Saturday, January 31, 2009

UNC, Pack players speak about altercation

Here are quotes from the players involved in an altercation Saturday with 1.9 seconds remaining in North Carolina’s 93-76 win at N.C. State. (See video here.)

With 1.9 seconds remaining, North Carolina reserve forward Michael Copeland was driving for a layup after a long pass from Bobby Frasor when N.C. State center Ben McCauley knocked Copeland to the floor with an intentional foul.

Copeland got back up and shoved McCauley before referee Les Jones separated them. The referees called double technical fouls on the play, and North Carolina coach Roy Williams sent Copeland to the locker room early.

There was no flagrant foul and no ejection, so neither player should face disciplinary action for the next game.

Here’s what the players had to say about it


"He hit me in my head. It was a hard foul, Bobby gave me a pass and I wanted to score – just like anybody, I hadn’t played and I wanted to score. And I went up; I guess he was frustrated, too, and he fouled me hard.”

"I was just trying to score, and he took me out.”

Q: Do you regret doing it?
A: Definitely, I regret doing it. It was a bad mistake on my part, and I should have just let it go and shot my free throws.

Q: What did Roy say as he came across the court?
A: I can’t tell you that (laughing).

Q: Did McCauley say anything to you?
A: I heard McCauley, and he was saying “Come on!’ He wanted to fight, but nobody was going to fight; the referees weren’t going to let us fight. . . .It was frustration on my part, I wanted to score. … Bobby, he probably shouldn’t have made the pass; he probably should have just taken the ball out and let time run out. But he wanted me to score. I shouldn’t have did that; it wasn’t a big foul. But I was frustrated.


Q: Can you take us through what happened at the end?
A: I was a little disappointed that he was even going up for it. I thought that was a little disrespectful at that point. The game was over. I wish it didn’t happen the way it did, but I didn’t want him to get an easy dunk. To me, I thought it just was a little unnecessary. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone about it as physical as I did, but like I said, I didn’t want him to do that in front of our crowd and go off the floor with a dunk like that?

Q: Did he make any kind of threat to you?
A: He came up in my face, and went chest to chest with me. I didn’t really hear what he said, but as soon as he got off the ground, he came right at me. Somebody came in between us, and nothing was going to happen at that point. You’d be an idiot to take a swing.

Q: Did you make a peace offering when the dust settled?
A: I did. And I told Coach Williams afterward, I’m sorry. He said he was sorry, too, he didn’t mean for that to happen. No one really wants stuff like that to happen. It’s unfortunate, but it happened and we have to move on from there.

Q: You did look like you were saying, “Not in my house.” Were you defending your turf?
A: Absolutely. He can do that on his own floor or whatever, but don’t come into our home building with the game over pretty much and try to dunk like that. It’s kind of disrespectful.

Q: (Copeland) said that you said, “Come on,” and he felt like you wanted to fight.
A: No. What I did say, to be completely honest with you, when he came up to my face is, “What are you going to do? What are you going to do?” Don’t take a shot at me, because that’s going to get you ejected. You’re not going to be able to play in the next game, and that’s not smart on your part. I had no intention to entice him to do anything.

Q: In retrospect, would you have thrown the pass to Copeland there at the end?
A: Probably not. I probably should have taken the high road and just dribbled the ball out, but I came in with him, I wanted him to score, I wanted him to get some memories. But if I had known that was going to happen, I probably would have thought twice about it.

Q: How much was it a symptom of rivalry?
A: It’s unfortunate that that happened, but we don’t really like State, and State doesn’t really like us. It’s known. Fans, they know it to. My guess is that if we had been playing some small school, he wouldn’t have done that, but since it’s State…


Anonymous said...

State's not UNC's rival.

Anonymous said...

What a punk McCauley is. I don't care what he says to the press afterwards. At that moment, he wanted to hurt Copeland. He wanted something to happen afterwards too. He definitely said "Come on!" like he wanted Copeland to do something. What an idiot. Loser.

Anonymous said...

Actually, as a UNC fan, the only thing wrong I thought, was Copeland going after McCauley. I don't fault Bobby for trying to get a bench player a score and I don't fault McCauley for hammering him, Mike should have just kept his cool and shot his free throws!

Jason said...

McCauley should have been playing defense if he didn't want to get dunked on. Trying to injure a player because you slacked off isn't an excuse. That's just thuggery.

Sambo said...

I don't blame Frasor for trying to get Copeland the dunk, albeit slightly disrespectful on State's homecourt at the end of the game like that. But if the situation were to be flipped (State bench player in last few seconds in a blowout at UNC) they would go about it the same way. You're winning, you're in a good mood, everybody wants to score and dunk and get flashy if you can. It was messed up of McCauley to hit Mike like that, but I understand the feelings. and by the way, State IS Carolina's rivals. traditional rivals, it's tobacco road baby

Roy Williams Jr. said...

As a Tarheel fan I still say that move by Copeland was total dick. They should have just run out the clock. The other players had given up and all the sudden Frasor and Copeland decide they wanna dunk it? McCauley was right to give a punk play hard foul. And that's what it was, a hard foul, not a flagrant foul.

Anonymous said...

I really do not like North Carolina.
However, McCauley's comments are an embarassment to his team and university.
Bench players like Copeland should not stop playing until the buzzer nor should players like McCauley expect that their opponent should lay down like the Wolpack did in this game.
I think thisd is another indication of how NC State blew it when they ran off Herb Sendek and hired Sidney Lowe.

Anonymous said...

McCauley is a big man for saying "not in my house" AFTER his team is already down by 15. Duke is UNC's rival not State.

Anonymous said...

Hey, those of you who think that Copeland was trying to dunk the ball, watch the video link above. He was definitely trying to lay the ball up. In fact, he double clutched it, the second time being when McCauley clubbed him.

I definitely think McCauley was in the wrong -- it was an unnecessarily hard foul on a UNC scrub. "Defending his house" is a ridiculous rationale. Why wasn't he defending it when Hansbrough was on the court? LOL

McCauley is finishing four years as an asswipe on NCSU's bench. He sowed team dissent last year against JJ Hickson and sent that team to a last-place finish in the ACC.

Anonymous said...

Copeland is too fat to dunk

Anonymous said...

Duke never would have done that. They're too much of a class act. They would have run out the clock. They beat you but they don't try to embarrass you.

Anonymous said...

Carolina fans, your own team is talking about the rivalry between UNC and State. So if they think it's a rivalry, then I would take their opinion over yours any day. On a day when NC State was honoring one of the most incredible human beings in college coaching, Kay Yow, your players made a bad decision to not just end the game respectfully but show off. Watch the replay in slow motion and you will see that McCauley didn't touch his head, nor did he hit his head on the ground when he landed. Hard foul? Yes. Flagrant? No. McCauley is far from a punk, seeing as how he never went after Copeland as Copeland was trying to start something. Kudos to Roy, the only respectful person on the Carolina bench. Do you find it a coincidence that your team gets along with NO ONE?! Not State... not Duke... No One! Also, kudos to the idiots from your team who defaced a Kay Yow memorial in the State free expression tunnel. How disgusting and disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Roy and company would gleefully embrace the opportunity to beat a disabled Texas girls squad 100-0 if given the chance.