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My Practices Are Not Designed For Your Enjoyment

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That was what Norman Dale told his players in the movie Hoosiers after one of them complained practice, which was all running and fundamentals, was not fun. That apparently will be the case today in Chapel Hill based on Roy Williams comments in the ACC teleconference this morning. Via UNC Now:

"We haven’t practiced yet," Williams said. "We had a meeting this morning. As soon as I finish this call, we’ll go practice but I haven’t seen anything that I liked. There is nothing related to Saturday’s game that I liked. And we’ll have to see how we respond in practice today. But the smartest thing I’ve ever done as a coach is not say too much to them, or to not say anything to them until today.

"That’s given me 48 hours."

So what kind of signs will Williams look to judge whether his team is responding the right way?

"See if we live," he said.

Asked to elaborate, Williams said, "I don’t think it needs much elaboration."

"We’ve got to have great practices," he said. "I mean, we’re not going to go up and beat Virginia Tech just because we lost on Saturday. People say, ‘Oh, they’re going to bounce back.’ Makes no difference. We can go up there and play well and still not be successful. We’ve just got to do a heck of a lot better job."

Roy cut the teleconference early so he could get to practice.

Well, that should make most of you happy. Not that I totally disagree. Roy should absolutely put them through a tough practice today then get back on standard routine and prepare for Virginia Tech. And when Roy said he hasn't talked to the team he is not kidding. Apparently after the game he walked into the locker room, looked at them then walked out without saying a word which is a shot across the bow of the players that he expects them to fix it. That is why all the talk from Roy about his coaching job is public shielding but in private the players will be handled every bit like this is their responsibility.

If you are looking for a similar situation from the Roy Williams era at UNC, the loss at Virginia Tech in 2007 comes to mind. UNC went on the road to Blacksburg and had a second half similar to the one UNC had at FSU on Saturday. The Heels trailed at the break and in the second half were smacked around for 16 of the final 20 minutes. The Heels were down as much a 23 after being ahead by eight at one point in the first half(31 point swing.) The major difference between the two games is (1) that team was much younger with a freshmen starting backcourt and (2) that team was down 20 with 3:48 left in the game and got within three at point before losing by six. So it is not totally analogous in respect to how the game unfolded at the end but it certainly is in the way UNC fell apart during the game. It may also offer some insight into how the loss gets handled because I seem to recall Roy putting them through a tough practice after that loss as well. The next game was a road trip to Clemson, who was 17-1 at the time. UNC won by 22.

Will this team respond the same way? We will find out on Thursday assuming the players live.