Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Q&A with UNC's Roy Williams

North Carolina coach Roy Williams answered questions Tuesday morning about his team’s Wednesday night showdown with Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Here is a smattering of answers:

Q: You’ve said you think this is the best Duke team since you’ve been back at UNC. Why do you think that?

I think they have more weapons on a shared basis. J.J. (Redick) was such a threat, but you could help off some of the other people. I don’t think there’s anybody that you can run in and help off of as much now. Their depth is better. I thought in the summertime that our depth was the only team that could match up with them … but we’ve taken a pretty significant hit since then. To me, they’re playing better defense than anybody in our league. I think when you have a lot of guys who can score, you can’t aim your defense at one guy, they’re playing great defense, they rebound the basketball better this year than they have in the past – I think all those things make me feel like they’re the best since I’ve been back.

Q: Aside from having good players, is there a certain element you have to have to win at Cameron?

Not anything more important than good players, but once you get past that – an ability to focus on what’s going on on the court. That focus and that discipline to be concerned about what you’re doing – and not stand and look around, I think that’s important. I think toughness, because you’re going to have some adversity there, and you’ve got to be able to withstand those dry spells and take advantage of your opportunity. I think the mental part of it is one of the big, big factors there.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from over there at Cameron?

Not one play or one game or anything like that. I just know that I say a lot of places, ‘I’ll take a one-point win and get out of town as quickly as I can.’ But I never believe it and mean it as much as I do at that place over there. Just going and sitting out on that bus the last three years have been great moments, just waiting for players to finish and sitting there eating my chicken sandwich or whatever it is.

- Robbi Pickeral