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January 18, 2009

Roy Williams Postgame Comments

CHAPEL HILL --- What did UNC head coach Roy Williams have to say after his Tar Heels knocked off Miami Saturday night in the Smith Center?

Opening Statements:

"Well, the last four to five---maybe five minutes of the first half---I think was crucial for us. We were down a bunch, and I think we had been going through the motions. I told them, 'You can't play basketball if you are not into it emotionally, mentally, physically, and everything.' I even felt like---and one of the coaches agreed---that we sort of started feeling sorry for ourselves because they (Miami) were making a bunch of shots, and some of those shots I thought we did a decent job of guarding them, but over the course of a game if you do a decent job of guarding them, at least you give them an opportunity to miss instead of just hoping they miss."

"But I thought the last five minutes of the first half was crucial, and then early in the second half we were still pretty good defensively, and then Wayne (Ellington) got it going, and it was fun to see that youngster have some success, because it has been tough on him. Nobody has wanted to make shots more than he has. He has worked at it, and he has kept a wonderful attitude and tried to do things to help us in other ways, but it was fun to see his shot going in like it was in the second half."

"Tyler (Hansbrough) has 20 at the half, and then couldn't get anything going in the second half, and Wayne didn't do anything in the first half and got all 23 (of his points) in the second half. I told him after the game I need to run him more because he got out of shape because he made seven (three-pointers) in a row and then missed those two because he just lost his legs on that."

"I think another key to the game was Ty Lawson's defense late in the first half and his defense in the second half. I knew it wasn't very good early---he had two turnovers and no assists when we were down nine or whatever, and then after that he had eight straight assists without a turnover. It's nice to have shots go in for us. We struggled a little bit shooting the basketball, and I still think we can be a great shooting team. We had a difficult time keep them off the boards and trying to guard (Miami's) Jack McClinton is really difficult."

How can a performance like this help Wayne Ellington's confidence?

"I have no idea, but I would think it would make him (Ellington) feel good. When you make a lot of putts you think you can make another one. Hopefully, that will be good for him, but he's been a tough youngster. He has kept after it, and he knows that I have kept faith in him, but he's worked himself into the position, and he made a bunch of shots tonight and feels good about it."

Thoughts about Miami's rebounding abilities:

"They had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, and I guess they finished with 16. I think you have to understand that they were a good rebounding team before they got to the Smith Center. They were leading the ACC in rebound margin, so we knew that was going to be a big part of the game. I think the first 15 minutes of the first half it was their work on the backboards and our turnovers were the reason the score was the way it was and the reason we were playing so poorly."

Thoughts about the team's defensive efforts against Miami's Jack McClinton:

"I think Danny (did a good job on McClinton), and Bobby (Frasor) did a nice job when he was in there on McClinton too, but he is hard to guard. They set two or three screens for him. He can also put it on the floor and take it to the basket. But I think Danny's blocks and Ed (Davis's) blocks got the crowd going, but it didn't get our team going."

"After all that stuff was over, you look up and we are still down seven or eight, but I do think that it really started when Ty started getting more pressure on the ball. We got two or three steals out in the middle of the court that we converted to baskets. In one of them he goes diving down on the floor and ended up getting it to the other end too."

Did the halftime adjustments work on McClinton, or did he just cool off?

"You know, saying it was halftime adjustments gives too much credit to the coaches. I think our kids did a better job of what we wanted to do in the first part of the game. Again, he (McClinton) made a couple of tough ones. I told them during a timeout, 'Again, let's just make sure that we are there and not hope that he misses.'"

"I think we guarded him a little bit better in the second half. Whether or not he got tired or whatever, I don't know, but we were more attentive. We were more attentive to him in the second half than we were (Dwayne) Collins inside, so they (Miami) have got a nice balance."

Does Lawson's defense create a trickle-down effect in terms of slowing down opposing passes?

"I think it is a tremendous trickle-down (effect). I think that you set that stage, the guy is not comfortable, and all of his passes are not right on the money, and when a guy is coming off of a screen, he likes to catch the ball in a shooting pocket, and when you have that kind of pressure those passes aren't there."

Thoughts about Bobby Frasor's performance at point guard?

"I think he did (do a good job at point guard). It was just three or four minutes. Again, sometimes you sit over there and you've got to try something. I wanted to give us a little bit different look, and I knew he (Frasor) had moved the ball very well and he did. And I thought Larry (Drew) was better when he got back in the second half except for the turnover across from our bench, but sometimes when things aren't going right you feel like you've got to try something."

Does this mean that Bobby could play more point guard over the course of the season?

"He could, but I mean at Virginia I thought Larry was really good. I've told you guys before, I don't have a blueprint. I'm going to play who I feel like is going to do the job at that time. If they are ugly or good-looking, it makes no difference. If I feel like they are going to do a good job then I'm going to put them in there."

Thoughts about Ed Davis and his transition to college:

"He (Davis) has been doing a good job for us all year. He's a defender-rebounder, and he's going to get better and better offensively. He gives us that third post guy that can run in there and give Tyler and Deon (Thompson) a breather. He can block some shots---which changes a lot of things that the other guys do---so he's made a nice transition.



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