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UNC-Monmouth Postgame Quotes
Release: 12/29/2016

North Carolina 102, Monmouth 74 • December 28, 2016

Postgame Quotes

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

 

Opening Statement

“Well, we won. It was an ugly game at times. It got a little out of hand with the technical and helped Joel [Berry II] with some points. I was worried; last night I felt like junk, and Joel felt like junk, and I was just hoping he could player better than I could coach. He got two IVs today. I got two IVs today. He was able to play and probably played better than I coached, but we need him to get healthy so we can get some things out of him. At the same time, you thought Kennedy [Meeks] early and Justin Jackson shooting from the three-point line [was good], and after that I wasn’t very pleased with much of the stuff. Seventeen turnovers, 11 turnovers in the second half – it was frustrating. King’s guys – 10, 11 and 12 – [Micah] Seaborn, [Je’lon] Hornbeak and [Justin] Robinson, those were the three guys we talked about. At halftime they were the only three guys that had scored, so we hadn’t done a very good job defensively on them…Some of us didn’t feel well. We got through with the W, and we’ve got to start playing a heck of a lot better now ‘cause it’s a different ball game now.”

On Monmouth Head Coach King Rice

“He’s a great guy, great kid. He’s a silly kid to me because I’m so old, but I remember recruiting him 100 years ago and thought he was one of the toughest kids I’d ever been around. We’ve had some good heart-to-heart talks. My first year back here he was in town. Hubert Davis was in town. They came and played pick-up with our guys almost every night. Practice started, and they played against our guys, and they set the tone for my entire 14 years here. He’s a competitive rascal, and what he did last year – they beat Notre Dame, they beat UCLA, they beat USC. They had more road wins than anybody else in college basketball last year, and it’s just the way the system is set up that they didn’t make the tournament. But they‘d won 38 games up until this point. Extremely proud of him. He’s a great great guy. He got a little frustrated with the officials, and that took a great deal away from what I’d hoped to be a great experience for him.”

On coaching Kennedy Meeks like Brice Johnson

“Needle him or beg him, it’s which words you want to use. It’s a little bit of both, but I was really pleased with the game the other day. Against Wisconsin, I said he was the best player on the floor, but I think the game the other day, he really did some really good things defensively that helped us, and I think early on he did some really good things for us today offensively.”

On playing games against former players or coaches

“No, I don’t like it at all, but they want to do it because it helps their program and/or they want the money for their program. I think I’ll always give King [Rice] more money than I give anybody else, that’s not a former player. During the game, I try not to look at the other team’s bench hardly at all, and I started that in 1991 when I was playing against Coach [Dean] Smith or coaching against Coach Smith in the Final Four. Once the game started, I never looked at their bench, and that way I can coach the game and do what I’m supposed to do. And then as soon as it’s over with, you look at that guy and it’s like Jerod [Haase] down in Birmingham [UAB]. I mean they beat us, and he was almost apologizing to me. So at that moment I hate it, but whoever it’s been in the state, if they ask about playing, I try to do what they want to do because it does help them ‘cause I give them more money than I give anybody else.”

 

Monmouth Head Coach King Rice

 

Opening Statement

“I have to start off and just say thank you to Coach Williams. He treats me like I’m one of his sons. He always tries to take care of me, since I was a kid. I am the luckiest guy that in 1987 Coach Smith gave me a scholarship, and it has made me have a great, great, great life. Sometimes I still let things bother me too much, but I am the luckiest man that I got the chance to play at North Carolina. The relationships I have, tonight I had Jimmy Black sitting with J.R. Reid and Coach Ford, and many, many more that came today because I was here with my team. And I am thankful to all the coaches, Coach Ford, Coach Wiel, Coach Harp, Coach Gut (Guthridge). All of them helped me. They took a hardheaded young kid and turned him into a man. It took me a little longer than some other people. So tonight, I can take losing. I truly can take losing. I thought we would be closer in the game. I thought the game was closer than the ending. Sometimes you just have to write it as a learning experience. I have to become a better coach and not let other people on the court besides the players affect me so much. I am working on it extra hard, and when I get that part done our team is going to be a lot better.” “I am a proud, proud, proud Carolina man. It should never, ever, ever be more exciting to get biscuits than to win a basketball game. That is all I got.”

