UNC-Virginia Tech Quotes
Release: 01/26/2017
North Carolina 91, Virginia Tech 72 • January 26, 2017
Postgame Quotes

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

Opening Statement:

“Theo [Pinson] rolled his ankle. We’ll see what it is but we didn’t want to push it putting him back in the game. I sent after him to come out there and sit on the bench thinking everyone would cheer like crazy for him. I’m not a very good director because that was the same time Justin [Jackson] made the big three and then I put all the walk-ons in, so nobody realized Theo had come back to the bench. It’s good for us, in fact a huge part of the game were Theo and Nate [Britt]. I think they made two baskets apiece early and got us back in the game a little bit. Rebounding again was big for us, still disappointed in our defense because of their field goal percentage. We get forty-three rebounds, they get twenty-two; we get seventy-three shots to their fifty-one, that always helps. Buzz [Williams], I really like his team and I really like what he does with his team. It makes it difficult for our four man as a post player to go out there and chase that guy around, but at the same time, it helps us to have those guys in there for rebound purposes. Shoot forty-seven percent from three and I think that always helps us. We had twenty-five assists; we did a lot of good things. We just have to get better at making someone miss instead of hoping and praying they miss. Let me do that on the bench, but the defense players I want them to make them miss.”

On what the team isn’t doing defensively:

“Not getting up in the guy’s face. If a guy scores on me, you know I couldn’t play worth a darn, but I was competitive. If anything, I’m not going to let a guy score on me and look back and think ‘Oh that’s a good shot.’ I don’t ever congratulate anybody. Just play defense. A couple times we had a third guy who got involved in the screen on the ball and wasn’t supposed to, and all of a sudden, his guy is open out there. The other thing is they’re (Virginia Tech) a good basketball team. Some teams are going to make shots, but we do have to do a better job defensively.”

On making so many three-point shots:

“Yeah, if we hadn’t been making some of them I would have been going crazy because we need to get more touches for our inside guys. Kennedy [Meeks] got seven field goals out of thirteen attempts, but Isaiah [Hicks] needed to get more. They need to move better inside. I asked them at the end of the first TV timeout, ‘We’re shooting all these threes. That’s why they’re playing a zone. Why do you want to do what their coach wants you to do? I want you to do what I want to do.’ Kennedy and Isaiah, I took them out and I think they were the first two substitutes because they weren’t moving the right way inside.”

On season his assists:

“I think we are unselfish. The thing I really liked more than anything was only seven turnovers, one of which was Nate’s silly dribbling on the baseline and Kenny [Williams] dribbling the ball out of bounds coming down the court and Seventh [Woods] had a walking call across from their bench. So to me, those were three unforced turnovers so I like that part even better than the assists. I think my team is very unselfish. I think they look to pass. They’re not coming off the screen all the time thinking ‘shot,’ but they come off the screen trying to see other people and I think that’s good.”

On prioritizing rebound versus shooting to go from good to great:

“I think to go from good to great, our defensive field goal percentage has to improve. I think the other things will keep you in the game, but if you really want to be great, you have to guard people better. I think last year we led the league in defensive field goal percentage in conference games, and we also won the league. I think both of those go hand in hand.”

On effectiveness on the boards:

“We emphasize it. I got mad at Kenny, and then Kenny just ran in there and the ball went right to him. So those kinds of good things happen. A good offense is running the break first and trying to get to the highest percentage shot you can get, but against a set defense, you want to take a shot that everybody on your team wants you to take with the board covered. That’s the definition of a good shot—taking the shot everyone wants you to take with the board covered, and we try to do that all the time. Kennedy again tonight played patty-cake with it a little bit.”

On concerns about Theo Pinson:

“There’s always concern but it’s something we’ll just wait and see. I’m not a doctor so I don’t make those plans. I have not had a doctor yet tell me to play man or zone so I don’t tell them what to do. We’ll find out what happens tomorrow. If they did try to tell me to play man or zone, I’d tell them to go fly a kite. I expect I’d get the same answer from them.”

On reasons for good three-point shots:

“We practice. We have some pretty good shooters. We practice shooting a lot, but most of the shots, with the exception of Justin’s when the shot clock was winding down, were shots we work on everyday in practice. We have guys who understand who the shooters are. Kennedy so far hasn’t taken a three and Isaiah hasn’t taken a three, but Justin and Joel, they’ve made five and five and they’re our two highest percentage shooters.”



North Carolina Players

Justin Jackson, Junior, Forward

On the team’s performance tonight:

“I thought we played pretty well. Defensively, we gotta get a few more stops. But I think overall we had some good intensity. If we can get some more stops and have those translate, I think we’re right where we want to be.”

On three point shots:

“I think Coach said we shot 47 percent. That is just from guys stepping into it confidently. I mean, Joel [Berry] shot great and Kenny [Williams] shot good. I think everyone was just stepping into their shots confidently and we are ready to shoot.”

On making that last three:

“The funny thing is, during shootaround, me, Kennedy [Meeks], Shea [Rush], and Nate [Britt] had a contest to see who could get to seven first, shooting from who knows where on the court. So maybe that kinda got me ready. I just tried to shoot it like any other shot and it went in for me.”

On ball movement:

“Anytime we get the ball moving, you have way more space to shoot. The way we moved the ball tonight and the way we were able to work it inside, the bigs did a good job kicking it back out, because a lot of times they doubled. Whenever we got it inside, it made them collapse, and then we kept moving the ball and it helped out.”


Kennedy Meeks, Senior, F

On team rebounding dominance:

“I think it is definitely effort. When you come out and your teammate misses a shot and you fight around and box out to try and get the ball, the ball is going to come to you sooner or later. It just so happened that it came to us a lot tonight. Me, Isaiah [Hicks], Tony [Bradley], and Luke [Maye] work on that in practice all the time. We are hitting the boards as hard as we can.”

On seeing other top teams lose:

“We talked about it more as a team rather than with Coach [Williams] because he expects us to win every game. The main thing was we saw the Florida State loss and knew that we moved up to number one [in the ACC]. We want to stay there and stay on top. For us, what’s in our locker room, is in our locker room and we have to take care of business. I feel like this team is definitely capable of doing that.”



Joel Berry II, Junior G

On improving defensively:

“We just have to make sure guys are uncomfortable and make sure their field goal percentage goes down. I think over the last couple of games teams have been shooting over 40% and that is something that we don’t want to happen. If we can start getting the field goal percentage down and guard guys like we want to guard, I think that will make him [Coach Williams] happy.”

On three-point shooting tonight:

“With Kennedy [Meeks] and Isaiah [Hicks] inside, we want to get the ball down to them. That’s what we want to do and what our offense is built on. They came out in a zone and wanted to double team our big men and they just gave us open opportunities from the three-point line. I know Justin [Jackson] hit one long three, but other than that I thought we had a couple of wide open jump shots.”

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