clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chris Mack, Roy Williams postgame transcripts

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack

(Opening Statement) “We didn’t come out with much fire. I’m disappointed for our fans. It was a great environment, and to essentially end the half with no offensive rebounds, let Carolina dismantle us on the glass, can’t tell you how disappointed I am in that effort alone. I thought they were the aggressor. I thought they won damn near every 50-50 ball late in the game. Their pressure really bothered us. We were very stagnant on the offensive end, especially in the first half, and that was a direct reflection of Carolina’s standing out in the passing lanes. We knew it was coming, we didn’t handle it very well. Conversely, we put ourselves in positions where we were trying to defend in transition back-pedaling, simply because they were shots that had no chance of going in. Turnovers didn’t kill us, but we had some live ball turnovers that obviously resulted in easy fast break points, but I just thought our entire offense let Carolina push the ball down our throat, and I thought their basketball moved a heck of a lot faster on the offensive end than ours did. They’re a really good team, and I feel like we flip-flopped performances from Chapel Hill to Louisville.”

(On offensive hesitancy) “Well, there’s no doubt Carolina played harder than us, which again, as a coach, is really disappointing. As I told the guys in the locker room, that’s the one thing you can control. You can control your effort and your attitude. Our effort wasn’t what it has been. Offensively, it really wasn’t about effort, so much as being a little bit tougher, getting open. Again, I give Carolina a lot of credit because they were standing out in the passing lanes. It wasn’t anything different that they’ve shown since we played them last. Their pressure was much greater today than it was on their home floor two, three weeks ago. Our response in handling that was really poor. We held it and that may have been where you thought we were hesitating. Ball wasn’t moving, guys weren’t driving the lane, spreading it out, playing off one another, so it resulted in guys having to go one-on-one, not having to go, but going one-on-one. And you’re not going to win…you’re not going to have good offensive possessions when you play that way, especially the way our team’s built, the way that we practice every day, so that put us out of sorts. Again, I give Carolina a lot of credit. We need to handle it a lot better.”

(About Steven Enoch 0-for-1 in the game after being such a factor in the first game) “It was a combination of things. I don’t think Steven played very well. He’d be the first to tell you that. We needed him to establish himself under the basket and he didn’t do that for us. Until I can see the film, there were a couple of times where we tried to get it to him and we had live ball turnovers, or the ball got sort of muffled and ends up being 12, 15 feet away from the basket. Again, not that he’s not effective out that far, but he’s a lot more effective when his feet are under the rim. And we had to do a better job of getting him the ball. I don’t think Steve worked as hard as he could have. And without a post presence, that becomes a problem on offense.”

(About being out-rebounded you by 17 and had 18 second chance points) “Well, as I told our team, how do we have four or five offensive rebounds in the first three or four minutes of the second half but not one in the first half? Yeah, it’s a little bit of a function in your offense. Because it gets them the shots coming out of one-on-one situations where we were taking surprise shots. Credit Carolina for that. But, our effort and toughness early on, for whatever reason, was missing. That’s why I’m disappointed for our fans. They were all excited about the game. And we no-showed in those areas. And that hasn’t been a sign of our team. Carolina’s really good on the glass, we knew that. I’d be surprised when I checked the film that we were trying to block out, which is… hard to believe.”

(About rebounding deficit) “Well, I’ve always been a big believer that when the shot goes up you block out the person that you’ve been guarding for the possession. I’ve tried to instill that into our team, and it’s ebbed and flowed. We’ve had some games against really good offensive rebounding teams that we took away the component of that game. We’ve had nights like tonight. We’ve had nights like NC State, Michigan State, where their will and our concentration level and toughness level, our remembrance of blocking out, was absent. That falls on me. Because if I haven’t conditioned our guys when the shot goes up to find their matchup and block out, then I haven’t done my job. I’m playing the wrong guys.”

(On sensing this type of performance in the during practice) “No I thought we had a great practice. I felt like the hay was in the barn. So that’s why I’m a little bit at a loss right now. It’s basketball, we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have a game in 36 hours, 48 hours, whatever it is.”

