Following North Carolina's victory over Georgia Tech Sunday evening in the Smith Center, UNC head coach Roy Williams, Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory, and several players spoke with reporters. UNC improved to 18-3 and 5-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play with the 93-81 triumph over the Yellow Jackets.
They (the way we played) were similar to some of the things we did against North Carolina State. I thought at times we were really good. I think we held our focus very well in the second half. For them to shoot 55 percent against us in the second half, we're not pleased with that, but at the same time we should congratulate Georgia Tech and Brian (Gregory) and his kids because they didn't quit. They kept playing.
I reminded our team before we went out for the second half, I think I'll get this right or very close, they were down seventeen or fifteen (points) against Clemson, it ended up being a two-point game. They were down fourteen or fifteen to Duke, and they kept playing and got it within a one-possession game in the last two minutes.
I was disappointed with some of the things we did in the second half, but that also acts like it's only our game, which you've got to give Georgia Tech credit. They made seven out of ten from three (in the second half). In the first half it was two out of ten. In the second half they made a bunch of them. I think we did some good things in the first half. I was really pleased about everything we did, to be up twenty like that and feel good about the way we played. We shot the ball well, and you've heard me say a hundred times, everything looks better when the ball goes in the basket. Four guys in double-figures---that's good. We had a rebounding edge. I think we should have had more, but at the same time, be lucky and feel good about what you have.
On the play of Reggie Bullock since he became a starter.......
I've said all year that Reggie's gotten better and better defensively. I think he has the length. He doesn't have the quickness or speed Dexter does, but he has the length. I think Reggie did a nice job defensively, and in fact, at the State game I think we was the defensive player of the game.
On UNC's three-point shooting against the Yellow Jackets.......
We're good shooters. I mean, we really are. We make a bunch of them in practice all the time. I've said that the whole time. I've thought that. I believe that. When we started making them, it would make things even a lot prettier.
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH BRIAN GREGORY
Obviously, you're starting to see how the Carolina team over the last 10 days, or whatever, is much different than you saw in Tallahassee, and then in the first half of the game against Virginia Tech. They're playing at a very high level. They had different guys stepping up at different times, and obviously at the pace they play at, it's hard to simulate that in practice, and when you've got a guy with the ball that's making a good decision, a quality decision on every play, it made it difficult.
The other thing, I thought we did a halfway decent job (defending). I said before the game that they are shooting 50 percent from the field but still getting 16 offensive rebounds, which is an incredible stat. But usually teams that average 16 offensive rebounds are teams that can't shoot at all. They've got a lot of different weapons, and they are getting better defensively as well, so they're obviously a team that will challenge for this league championship and are a team that can move on to the Final Four.
On defending UNC's three-point shooting......
They do have some good shooters. The thing is, again, we did a poor job in our transition coverage, because I bet their shooting percentage in the half court was pretty respectable for us. But you get the 54 percent and you get the 10 of 16 (UNC shot from three-point range). They probably hit six or seven of those threes in the open court because our guys back have to hold the rim because their bigs are running, and our bigs aren't. Now they get the three.
When you have (Harrison) Barnes, when you have (Reggie) Bullock, when you have (P.J.) Hairston coming off the bench, those guys can all shoot the three pretty well. So they are not a bad shooting team, but you have to do a little better job of defending them. But all those threes come from (Kendall) Marshall, to be honest with you. They hit one in the second half where we just blew a coverage. But other than that, Marshall created every single one of those open threes they got.
On UNC's outside shooting......
It was great. Any time we get outside shots going, it adds to what John (Henson) and I can do inside, and James (Michael McAdoo) played a great game also. So all around I think it was a very good effort. I think it opens up a lot. We had a lot more dribble-drives into the lane and even a few times Harrison (Barnes) and Kendall (Marshall) both went down the middle of the lane and shot layups. It does stretch them (opposing defenses) out and makes us much more difficult (to stop).
On Reggie Bullock's defense.......
I think his defense is extremely underrated. He does a great job of using his length. He has good feet, quick feet, to get through screens, and I think people are paying attention to it because they can see how good of a defender he is.
On the team's superstitions.......
I'd say we're all superstitious. We all have various things that we do. We all have our little things. The most superstitious person in the locker room, by far, is Coach (Williams). He has stuff that he does, but like I said, everybody has their own little things.
On the team's performance in the first half.......
We got defensive stops. We knew Glen Rice wanted to take some shots, and (Mfon) Udofia wanted to take some shots, but I think we did a great job on limiting Rice. We were able to get out in transition and get numbers.
On the team's shooting.......
We just straightened up our shots and were able to knock them down. Kendall, looking up the floor, tells us to run to our spot and he'll find us. We just got our feet set and followed through. We had some great stretches tonight, but we just have to keep up consistency up like we do in practice.