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January 30, 2013

Williams on Hairston, Tar Heels

UNC defeated Boston College 82-70 Tuesday night in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The victory came one game after UNC's emotionally charged loss to in-state rival N.C. State.

The long trip north forced Roy Williams to push his weekly radio show from Monday to Wednesday.

Normally his radio show's schedule would have forced him to talk before UNC had a chance to play another game after playing N.C. State.

The extra time, and a victory in-between, led to a more relaxed Williams on the air.

The win against Boston College came at a price. P.J. Hairston, UNC's third leading scorer, suffered a concussion late in the first half after getting off to a great early start.



Hairston connected on 4 three-pointers and hit two free-throws before his injury. He left the game with 14 points.

Hairston's explosion came after a game where he was one of the few Tar Heels that played well.

Williams' spoke about how Hairston's injury happened.

"Dexter (Strickland) screwed it up," said Williams referring to how Hairston and Strickland collided causing Hairston's concussive fall.

Williams made the remark jokingly in terms of blaming Strickland for Hairston's injury but did detail how Strickland was in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

"Dexter was the help, he should have been in the middle of the lane and then it never would have happened. All the time we're saying you've got to take of each other. P.J. tried to make a big play and Dexter felt terrible about it," said Williams.

"Bottom line is a North Carolina player wasn't where he was supposed to be. That gave the guy a straight cut to the basket and P.J. tried to make a great play and Dexter tried to recover late. He really did do a good job recovering late but his forearm went up and hit P.J. right in the chin," said Williams. "His (Hairston) legs fly out and he hits the floor really, really hard. I couldn't see the contact but I did see him when he was parallel to the floor. He took a huge fall. It was a tough thing."

Williams then detailed how Hairston was feeling after the game and what his timetable for recovery is going forward.

"He slept a good amount during the night last night. I visited with him this afternoon. He's probably not going to play on Saturday but we'll make that decision on Saturday," said Williams.

"It's a shame. He was 5-8 Saturday in Raleigh. He was 4-4 last night," said Williams. "He has been getting better and better. He can really be a good defender. He can be an aggressive rebounder. I was dumbfounded watching tape at how active he was in those 12 minutes he played."

Williams then spoke about his team's performance against Boston College.

"I looked up, which I normally don't do, and it was 8-2 (in favor of Boston College). A few minutes later I looked up and it was 29-20. We were really doing some good things," said Williams.

Williams was pleased with UNC's rebounding efforts.

"It was hard because they shot a lot of three's. Longer shots mean longer rebounds. You have to get your other people involved," said Williams. "One of the things I was disappointed in with (the game against) N.C. State was P.J., Reggie (Bullock), Dexter, J.P. (Tokoto) you name any of our perimeter players we had one offensive rebound from the whole crowd."

"We've had games this year where our players have really, really helped us on the backboards," said Williams referencing the difference in offensive rebounding production from his perimeter players comparing the N.C. State game to the rest of the season.

Williams made remarks after the N.C. State game that he wasn't too fond of learning experiences. He didn't back off those comments Wednesday night.

"For two days we talked about having to do a good job in defensive transition and we've got to do a good job on the offensive end," said Williams. "Bad shots and turnovers lead to run outs. That's what happened."

"I get tired of that junk," said Williams about answering questions on "learning experiences." "It's basketball. They have a scoreboard. That's what you've got to learn about, you look up to see if they have more points than you do. I'm old-fashioned."

"Early in the season I can understand that. But we've played 19 or 20 games or whatever it is, I'm tired of learning. I want some results," said Williams. "I probably wasn't very nice but I wasn't in the mood for any of this foo-foo crap."

Williams spoke about the increased production from J.P. Tokoto and why he's getting more minutes.

"A lot of times when you get more playing time it's what you're not doing that's just as important as what you are doing. He's not turning the ball over as much," said Williams. "He's cut down on his turnovers and he's started shooting the ball a little bit better. J.P.'s going to be a big time player for us."

After telling a fun story about having Desmond Hubert practice a "barking dog" play last season, Williams made a short comment about how those types of moments ( and the opportunity to possibly run that play in a game) are what will keep him coaching for "six to 10 more years if healthy."

UNC's next game will be against Virginia Tech on Saturday February 2. Williams wrapped up the radio show by previewing the game against the Hokies and giving praise to Virginia Tech's star scorer, Erick Green.

"Every team they've played someone their trying to stop him. He's leading the nation in scoring. He's hitting 50 percent in conference play as a guard which is outstanding," said Williams. "We've got a big challenge trying to slow him down."



 

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