Roy Williams and pretty much the whole team met with the media today. Who knows if they had time to practice when they were done considering how long it took. Allow me to give you the highlights.
- Roy does not think playing at Ford Field in December affords UNC any advantage. He is probably right in this regard, especially if the Heels end up facing MSU again since it would be a rematch. The biggest issue for Roy is the fact the floor is elevated and he had problems initially getting comfortable so he could see everything on the court. It would not surprise me to see Roy make an issue of the raised court at some point.
- When asked if the experience factor mattered and Roy indicated he thinks it does but they also "still have to play the game" though he believes the upperclassmen will help the freshmen in terms of knowing what to expect. Personally I think it gives UNC a greater advantage than folks are letting on. The Heels come in with a chip on their shoulder and will be less shaken by the environment.
- When asked about the game in 1985 UNC lost to Villanova, Roy said he was actually interviewed for a head coaching job and asked to make a decision. He refused saying he was focused on UNC beating Auburn(I watched that game from a hospital bed as I recall.) As a result he did not get the job.
- According to Roy, the team has benefited from getting Tyler Zeller back, especially in terms of depth. Roy wishes he could play him more but Zeller is still going to be more experienced as a result.
- Roy is asked about the Kansas game and boy did he ever get rolling on that one. He is hoping that the Heels show up more ready in this Final Four game. Roy then went on to say that it was a game that will bother him forever because of the "scenario" and because of the level of criticism he took over not calling a timeout when Kansas was beating the ever living crap out of the Heels. On top of that, Roy was apparently dealing with the stomach flu that night and throwing up in a towel on the bench. Some of the rest of us nearly threw up when Kansas' lead hit 40-12 but I digress. At one point Roy asked Steve Robinson to call a play from the bench, something he has never done mainly because Roy did not attend the Leonard Hamilton Coaching School. After all that, Roy made it clear that the whole Stickergate affair and the way people acted was patently unfair to him. Needless to say I hate stomach bugs but having one and still needing to coach a game with the added bonus your team forgot everything they ever knew about basketball has to be a nightmare scenario.
- Ty Lawson when asked about how it might feel if the Heels do not win the title: "I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to go into Final Four weekend thinking that we might lose, so I’m not going to answer that."
- Deon Thompson: "We’re definitely more experienced. We have a little bit of a chip on our shoulders, something to prove in getting back [after] the way last year’s Final Four ended. And we’re definitely more than excited to be able to go back there and redeem ourselves"
- Ed Davis on the NBA's interest in him: "I really don’t. I’m just focused on our next game with Villanova. That’s all I’m focused on right now.”
- These three guys in particular have their heads in the right place which is what I expect is the case for the rest of the team.