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Zeller Update And Other Roy Williams Monday Quotes

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I bet Roy hates Mondays.

From the weekly radio show on Zeller:

The decision has not been made. He was released to start practicing. He practiced Thursday and Friday of last week. For half of the practice, he was out on the court with us, and the other half of the practice he was with our strength and conditioning coach. And during the time period that he was out there with us, he did half of that. So he basically did 25 percent of practice. We’re going to wait and see how Tyler performs.

Again, he’s been out for 12 weeks. Very seldom do you have somebody to be away from something for 12 weeks and be able to come back in in three days and be able to perform at the highest level, and that’s what we’re trying to do is perform at the highest level. We have no idea what the final decision will be. What we’re going to do is practice Tyler for a week to 10 days, see how he feels, and I’ll give him an evaluation, and then I’m going to back off. I’m going to allow him to have 99 percent of the decision whether to play this season, the last five or six games and hopefully a few more in the tournament, or to stay out for the year.

Ten years ago, I would not even have allowed him to consider it. It would not have even been a thought. But in today’s times, with kids leaving early and Tyler has a wonderful opportunity down the line to potentially be able to play basketball for a living. But if he does not feel that he’s competing at a high level, and if our staff does not feel that he is very successful at a high level, it would be silly to bring him back. So the idea of Marcus’ decision having any bearing on Tyler, it has zero decision. We’re going to decide what’s best for Tyler Zeller, and not what’s best for the North Carolina basketball team.

Sounds reasonable and should cover all concerns.  Roy will have his input and can even opt to shut it down as far as playing this season goes if Tyler Zeller is not up to speed.  If he is then he will put the ball(no pun intended) in Zeller's court for the final decision.  Let me say that this is one aspect I like about UNC basketball that the coaches do leave major decisions of this nature up to the players apart from team concerns.  The same cannot be said for what happens in Durham.

On a caller's suggestion UNC use zone more and press more:

“Don’t ever ask a coach, ‘Have you thought of…’, because I guarantee that I’ve thought of everything that you and all of your buddies could ever freakin’ think of. We’ve got five of us that are full-time coaches, 24 hours a day. I’m not a pharmacist, I’m not an insurance guy, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a banker. I am a coach. So there’s not one freakin’ thing that anybody’s going to think about that we haven’t thought about.

“And in saying all of that, you’re correct that the bench is thin and we’ve worked more on the zone in the past week and a half than we have at any point this year and that is one of the reasons. We even worked on some zone a little bit today. But now I’ll give you a contrary view – why would I want to press if we are a thinner team? Because now you’re asking us to play 50-by-94 instead of guarding in a halfcourt situation, so it’s a stamina question.

“We are going to press a little bit. We have pressed a little bit all year long, but if your bench is thin, you don’t want to spread out and play 94 feet. So we are still going to do it, but we’re not going to do more of it just because someone else does it. It’s not a strength of ours… We are thinner than we have been. We’ve lost three of our top-nine guys to start the season, so yes, we are working on a zone a little bit more and no, we are not going to press.”

First of all, if you go to 850 the Buzz they have the audio and in my humble opinion it does not sound as harsh as it may read here.  That being said, Roy is getting pretty freaking annoyed with questions from fans about how to run the team.  He has never liked doing the call-in show and I can see his point on stuff like this.  Imagine if you had to do a weekly hour session of people asking you questions about your job or how your run your family?  Yes, this is different but at the same time, this is what Roy does for a living and he is very good at it.  His staff is one of the best in college basketball.  As I alluded to in previous posts, fans only see a portion of the team, usually during the game and that is it.  We have no idea what kind of factors go into the decision to teach this defense or play this player.  In this respect I understand where Roy is coming from and he would be the first to admit to you that he does not handle such things as well as Dean Smith did.

As for the basketball side of it, yes Virginia, Roy Williams did practice a zone defense.  Not that I think it would be effective versus Duke since the last thing you want to do is give Greg Paulus or Jon Scheyer open looks despite the fact they are shooting 33% as a team from three point range.  Still it is nice to know he will make it an option.  As for the press, I am skittish about that.  The Heels seems to press poorly and give up easy baskets when they try it.  I think Ty Lawson harassing the Duke PG and maybe throwing a trap at half court might be just as effective.

From the ACC weekly conference call on Bobby Frasor:

Bobby Frasor is bringing a lot of attributes to the table, but how vital is it for him to knock down some shots down the stretch?
“Well, we’ll have to wait and see [laughing]. I don’t think that anyone wants them to go in more than Bobby, except maybe his Mom or Dad, that kind of thing. I still have a great deal of confidence in him. I’m still going to put him out there because of what he does in other areas. If a couple of his shots go in, then it’s an added bonus. He’s struggled to put the ball in the basket all year.

“The guy has missed half of the season the last two years – well, two-thirds of the season last year, and a half of a season the year before – so it’s been difficult for him to get back to where he was. But yet, I think he adds so much to us. As to whether I’d use the word vital or not, I don’t know that I would go that strong. But I know one thing – it would make me smile a heck of a lot more and him smile a heck of a lot more, and his Mom and his Dad, too.”

The thing about Bobby Frasor and his shooting woes is he has shown great restraint when it comes to shooting the ball.  Frasor only takes three pointers when he is open so in that respect he is not forcing anything.  Since his importance to the defense and general depth(such as it is) cannot be overstated, he will keep seeing minutes.  Frasor plays smart basketball and is one of the floor leaders on defense.  Sooner or later the shots have to fall and it does not have to be every game.  No one is expecting Frasor to turn into Wes Miller circa 2006 but if he can hit a few that may be the difference between winning or losing one night.  In the NCAA Tournament it might be a season saver.

Roy also mentioned consistency in terms of the way the team is playing noting that against Maryland the offense was great but the defense not so much.  The reverse was true against Virginia.  What he would like to see if consistency on both ends and a complete game.  I think against Duke would be a great time to do something like that.