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December 29, 2008CHAPEL HILL -- Following North Carolina's 97-75 victory over Rutgers Sunday night in the Smith Center, UNC head coach Roy Williams and Rutgers head coach Fred Hill spoke to reporters.
UNC HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS
"Well, in some ways it was an unusual game. I felt like that we weren't doing a very good job defensively and they (Rutgers) were making every shot, and yet I don't usually watch the scoreboard, but every time I'd look up we were up 14, 16, 18 (points) or something like that."
"I think the game was backboards (rebounding) and the fact that we were able to turn them over. You guys have heard me say before that the toughest thing defensively is to keep the other team's field goal percentage down as you gamble, and our gambling, trapping, and pressure defense got them to turn it over, but they made the open shots that we gave them. We're just greedy enough to want to try to be able to do both of them, and I think that is hard to do, but we've got to do a better job of that."
It was a good win. We were pleased about that. I told (Rutgers coach) Fred (Hill) he's got some young kids, but they've really upgraded the level of talent from what it was three years ago. I really think he's done a nice job with his club.
Thoughts about Tyler Hansbrough getting his 800th career rebound:
"Congratulations to Tyler. I told him in the timeout and in the locker room (that 1,000 career rebounds) it's a pretty small field, and he's going to get some more of them---so I congratulated him."
Thoughts about Ty Lawson and his performance:
"I thought Ty was sensational. Six assists and zero turnovers. I think those are the kind of things that we need him to do. He still hasn't shot the ball very well in any game, and I still think sometimes in practice we make every shot, so we're going to have some nights where we shoot better and hopefully have some nights that we'll defend better and still do the job about getting them to turn it over and do the job we did on the backboards tonight."
What was the reason for some of the defensive issues over the course of the game?
"Practice. We haven't practiced. I mean, I had to re-introduce myself to the team. We went 10 days and we had two practices. I mean, think about that, guys. You guys (reporters) always write good articles or make good reports, or you suck sometimes. It's a pretty simple thing. We practiced a few times in 10 days. We come back and we play a game. We give them (the players) six days off. We need some practice time. We were gambling (defensively) exactly the same amount before that we are gambling now."
Will defense be a bigger emphasis now that Marcus Ginyard has returned to the lineup?
"I'm 58 years old. Defense has been the priority every day I've been alive. The day that it's not a priority, there will be somebody else sitting up here at this press conference."
Thoughts about Rutgers' Mike Rosario, who scored 26 points:
"Fantastic young man and fantastic player. We really liked him. He played for Coach (Bob) Hurley at St. Anthony's (N.J.). I saw him practice several times. I didn't know if I'd have a chance to grab him at the end of the game, so when they took him out I yelled at him, 'It was a great game,' (he played.) He's really a good youngster, but he's a load. I mean, a freshman averaging 16 a game, and he comes in and gets 26 against us, and some of them were fairly tough shots. I think their whole team, they've really got some pieces to the puzzle in place."
RUTGERS HEAD COACH FRED HILL
"We played a good team. The question coming is, 'Are we getting better than the last time out?' That was our focus. Everybody was talking about playing (the) one, two, and three (ranked teams) in the country. Our focus was getting better. We came down a day early and had great practices. I thought we came out and competed tonight. Our goal was to play at a certain tempo, but obviously they (UNC) are great at making you play at their speed. We did a lot of good things, but came out short---just not enough to get the game close down the stretch."
Thoughts about playing the top-ranked Tar Heels:
"In order to be the best you have to beat the best. This is no disrespect to the ACC, but we believe we play in the best conference top to bottom. Some people think I am crazy, but I wanted to play North Carolina. I talked to Coach Williams about the series. You have got to learn to throw your best show out there. We took some of their punches and kept coming back. We want to be the best in our conference so games like these are good for us."