During the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball weekly teleconference Monday morning, UNC head coach Roy Williams discussed the injuries that have faced his team this season, and what he expects to get out of the Tar Heel bench.
"Since last Monday we've played two road games, and it's very fortunate for us we got two victories. It was a weird game at Florida State, as I said in the press conference last week, and then at North Carolina State on Saturday. The first five games (in ACC play) we didn't play very well and after that we had a lot of good moments. We did a great job getting the basketball inside, and it was one of those tough days for Sidney (Lowe's) club but it was a good day for us."
How much have the injuries to Tyler Zeller and Marcus Ginyard, along with Bobby Frasor struggling shooting the ball, affected the team this year?
"I think it's affected us a great deal---all that spring, summer and fall planning about we're going to be able to do this and that. Marcus is a two-year starter, and Tyler started the first two games this year, so you can make the case that's two of our top six or seven guys. Bobby is not shooting the ball like he had shot it before. Most people that have that type of (knee) injury that first year when they come back, it's not quite as good as it is later. He's been really good for us defensively but he hasn't been able to do the things offensively that he's done in the past. So it has changed our team somewhat."
"We haven't been getting the scoring coming off the bench that most of our teams have had since we've been here. We've been bringing Marvin Williams (in 2004-2005) of the bench. We've been bringing Danny Green (for three seasons) off the bench, and they've been adding some great things to us offensively, whereas now we're bringing in Ed (Davis) as the first guy usually off the bench, specifically at the 'big' position. He is giving us defensive rebounding. It has changed our team. I laughed in the fall when everybody was talking about was I worried about having too many players. I said no, I just wanted to make sure I had enough, and I think my worry was more on mark than those worried about having too many."
What is the latest information regarding Ginyard and his injury status?
"I still haven't had a chance to visit with the Doctors, and he hasn't visited with the Doctors. Don't hold me to this, but that might even be today or tomorrow."
What specifically do you feel needs to be improved about the North Carolina bench?
"(It's) the total contribution. It's not just scoring---people (last season) focused on Danny coming in and giving so much scoring---but we want the guys who come into the game to be effective. We always say 'Help us by not hurting us,' and then if you do some positive things, then that's even more so. I used the example a moment ago with Marvin Williams and Danny Green. They came in and positive things happened. That's what we've got to get, and do I think we're getting positive things from Ed Davis, and we need somebody else to step up and do some of those kinds of things as well. I think if we do have those guys step up, then needless to say it helps make our team a heck of a lot better."
How willing are you to deal with AAU coaches in the recruiting process?
"It depends on the situation. Some AAU coaches---it's bad terminology, I should put it that way---we should say 'summer' coaches, because they're not all involved in AAU-sanctioned tournaments by the AAU, or anything like that. It varies with each player, because each situation is different. Some summer coaches we've had a great deal of contact with and a great deal of conversations with, and others we don't do as much."
"I've always felt like our first point of concern is going to be the families. I think that's the people that I like to deal with the most. There's no question about that. And then it depends on who is important to the kid, and what I usually try to do is determine who is the most important to the kid, who is going to have influence, who is going to have some vocal time with the player. We try to treat everybody professionally and courteously, and be nice to everybody, but at the same time, some families are going to be more involved, sometimes families are going to have high school coaches more involved. Some families are going to have the summer league coach more involved, but we go strictly to the family first."
Do you feel that summer league coaches are getting too involved in recent years?
"You know, I think they get a bad rap. We've got some high school coaches that may not be the greatest influences in the world. We have some aunts, uncles, or brothers and sisters who may not be the best influences in the world. But I think people lump the summer coaches and say they're a bad influence, and I've dealt with some summer coaches that I just thought were fantastic people that cared about kids that were doing it for the right reasons. I think when you make generalizations like that, it's tough. We have a lot of summer league coaches that we have wonderful relationships with, and we deal with them. If the individual player that we are recruiting that plays for them wants them to be more involved, then we do that."