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UNC Media Day Player Interviews

UNC's media day was on Monday here is audio and some highlights from the various player interviews.

Marcus Paige(audio)

-Easily the most popular interview in the room as attested to by the huge crowd gathered around him.

-Paige talked at length about much of his motivation this season deriving from this being his last shot at a championship of some sort. The Final Four is a goal but putting a banner of some sort of up whether it be an ACC title or the ultimate prize is really something they want to do.

-Plenty of questions about finishing games out and the team recognizing the importance of that. Paige noted that the inability to finish game essentially cost them seeding in the NCAA Tournament since closing out even four of the eight games they blew would have put them at eight losses not 12.

-Paige admitted that last season he did not play well early in the season because he let the expectations get to him. When he finally moved past that and got comfortable he then got injured. It wasn't until the end of the ACC regular season, Paige was again fully healthy.

-Paige has caught a little flack for growing his hair out similar to the way Duke players did last year. His response: "Are those the only guys who grew their hair out?"

Brice Johnson(audio)

-Noted this team has the potential to "win some hardware" and pointed out they haven't done that yet.

-There is a poster up reminding the team of the games they didn't finish last year. According to Johnson, Roy Williams gets angry every time he sees it and continues emphasize doing what's necessary to close the game out.

-According to Johnson this team has tremendous chemistry. Calls being on this team "a lot of fun" but also they push each other on the court.

-Johnson says Roy Williams continues to push him even in games he thinks he played well in by showing him what else he could have done. Johnson says he is used to "tough love" because his father was a coach and pushed him the same way.

Joel Berry(audio)

-Biggest difference this season is knowing the system and being more comfortable with the level of play.

-Hopes to be the starting point guard and is "out there everyday" competing to make that happen.

-Berry says he worked on his shooting quite a bit over the summer.

Justin Jackson(audio)

-Says maturity and being competitive in practice is going to help the team come out ready to play on day one.

-Didn't quite feel he was ready to go to the NBA last year but his love for Chapel Hill and his teammates factored into his decision to stay.

Kennedy Meeks(audio)

-Meeks is limited in practice right now. He tweaked his knee according to Roy Williams and will be held out three days. He was not noticeably limping and was shooting jumpers during the early portion of practice.

-In case you are wondering, Meeks is down to 255-260 from 275 last year and 315 when he first arrive at UNC. He says he has acclimated to his new weight and feels it is making a difference.

Nate Britt(audio)

-Williams has talked to both Britt and Joel Berry about hitting outside shots to help provide offensive balance for the team.

-Now that he's seen success last year shooting the ball right handed it has helped him from a confidence standpoint headed into this season.