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UNC-North Carolina State Quotes
Release: 01/08/2017

North Carolina 107, North Carolina State 56 • January 8, 2017

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

Opening Statement

“Well, we were pretty doggone good, and the other part of that is Dennis [Smith Jr.] getting his third foul. Getting in foul trouble that early in the first half was a huge part of it too, but you sort of started snowballing. Justin [Jackson] made several threes there, and then all of a sudden it was just everything started going well for us. We’ve had some days that it was about as ugly as it can possibly be, and then today it was awfully pretty at times. One week ago yesterday, we were in Atlanta and Josh Pastner’s team outplayed our team, Josh Pastner out coached me and everything. So that’s college basketball and how things swing so quickly. Wednesday night, they were sensational. I watched that game and I said in the press conference Thursday that they were better in that game than anytime I’d seen Kentucky or Indiana before we played them. But Dennis is the leader of the pack, and him getting in foul trouble was huge for us… We set the tone defensively. I thought early we were good on the defensive end of the floor, and after the first couple of possessions the ball started going in the basket and it kept going in there. Again, it’s a crazy game. We had nobody that played over 23 minutes, but that’s college basketball. It’s about a wild a swing as you can see from the way we played at [Georgia] Tech compared to the way we played today, and I’m not going to speak for Mark [Gottfried]’s team but he’d probably say the same thing about his team the way they played Wednesday night to the way they played today.”

On thanking the crowd and maintenance crews

“I was really happy 16,000 people showed up. They were into the game. We gave them a lot of things to cheer about, but they were really into the game. [Thank you to] the maintenance crew and the people that did all of the work outside because it was a nightmare yesterday at five o’clock when I was leaving here. Everybody did a great job getting the place ready today.”

On Theo Pinson’s performance in his first game back

“I talked to him every time and said, ‘you don’t have to hit a home run,’ because on two of his three shots he tried to hit a home run. You know, just make the simple play. He’s, Clark Kellogg’s the first one I ever heard use this, a stat sheet stuffer. That’s who Theo is. He’s five assists, zero turnovers, four steals, five rebounds and 0-3 [shooting]. I wanted to get him some minutes. I had no idea how he would play. Probably what he did is about what I expected. During the course of the preseasons before he got hurt, he earned more minutes than that, so we’ve got to get him back to that stage.”

On Theo Pinson’s leadership style

“Tyler Hansbrough was a fantastic leader and he hardly said a word, but he just played as hard as he could every time so everybody felt like they had to play at that level. Marcus Paige said some things and played at a high level. David Noel did the same thing. Those are the guys that I say that are almost the perfect leaders because they back up their own talk with their play. Theo just talks. He just talks. He missed 16 games, he’d say, ‘come on, close out right,’ and he went flying out there at Maverick [Rowan]. Maverick went by him like a rocket. So he’s got to do that part, but he does have a high motor. Three, four, five years ago whenever it was when I started recruiting him I though his high motor was the most impressive thing about him. When he gets involved and he’s playing, people feed off of that. And he does understand the game. And again, great leaders are the ones that say it and do it both. There was nothing wrong with Tyler Hansbrough as a leader, but he very seldom said anything, but Theo’s going to talk so he does need to do the right thing when he’s on the court too.”

 

North Carolina State Head Coach Mark Gottfried

Opening Statement

“I thought North Carolina in the first half was just terrific. You’ve got to take your hat off to those guys. I thought Roy [Williams] had them ready to play. They made every shot, and it was the perfect storm. They were really good, and I think we were as bad as you could possibly be. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a team shoot as many air balls and miss five shots and turn the ball over the way we did. I think at the end of the day, in the first half, it was just them playing phenomenally well and us obviously playing very poorly. We’re going to move on from this game. We’re going to get ready to play on Wednesday, which you have to do in this league. I think we all watched it, and that was really a stinker on our part.”

On taking losses in stride

“This is the same team, my team, that just played against Virginia Tech about four or five days ago. It happens. You catch some teams on a day when they’re really good and you’re really bad. Things happen. In this conference, you’ve got to make sure you do not let a loss linger into the next game or not let a big win linger into the next game. We have to make sure we’re ready to play next week. We’re going to put this one behind us. We were bad. We acknowledge it. They were terrific. Time to move on to the next game.”

On the postponement

“Being postponed had nothing to do with how we played today.”

On his players’ preparedness for a rivalry game

“They started off so well, and we started off so poorly, turning the ball over. We rushed offensively. We were in a hurry. All of the sudden it goes from six to ten to fifteen, and now it’s kind of like an avalanche, trying to stop it. We didn’t have enough poise early on. We didn’t execute early on. I think overall, again, I look at our first half. I don’t know that we can play worse. I really don’t. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a team shoot as many air balls in one game. I really haven’t. We were bad. We’re going to acknowledge that. I was bad. We’re all bad. Bad day. But the sun will come up tomorrow, and we’re going to get ready to play on the road on Wednesday.”

On how the team will respond coming off of this loss

“I’ve said it many times to them. We beat a ranked opponent the other day. It only counts as one win. It doesn’t give us three wins. It’s only one. A loss is only one. We’ve got a lot left to play, so we’re going to get this one behind us quick.”

 

North Carolina Player Quotes

Joel Berry II, Junior, G

Effectiveness in transition

“Yeah, I think so. We’ve done a better job in practice of Coach [Williams] getting us up and down, trying to run and trying to get us to score more in our primary offense and in our secondary. And I think we did a great job of that today, and we’ve just got to continue to do that because that’s our pace. If we continue that pace it’ll be hard for teams to stop us in the transition.”

On today’s improved overall performance

“I think so [we’re making better decisions]. It also helps when you can get the ball off a rebound and not play against a set defense every time. Sometimes when the other team scores, they can get down and set up their defense, but today we were able to stop them from putting the ball in the basket and get those rebounds and get out in a break.”

On the scoring margin

“I mean, you don’t expect it, but we came out with great energy on the defensive end. Like I always say, it sounds repetitive but we’ve just got to continue to pick up on the defensive end, and we can get a little bit better. Starting the second half, we kind of let up a little, but if we continue that on the defensive end, it’s going to be hard to stop us.”

 

Justin Jackson, Senior, F

Having Theo Pinson back

“He just gives us more versatility out there. I think he went 5-0 assist to turnover ratio, five rebounds, four steals, so he can do a little bit of every thing for us. To have him back out there, that helps a lot.”

On dynamic of adding another player

“It’s just different. It’s hard for Coach because now he has to figure out how to rotate all three of those guys [Theo Pinson, Kenny Williams, Nate Britt] and then me too into that rotation. It’s just a little different trying to fit them in to what we already had, but I think after today and then kind of through practice and then maybe through the next game, Coach will get it all settled.”

 

Isaiah Hicks, Senior, F

On what increased production

“I would say the effort was much better. Coach Davis was one who said how much he really liked the effort. Coaches didn’t really have to talk about that. Usually at half time you would hear it, but today it was just teachings about basketball.”

On how today was like Maui and Las Vegas

“It is all on us. We have to play hard from the jump and be sure to not just play hard when we are down. It is on us to jump on a team in the beginning.”

 

Tony Bradley, Freshman, F

On the increase in energy

“I would agree there was an increase in energy, and I think the early start to the game caused that. With me not being from here, I heard a lot of talk about NC State being a rivalry game, and I think that that pushed us to play good basketball.”


UNC North Carolina Men's Basketball


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