Athens, GA (Mar 28, 2009) - In Sweet Sixteen action from the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament on Friday, North Carolina took a piece of Gonzaga's hide, winning 98-77. This is the transcript of the University of North Carolina post-game press conference as provided by the NCAA and ASAP Sports.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll go ahead and begin the post game
news conference for North Carolina. Here with head coach Roy Williams
are student athletes Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough. We'll start
with an opening statement from Coach Williams and then open the floor
for questions first for the student athletes. We'll excuse them back
to their locker room and then continue with questions for coach Roy
COACH WILLIAMS: We're ecstatic. It was a big time game for us. We
had a couple of lulls where we made some mistakes. But basically look
at the big picture of work, I thought we played really, really well.
We didn't shoot free throws well and took a couple of bad shots in
the middle part of the second half, but I thought we beat a fantastic
basketball team in Gonzaga that did not have their best day.
I think Mark and his staff just did an absolutely fantastic job. We
knew it was going to be a big time game, and we knew we'd have to play
really, really well.
I don't know this for sure, but I sensed that Matt Bouldin was not
feeling real well. I recognized early in warmups he spent time over on
the side and didn't participate in the warmups. It looked like he was
struggling a little bit, so he perhaps might have been sick.
We did catch them on a day where they didn't play as well as they
wanted to play or as well as they're capable of playing.
We're as happy as can be. A big time game. They made the run and got
it to 11. Of all people, Bobby Frasor made the two big threes. He
struggled all year with his shot, but those were as big as neck be. Ty
makes a nice pass to Wayne on the break and follows it up with a free
throw. So we scored nine points in those possessions there.
It's a very calm, relaxed locker room, and we'd like to stay here
and play pretty well another day.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take questions for Wayne and
Q. Wayne, Danny was 3 for 6 tonight from three point range, Bobby
had two, Larry hit one. When those other guys are hitting, it seems
the flow you guys are in is much smoother than usual. Can you address
the fact that when Danny especially is hitting, that you guys are
WAYNE ELLINGTON: Yeah, when Danny is hitting from the perimeter, I
think we got all our parts and we're going.
You know, we're flowing pretty well and get on transition. I think
that opens up a lot of things also for our inside presence. Have to
respect me and Danny from the perimeter, so we get a lot of easier
looks from the inside.
Q. Wayne, can you talk a little bit about, in the first half, you
guys almost went the entire half without a turnover. What contributed
to such a solid play, ball handling wise?
WAYNE ELLINGTON: We always like to take care of the basketball, but
I think Ty did a great job. Our guard did a great job of taking care
of the ball and getting if where it needed to be. We took care of it
and weren't dangerous or casual with it. As a result, we had a nice
lead going into the half.
Q. Tyler, I wanted to ask you the difference between the first half
and second half for you personally. You seemed to be quite inspired
and more energetic in the second half.
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Well, I just let the game come to me. I didn't
want to force anything. I think some other guys are playing well.
I think Ty was hitting a lot of shots, and I think some other people
were stepping up. When that happens, I just try to do my part. I was
trying to rebound and play better defensively.
So eventually in the second half the game just came to me, and I got
in good position. Teammates gave me the ball, and I just happened to
find you know, get the shot.
Q. Tyler, any personal satisfaction with your performance tonight
against Heytvelt as opposed to a couple of years ago? In addition to
the victory and moving on?
TYLER HANSBROUGH: It does feel good to win the game. But also, I
mean, I remember that game in New York when we got our tails beat
pretty bad. You know, I was thinking about it in practices and things
You know, I thought Heytvelt pretty much outplayed me there. It
feels good to go and beat a team that's already beaten you once.
Q. Tyler, when you have a big time matchup coming up like you do on
Sunday, can you talk about how is it different to approach a game like
that, to stay within yourself in the context of the team?
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Yeah, definitely. I think one thing, when you're
going against a great player and someone that's really, obviously, has
done a lot.
But I think for me personally, I just have to play my part within
this team, not, you know, like I said, not try to force anything, let
the game come to me. And, you know, just try to play good defense and
get some rebounds. And eventually the offense will come.
You know, I'm not looking at it as a matchup between me and Griffin
or something like that. I'm looking at it as North Carolina is playing
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Wayne and Tyler, if you'd like to
head back. I'm sorry. There is one more.
Q. Just talk about Griffin as a player. I mean, are you excited
about playing? That's kind of a matchup everybody's been looking
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Yeah, I mean, you see him on TV playing a lot.
Like I said before, I don't watch a lot of college basketball.
So if you're going to ask me about certain players, I don't really
know a lot about people's game, but obviously Griffin is catching a
lot of hype and the way he's playing. He's deserving. He's a good
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Now we'll excuse you guys. Thank you, Wayne and
Tyler. We'll now go ahead and open it up for questions for Coach
Q. Roy, after their lead was cut to 11 and you called the time out,
what specifically upset you during that run? And what did you say to
get the 12-0 run going there?
COACH WILLIAMS: I was disappointed because we were shooting the ball
so quickly. We shot a three from the corner and get a rebound and
throw it back out and shoot another three.
I've always thought that, when you get an offensive rebound, you
should make somebody pay. So we missed those.
And then Tyler gets it stripped on an inside shot. Wayne tries to
beat his guy off the dribble and gets it stripped 35 feet from the
So I said the game is North Carolina against Gonzaga. It's not how
many points you can make or what you can do individually. It's us. So
I got after them a little bit about playing five guys against their
five guys. That we've got to make more intelligent decisions. One of
the questions earlier about not turning the ball over. When we don't
turn the ball over, we've got some pretty good shooters. But you take
bad shots, that's the same thing as a turnover.
You take a shot with 34 seconds on the shot clock is dumb, and I
don't want us to be dumb.
Q. Roy, can you talk about the play of Ty Lawson tonight and how he
was feeling afterwards?
COACH WILLIAMS: I haven't had a chance to talk to him about how he's
feeling afterwards. I know that yesterday morning I was very
concerned, but we practiced my days are running together. Today's
We practiced Wednesday and got on a plane, came here. Thursday's all
day with media. He didn't have very much time at all to get his foot
in the pool. And we have found that has been the one thing that's
helped him more than anything.
Because of everything that was going on Thursday, he almost had no
chance of getting in there. And then the flight and the air pressure
when you're up in the plane, I think that added a little bit of
swelling to it.
Last night he was able to get in the pool. We got him in there this
morning, and that was really helpful to him. When he came for
shootaround, he thought it felt better, and he was going to go and get
back in the pool again.
We took him out at one point because he turned his other ankle a
bit. It was not the toe. It was his left ankle that he sprained it a
We were able to get by with him only playing 27 minutes. Hopefully,
it will be good. We'll have a little practice tomorrow, but we'll have
some time to get him in the pool too.
COACH WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
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