(On if the team can be consistent in not having a lull in the season): “Can you be? I think the elite-level teams are, but we’re not there yet.”

(On missed opportunities during the game) “Again, I go back to the 50-50 balls, long rebounds. It just seemed like they were quicker to get to them. They snatched a few out of our hands, which is really frustrating. I just think they played like they wanted the game more. You’re in your own building, you’ve got one of the best teams in the nation coming in. Regardless of the first result… Hats off the Carolina they played really well.”

(On the effort of Dwayne Sutton) “Dwayne Sutton does that every night. We just didn’t compete until we were down way too far. Here’s the thing, Carolina shoots 6-for-24 for from three. They go 2-for-9 in the first half, they don’t really shoot a high percentage for the game. Our inability to end possessions and get defensive rebounds, we set the tone in the first half and never could get out of a hole playing a top 10, top 15 team in the country. To me, that was our issue … those 50-50 and toughness plays. I’m going to be honest guys, I’m at a loss right now. That hasn’t been an issue for us.”

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

(Opening statement) “Chris (Mack) and I changed spots today from what we did three weeks ago. My team really did some good things, and I know that he was probably disappointed with some of the things his club did just like I was in Chapel Hill. In the first half, we made some shots. 48.6, we made some good shots. Cam (Johnson) was 4-for-4, had to take him out because he was in foul trouble. We know that good teams are going to make a run, and they cut it from 18 down to nine and got a couple good baskets during that time. Coby (White) drove one to the basket and got fouled on it. I can’t remember, I don’t think he made the free throw. We were able to make enough to keep it going. They made another run, back at us again. Kenny (Williams) made a big three for us at that point. Luke (Maye) also made a big three. Then we went braindead for a little while, for about a minute there. Cam (Johnson) turned it over then fouled a three-point shooter. For us to be as good as we want to be, we can’t make those kinds of mistakes. Rebounding, 49 to 32, I’ve always thought that was really big. Probably the most important factor of the game was that we only had two turnovers in the whole second half. We knew that they would come back at us and we only turned it over twice. Four guys in double figures, you like that, then two turnovers in the second half and the rebound margin and that’ probably the game.”

(On the difference in the defensive play from the last meeting) “I think it was effort. The last time, defense for them was what you build around your yard. That’s about the only thing we thought on the defensive end of the floor. They made shots last time, they made some tough shots. We didn’t guard them worth a darn. We guarded them a little better in the first half, I thought our defense was good. Second half, I didn’t think it was nearly as good. We’ve worked hard since then and I think I’ve got a competitive group that got their tails beat as badly as they can be beaten, and I think they bounced back and were more aware, had greater effort and used their brain and their heart both. We were much better in every phase of the game and Louisville was probably not as good.”

(What have you done better for your team during this streak that you’re on now?) “Well Louisville slapped us right in the face – in our own building, just slapped us right in the face in every phase of the game. I watched the entire tape on Thursday night, I watched the entire tape again yesterday. They got an opportunity to see a lot of it the day or two after we played and they got to see a lot of it this week. I think we’ve gotten a little better defensively. The first half I thought we were really good, defensively. The second, (Christen) Cunningham broke us down driving the ball to the basket and I think he had a bunch of assists. He has 15 points, nine assists, only one turnover. He kept finding guys. (Dwayne) Sutton I think made three 3’s in a row, so we weren’t as good defensively, but I do think we’ve gotten better defensively.”

(What was the game plan on Jordan Nwora and how did you defend him?) “He’s really good. It’s not any game plan. It’s, you tell them what you want to do and they have to do it, but at our place we put Luke (Maye) on him to start with, just because of matchups and today we put Kenny Williams on him and Kenny’s our best defender. But I think also, I think Jordan wasn’t as active today, and again I’m not trying to coach Chris’s team by any means, but I think Kenny was more effective and our switches were probably more effective than they were at our place.”