On coaching against Roy Williams

“It is pretty cool. He is a Hall-of-Famer. I think he is great. I think what he has done with the program since he has been here has been top notch. I am proud that he is the coach at North Carolina. I hope he does it for twenty more years. I hope people appreciate what they have in him because sometimes I think, even from the inside, people don’t understand how lucky you are to have a man like Roy Williams run your program. He is top notch as a man, as a coach, as a mentor, and we are lucky that he is the coach at North Carolina. We must always remember how much he loves this place. If you ever feel funny, listen to how much Coach Williams loves North Carolina, and it will make you love it more.”

On the atmosphere

“We had a freshman sitting out that just from the excitement of sitting in the building, he said, ‘Coach, can we please play them again next year?’”

On takeaways from the game

“It is like, wow, we didn’t have our best night tonight. North Carolina is awesome. I love that I had the chance to come here. All my boys were here tonight, my mom came – she lives in Charlotte now. It was like a family reunion.”

 

North Carolina Players

Justin Jackson, Junior Forward

On shooting performance tonight

“It felt good. I think the biggest thing was that my teammates found me. Tony [Bradley] set some great screens at the top of the key. Most of it just goes to them finding me and setting screens for me. All of it is preparation and then just stepping into it confidently knowing that before this I shot a ton of the same shots in workouts and in practice. All of it definitely goes to preparation.”

On playing a bigger role this year

“I knew coming into the season that there would be a little more put on myself. There was going to be more put on everybody because of the fact that Brice [Johnson] and Marcus [Paige] left. I just try to prepare myself before the season and even during the season for the games and then try and take advantage of it during games.”

On moving forward into ACC play

There are some things that we have got to do better going against ACC teams. This is where it really counts. This is where it goes down in the column that really matters for us. There are definitely things that we’ll fix, there are things that we’ll get better at and we have to keep it going.”

 

 

Isaiah Hicks, Senior Forward

On turnovers

“We had 17 turnovers. That’s what Coach was stressing about. For us, we have to do better than that. I think that was the most turnovers we’ve had all season. Especially going into ACC play, playing like that is not going to do well.”

On the team right now

“We can be great if we cut out the little marginal stuff, cut out the stuff that we do like turnovers, continue to play hard. Like today, we came out strong that’s what we have to do all the time but there’s some moments where we lacked on defense. We’ve got to play all 40 minutes. You can’t take breaks.”

On Focus

“Ever since we got back from Hawaii, that’s when we started being a little slow. We would dig ourselves a hole and then wait to get back into it. I would say tonight was a good thing because we actually started off the way we wanted to start off, Justin got hot.”

On his hair

My mom said she wanted to try something. I was home, so I just let her. I don’t like the way I look with that hair cut [Marcus Paige’s last year], so that’s the big reason it’s not coming off.”

 

Kennedy Meeks, Senior Forward

On what he changed to improve his play

“Being more aggressive, wanting to be dominant, wanting to be the person the guys look to down low. Of course when guys like Joel [Berry] and Nate [Britt] are not scoring, I have to step in and fill in right there. So I think these last couple of games I have really been focusing on rebounding first, because it is the most important part. Then the scoring will come.”

On readiness for ACC play

“I think we are ready. I think we need to work on a few things defensively. 50/50 balls we need to get better at. Other than that, the main thing is keep hitting the offensive glass and keep boxing out. Keep those good teams, especially off the glass.”

On lessons learned after Indiana and Kentucky game

“Of course you don’t ever want to start off being down because you have to fight your way back. When you hit the teams off right away, it takes their energy, and takes some of their focus….The biggest thing is that you have to come out and be ready to play from the jump.”


UNC North Carolina Men's Basketball


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