ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
March 11, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Coach Roy Williams. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH WILLIAMS: Mixed week, to say the least. We've grade up with a nice win at Maryland and felt awful getting our tails kicked at home as badly as we did by Duke. It was a real eye?opener for us because they outplayed us in every phase of the game. At the same time you have to congratulate them. They are really playing well, having Ryan back as a big factor for them playing almost the entire season without him was difficult for them, and they've played great down the stretch.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. I'm working on a story about Jay Bilas. It isn't really ACC tournament related, but wanted to get your thoughts on Jay from when he was a player and you coached against that Duke team and also your professional relationship and what that's like with him as now an analyst and you being the coach?
COACH WILLIAMS: Jonathan, I never thought I'd be happy to talk about a former Duke player, but I guess I'd rather talk about a former Duke player than I had the Duke game, that supplied a nice thing for me. But Jay is a great guy. He does a great job for college basketball on his work during the course of the season.
I do remember Jay as a player. He was a complementary player. I kiddingly said the other day and also to him that we didn't ever talk about him very much in the game plan or the scouting report because with Dawkins and Alarie, they were a little more focal point of their offense. But you've got to have players who are willing to make sacrifices, and I think that's what Jay was. I think he was a guy who made a lot of sacrifices, came in with as much fanfare as those other guys, yet he made sacrifices to try to help his team win.
And since that time I think he's been a great ambassador for college basketball. We all the time kid and they've even done commercials about Dukie boy and Duke North Carolina, but I think he's been very fair to everybody, us included. And I enjoy working with him and I think he's a great ambassador for college basketball, and he knows the game and studies the game and talks to the coaches and doesn't just have his own opinion not based on something, not based on anything but facts. Sometimes people have opinions based on nothing, but that's not Jay.
Q. You'll be the last team playing in the tournament. Everybody else will have played, seven other games, what do you do with all that time leading up to your Friday night 9:00 game?
COACH WILLIAMS: Well, I'd like to be the last team standing in any tournament. There's no question about that. But the last team that plays, our guys will be anxious. I think that there's a little advantage from a team that played Thursday night already had the opening game jitters out of the way, but they also could be a little deficient on the stamina part of it when playing two straight nights like that.
But it is a long day. There's no question about that. We're in spring break right now so we can't even have a regular schedule of going to class and going up there late in the afternoon or anything like that.
So I'm sure our guys will be watching the other games on TV. We'll have a shoot?around to try to get them out of the hotel. But you can't change it, so you gotta try?? if you don't keep them a little busy and keep them focused on the excitement of starting a new season in the form of the first game of the tournament.
Q. Have you been around the guys enough to judge their mood and reaction after your last game?
COACH WILLIAMS: I haven't been around them at all. And that's probably good, because we did not play very good basketball on either end of the court, lost our poise and took terrible shots.
And so it's probably a good thing. We're getting ready to practice here in less than an hour.
Q. Coach, I know you're focused on your Friday night opponent and Friday night game. But to be the last team standing in the ACC, you probably have to get by Duke on Saturday. After that game, does it make it tougher or easier to get motivated; if you have to play them again, is that a big hurdle?
COACH WILLIAMS: If we can't get motivated after the way they kicked our rear ends, then we don't have a heart. And I really do believe that our guys have a heart. If you can't get motivated to play somebody after they just did what Duke did to us on Saturday, then we've got some major problems and we might as well not even show up to play on Friday night.
Q. The question is about confidence, going six straight with the new lineup, were feeling very good about yourselves and this happened, if you had to play them again, is that confidence still there?
COACH WILLIAMS: I don't think?? when we play Duke on Saturday, if we play Duke on Saturday, is a better way to put it, if we play Duke on Saturday, we will have gotten by one of the games.
So hopefully you've had some of that confidence restored. But there's no question. I mean, they slapped us right in the face, hit us between the eyes, any the old stupid terminology you want to use or cliches, but they beat our rear ends badly. There will be more determination than lack of confidence.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.