(You said in Atlanta that you’d never seen Luke Maye play as poorly as he did that night… did you have a talk with him in the last couple of days about that?) “I said it openly in front of the team at Georgia Tech. I said ‘Luke that’s the worst game I’ve ever seen you play in your life.’ He’s a senior… I still didn’t like the charge when he had (Ryan) McMahon guarding him… that’s not a very smart play. So seniors, I jumped all over them for that, because you don’t do that. Luke is a very bright young man, a very competitive young man, a young man who’s willing to put it out there. So I felt pretty comfortable in the fact that he would bounce back and play well today.”

(How important was it for him (Luke Maye) and also for the group to bounce back, especially early on in the game).”Well, if he doesn’t bounce back and play well, we don’t win. So if you care about winning then it’s really important. If you don’t care about winning, not as much. I think that 7 of 18 is not a good percentage, but 20 points and 11 rebounds and he battles.”

(It seemed like half-court was execution was excellent tonight. Was that a focus?) “Not really. We really wanted to run the ball. They have the option and a good defense to not let you get out, and they sprint back, get picks picked up. They have a team that can guard multiple positions, so if they don’t get the right man, they are still able to do it successfully. But, I think we did a nice job. I don’t call a lot of plays during games. I called four or five of them today and miraculously, a bunch of them worked. Our whole thing was really trying to run the ball and if we didn’t have that opportunity to get a shot that everybody on our team wanted and got to take with the board covered and I think second-chance points, again18 to 3 is a huge number for us.”

(Talking about the difference in rebounding from the first meeting and this game) “Well, they beat us in every phase. We had greater effort, greater execution, greater concentration on the box outs and even going after the ball. Look at us, Luke (Maye) had 11, Cam (Johnson) had 10, Kenny (Williams) had 5, Nassir (Little) had 6 and he only played 15 minutes and it was a big difference for us that’s for sure.”

(On the difference in rebounding from the first meeting and this game) “Well, they beat us in every phase, as I said there. We had greater effort, greater execution, greater concentration on the box outs and even going after the ball. Look at us, Luke (Maye) had 11, Cam (Johnson) had 10, Kenny (Williams) had five, Nassir (Little) had six and only played 15 minutes. I was a point of emphasis for us, for sure.”

(What is it about Dwayne Sutton that just makes him so difficult to guard.) “Well, he’s a big-time athlete. He’s a big, strong fellow, and can shoot the crap out of it from the outside. So, he basically doesn’t have any holes. He went 7-for-12 and 4-for-8 from the three-point line. He’s hard to guard. When he starts driving you, it’s hard for the guys to stay in front of him, because he just sorts of leans into you a little bit. He’s as strong as he can be, so he can put the ball in either hand. At our place, one of the clips we showed our team, he made an outrageous left-hand drive, but he also made two 3s. Steve (Kirschner) said he was the one that made three in a row. Told me he played at UNC Asheville; that’s my home town, so I knew of him when he played up there. He’s a big-time player.”

(How would you assess the team, after winning five straight games?)”I was asked a similar question after we won four and I said the same thing. I don’t sit back and say, ‘okay, this is where I want to be on January whatever or February whatever.’ We’ve got to try and get better every day, and this has been a nice run. We got beat so badly by Louisville last time, that lasted me a long time. I’m serious, 31 years as a head coach I’ve never set a dream or goal of where I’ve wanted to be at a certain time. I’m serious, 31 years as a head coach, I’ve never set a dream or a goal of where I wanted to be at a certain time. I just think about getting better every single day. Sometimes the schedule helps you. If you play a lot of games at home, or if you play some of the great teams early on, like Clemson had Virginia and Duke. Those games on the road, that’s a hard schedule to play. So, I’ve never really thought too much about that. Just play your butt off and do it every day and see how you end up.”

(Roy, with Leaky Black’s injury, you needed Seventh Woods to play well, do you like what he did for you today?)”I thought the first half he was extremely important to us. I asked Coby (White) ‘did Louisville make you mad in recruiting?’ because he hadn’t played very well against them. But he was much better in the second half… Seventh was huge for us during that stretch in the second half.”