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March 14, 2014

James Michael McAdoo

Marcus Paige

Roy Williams


Pittsburgh – 80
North Carolina - 75

COACH WILLIAMS:   Needless to say, it's extremely disappointing to play the way we did the first30, 32 minutes of the game.  You have to congratulate Pittsburgh because they made us play that way.  They were really effective.  They had a great sense of urgency.
They got to the back boards.  They got to the loose balls.  We were in too much of a rush on the offensive end of the floor.  We had some good shots the first three or four possessions and then they didn't go in and we started really rushing thing s and that's how it got to be the margin.
And I thought we did a nice job and got back into the ball game right before the half and then we came out in the second half and didn't play very well in the second half early either.
But again, you have to congratulate those guys.  Talib Zanna 19points, 21 rebounds at our place.  He had a difficult day and he was much more fired up at the end of the game and played well, very well.  I think James Robinson, Lamar, all of those guys really did some good things.
Jamie's club I thought was sensational yesterday and I thought they played extremely well for the first 30minutes of the game or 32minutes of the game, whatever it was.  We're really disappointed to say the least.  We wanted to be here awhile.
The last two years we lost in the championship game.  We had some chances.  We really tried hard.  Got it to four with the ball two different occasions and got it three and didn't get a stop, but it was ‑‑ the kids tried exceptionally hard and they're a wonderful bunch of kids.  But we just didn't play nearly as well as we wanted to play early.

Q.  For anyone.  You always want to have momentum going into a tournament.  How do you kind of channel that going forward?
MARCUS PAIGE:  I think we can learn from the things we did well in that last eight‑minute stretch like you said.  We played really well.  We forced a lot of turnovers and we were able to make things happen with our traps, which will be helpful next week.
At the same time we also have to learn that getting down 17 early against good teams, we're only going to play good teams from here on out.  That can't happen and it's going to be too big of a hole to dig out of.

Q.  Roy, throughout the game it looked like you were sort of looking for combinations, something that would work against this team, and then like you said, seven minutes left, something like that, you went to the full court press.  What sparked that or what did you see that made you want to go to that at that time?
COACH WILLIAMS:  What we were doing wasn't working very well.  We wanted to try something else.  At that point I'm dumb enough to still think we had a chance to win the game.  If we got some turnovers and got some momentum and got things going in our direction, maybe they missed some free throws, miss some shots, turn it over a little bit.  We did a good job in the full court.  Once we got in the half court we didn't do as good a job there then.  Once they broke our trap we didn't do as well as we needed to do.
I don't think many coaches are just going to sit there and let it play out.  I'm always the guy that thinks we're going to come back from anything.  I've never been behind enough in the game that I didn't think we were going to win.  It's just that old saying the clock ran out first.  I really did, I thought we were going to come back and win the game.  Especially when we got it down to single digits, I thought we it was going to be one of the great finishes.  I really believed that.  Some people think I'm a little wacko anyway.  But you got to try something different, is probably the best answer.

Q.  James Michael, why was Zanna such a load inside?
JAMES MICHAEL McADOO:  Just his activity level, I would say for 40minutes.  Getting to the boards and having effort.  I think part of that is on us, just not doing a good job checking off each and every time they got a shot up.  I think he did a good job of going to the front of the rim.  A lot of the balls just dropped right in front of his hands.

Q.  Marcus, was the tape job on your left hand precautionary or had you hurt it recently?
MARCUS PAIGE:  It was really preventative.  I fell on it a couple of times in the Duke game and it's been something that's bothered me a little bit.  But I mean, it was fine today.  I had a little soreness in my thumb, but I practiced with that all week and it was no problem.  So it was definitely precautionary.

Q.  Coach or for Marcus, from the 12 game winning streak until now, has there been any dip in performance?  Obviously playing at Duke and playing at Pittsburgh is pretty good competition.
MARCUS PAIGE:  Yeah, I think we were starting to play our best basketball kind of maybe seven or eight games into the streak and then we had a little bit of slippage in our overall intensity and making every play matter and that showed up in the last couple of games more so than the games we were able to edge out and win.
But I don't think we played great against Virginia Tech.  We didn't play great against Notre Dame and obviously the past two games we didn't play great.  We're still doing things well.  I think our confidence isn't all a loss.  We just got to get back to work and fine tune some things and understand that you got to come ready to play against anyone for 40minutes, not for ten.
COACH WILLIAMS:  He said it very well.

Q.  To the players, for the better part of the last month, teams have kind of had to match your intensity and your your urgency.  Today it was kind of the other way around.  Did that knock you back a little bit?
JAMES MICHAEL McADOO:  I don't think it necessarily knocked us back.  I think it just kind of put us in a hole early like Coach was saying.  That's really hard to come back from.  Not necessarily when we play with effort, but when we play our game.  It does include effort and, just like Coach was saying, doing our job.  You know, each and every possession.
And I think today, you know, collectively they did better than we were able to.
MARCUS PAIGE:  I think in the wins we had, we really set the tone defensively.  We were really active.  We were all over the place in the defense ends.  That hasn't happened recently.  I think that's one of the biggest changes.  The Maryland game where we came off, we came out defensively just great and that really set the tone for the entire game.  We need to start doing that again if we want to be successful.

