guys in there, they were going to have to defend the block a number of the possessions in this basketball game, and then you’ve got to fight to get some rebounds. I think you’ll take more good out of this one than not.”

 

On the game as a whole

“Happy to see us comeback and have a better determination about us and a better competiveness about us in the first half. It felt like we were able to do the things that we wanted to do coming into the game for a half. But, when they said, ‘Hey, this is the way it’s going to be, and you’re going to have to do something about it,’ we didn’t meet that challenge to start the second half. I like the fact that coming off of Saturday that we came back and were more competitive and did the things that we had worked on. But, those first five minutes of the second half, that was the game, and we didn’t respond well enough.”

 

 


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