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February 7, 2009CHAPEL HILL --- Following North Carolina's 76-61 victory over Virginia Saturday evening in the Smith Center, UNC head coach Roy Williams and UVa head coach Dave Leitao spoke to reporters. What did they have to say?
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"It was an unusual game because in the first half it was like pulling teeth. We could not get a shot to go in, yet I thought we were doing well on the defensive end, but just could not make anything. In the first sixteen minutes of the second half I thought we were very good."
"The last four minutes (of the second half) I was disappointed in how we played, to finish it out with the last two platoons we had in there. Some things are awfully impressive---looking at Ty Lawson with nine assists and zero turnovers. Tyler Hansbrough with thirteen rebounds, I believe those things are awfully important. Tyler did some things today when he could not get his shot to go in, it is not very often that he goes 4-11."
"I thought Deon Thompson was more active today. I was very concerned about Danny Green. I did not think I would be able to get 28 minutes out of him. He came to shoot around this morning after feeling poorly yesterday and even worse today."
"I tried to do more rotating with Wayne Ellington, Bobby Frasor, and Dannyn (Green). In fact, at the sixteen-minute mark in warm-ups I did not even know if I was going to play him. I think it was important to get that out of him. We are a little thinner there is no question about that, but we feel really good about our defense in the first half and good about the whole game for the first sixteen minutes of the second half."
On Frasor's energy off the bench:
"I told guys when something is not working give us something that can help us. There has been a line on the basketball court since I've before I was born, so you have to be smarter than that. He missed three wide-open shots and we talk all the time about when you're a substitute give us something to hang your hat on."
"I thought his effort getting offensive rebounds and deflections to save us a basket one time on the defensive end. He has always done those little things and there is going to be some games when he stays in bounds and helps us too."
On Virginia's starting five:
"I told the guys when we put what we would assume to be a starting five on the board and I told them it didn't mean anything because they started a different five in the second half last game. They did have three different guys than we thought they would have out there but we prepared for it. I got enough trouble coaching my team to worry about that."
On the status of freshman big man Tyler Zeller:
"He (Zeller) started practicing Thursday and Friday. He was on the court half of the time and practiced half of that. He and Marcus (Ginyard) both, I had them with (strength coach) Jonas (Sahratian). Half of the practice they were doing rehab, and then they came out and practiced, so if you're good in math, they practiced a fourth of the time."
"Somebody asked me about whether I thought Tyler Zeller would play today. I mean, my gosh, guys, he only missed 12 weeks. He doesn't even know what offense and defense is. He thinks defense is something that goes around your yard, so it's going to be a while. We're going to make decisions later on. Don't ask me this week---there will not be a decision. We'll look at it down the road a little bit. There's a reason they give you four and a half weeks of preseason practice, so you can get ready to play."
Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao
"Obviously when you play a great team on their court, you have to play relatively mistake free. You can miss a couple shots, you can make a few fouls but you're going to have to make the plays that are available to you. I'll have to look at the film, but I don't know that we did that over the course of 40 minutes to put ourselves in the position to be successful."
"Coming in I thought if we could slow them down, because that's what really got us last time, the transition offense was superb. That we least try to manage ourselves TV timeout to TV timeout. We did that initially. They missed a lot of open shots that they would normally make. We talked about making adjustments and getting out to shooters then something else would happen, offensive rebounds and things like that."
"I think Roy would say the same thing about his team. If they're going to go where he wants them to go and where their potential speaks to, then as good as they are on the offensive end both in the transition and half court, they're going to continue to get better defensively and they really did that today."
"I thought they (UNC) were a lot of places and sometimes it looked like there were more than five guys out there on the floor. We had opportunities, but what happens with good defensive teams, the opportunities that they give you, you're not real comfortable with so what happens is you end up missing a point blank shot or something you're normally used to making. That's what they did to us today."
On Virginia's Rebounding:
"There were a lot of long rebounds today. Out of the zone you have to read the rim you have to attack where the ball is. There were a number of times where the guy who got the ball, it's because it came to his area and a lot of times that was North Carolina's people or they were the people moving towards the ball. Rebounding is a skill that takes effort. That really cost us."
On taking care of the ball:
"When you're struggling you look at things you can try to control, for us today it was transition defense. How good can we be at that? Don't turn the ball over. We didn't have a ton, only 12."