Q.  Marcus, I kind of wanted to follow up on what you just said earlier about confidence.  This has been such a weird roller coaster, roster changes obviously.  Do you feel like you've exceeded expectations, fallen short of expectations?  What were your expectations for this year?
MARCUS PAIGE:  The season is not over for us.  It's hard to say.  There's a lot that could happen in the next however many weeks that could change that answer.  I think we have dreams and goals of making the deep tournament run and I think we're capable of doing that.  A lot of it rests on that.
We're pleased with the way we've been able to fight back and win 12 games in a row and put ourselves in the good position.  That's not what our expectation was coming into the year.  That's what really made this month.
COACH WILLIAMS:  You know, that answer was pretty doggone smart.  I get tired of picking on student‑athletes.  The answer that young man gave you right now, he's probably smarter than half you guys anyway.  So sometimes say something good.

Q.  Roy, your press has been very effective the last couple of games.  Is this something you might want to use more during post‑season?
COACH WILLIAMS:  We could.  It's very taxing on the kids.  I mean, it really is.  I took Brice and JP out one time because I thought they were about to stop breathing out there.  Because it is very taxing.  But if the other team gets caught up in it and turns it over, you should get more energy from that.
Marcus said there have been times where we've been very good defensively in the half court.  It's easier to cover the half court than the full court.  We did get some turnovers but they scored every time that we didn't get the turnover.  So we've got to do a good job in the full court press, but stop them once we get back in the half court set.  We could use it some more.
Like Marcus said, we've got‑‑ this is the answer I gave somebody after three or four games when they were saying that North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke, was I worried, I said, "Don't bury us yet."  I'd say the same thing right now.  "Don't bury us yet."  We've still got some play left.

Q.  Coach, Kennedy was limited to eight minutes.  Is that just a matter of him still trying to get his feet back underneath him from that virus?
COACH WILLIAMS:  No.  The coach has got to put in the guys that he thinks is going to do the job at that specific time.  I didn't think we were going to get as much out of Kennedy as we could have gotten.  I had Joel and Desmond in there.  Brice did some really good things.  He's got to get better defensively.
Same thing with Kennedy.  Kennedy has had some unbelievably good games for us.  At the same time he's had some games where he hasn't played as well.  I've got to get some other guys in there that will play better when he isn't playing as well.

Q.  For the record, Marcus is smarter than 99percent of us in here.
COACH WILLIAMS:  I would have said 100, but there may be somebody out there I don't know.

Q.  You mentioned the feeling of losing on Sunday the last couple of years.  You've also won on Sunday in this event.  You've been at this event many times even as an assistant coach.  Do you feel a difference in terms of rest, preparation?  I mean, I know it's hard to find a silver lining when you lose, but do you notice a difference when you're preparing for the NCAA Tournament when you get to go back to Chapel Hill today rather than Sunday night?
COACH WILLIAMS:  You know, David, I think you do feel that difference.  But I want to win.  You know, who knows what the crap's going to happen next week.  For me, if I have a chance to win, I want to win.  And my teams have taken me to seven Final Fours.  And only one time did we win the conference tournament.
But every one of those other times we've tried like crazy to win the sucker.  Three or four here and three or four at Kansas.  I can't remember how many we've won.  But I like to win.  And I think that gives you even more confidence kind of thing.  It is a little bit of now we got to start another tournament.  There's no question you have that feeling.  But I like winning.

Q.  Roy, I think all of us were wondering which half we were in after you said that.  Right at the end you put Wade Moody in, 25seconds left, senior.  I don't know what your rotation would be at that point, but why did you play him, what were you looking at, was that rewarding him for practice?
COACH WILLIAMS:  I put him in because the guy beside me just fouled out is the first reason.  And Leslie had already fouled out.  And Wade is the best shooter of all of the little guys left over there.  I do things on senior day to reward those guys.  Start the seniors.  I don't think I've ever had a team that I didn't start all of the seniors and two times tried to start six of them.  The referee never would let me.  But I do that to reward.
What I was doing with Wade is I thought that gave us the best chance to win.  At that time it was a three‑point game.  And I think I'm right.  If we penetrate and all of a sudden throw it to Wade, he's so wacko, he probably would have made the thing.  So that's the reason I put him.  I really thought it gave us the best chance to win.

Q.  The ACC and the Barclays Center are close to reaching the agreement to move the tournament there in 2017.  With the tournament in D.C. in 2016, what's your thoughts on it being out of Greensboro for three years?
COACH WILLIAMS:  Frankly, my dear.  I know that's an improper answer but, I mean, we just got our butts kicked.  And we got to get ready for the NCAA Tournament.  Frankly, my dear, I don't give a blankety‑blank where the hell they put it.  If they put it in Siberia, I'm going to try to go play.  If they put it in Owen High School in Black Mountain, Swannanoa Valley, I'm going to try our best to go out and play.  I know that's not the answer you wanted but you got to remember I'm an old guy up here and we just our butts kicked.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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