March 28, 2009


THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll go ahead and begin the post-game news conference for North Carolina. Here with head coach Roy Williams are student-athletes Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough. We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Williams and then open the floor for questions first for the student-athletes. We'll excuse them back to their locker room and then continue with questions for coach Roy Williams. Coach?
COACH WILLIAMS: We're ecstatic. It was a big time game for us. We had a couple of lulls where we made some mistakes. But basically look at the big picture of work, I thought we played really, really well.
We didn't shoot free-throws well and took a couple of bad shots in the middle part of the second half, but I thought we beat a fantastic basketball team in Gonzaga that did not have their best day.
I think Mark and his staff just did an absolutely fantastic job. We knew it was going to be a big time game, and we knew we'd have to play really, really well.
I don't know this for sure, but I sensed that Matt Bouldin was not feeling real well. I recognized early in warmups he spent time over on the side and didn't participate in the warmups. It looked like he was struggling a little bit, so he perhaps might have been sick.
We did catch them on a day where they didn't play as well as they wanted to play or as well as they're capable of playing.
We're as happy as can be. A big-time game. They made the run and got it to 11. Of all people, Bobby Frasor made the two big threes. He struggled all year with his shot, but those were as big as neck be. Ty makes a nice pass to Wayne on the break and follows it up with a free throw. So we scored nine points in those possessions there.
It's a very calm, relaxed locker room, and we'd like to stay here and play pretty well another day.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take questions for Wayne and Tyler.

Q. Wayne, Danny was 3 for 6 tonight from three-point range, Bobby had two, Larry hit one. When those other guys are hitting, it seems the flow you guys are in is much smoother than usual. Can you address the fact that when Danny especially is hitting, that you guys are almost complete.
WAYNE ELLINGTON: Yeah, when Danny is hitting from the perimeter, I think we got all our parts and we're going.
You know, we're flowing pretty well and get on transition. I think that opens up a lot of things also for our inside presence. Have to respect me and Danny from the perimeter, so we get a lot of easier looks from the inside.

Q. Wayne, can you talk a little bit about, in the first half, you guys almost went the entire half without a turnover. What contributed to such a solid play, ball handling wise?
WAYNE ELLINGTON: We always like to take care of the basketball, but I think Ty did a great job. Our guard did a great job of taking care of the ball and getting if where it needed to be. We took care of it and weren't dangerous or casual with it. As a result, we had a nice lead going into the half.

Q. Tyler, I wanted to ask you the difference between the first half and second half for you personally. You seemed to be quite inspired and more energetic in the second half.
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Well, I just let the game come to me. I didn't want to force anything. I think some other guys are playing well.
I think Ty was hitting a lot of shots, and I think some other people were stepping up. When that happens, I just try to do my part. I was trying to rebound and play better defensively.
So eventually in the second half the game just came to me, and I got in good position. Teammates gave me the ball, and I just happened to find -- you know, get the shot.

Q. Tyler, any personal satisfaction with your performance tonight against Heytvelt as opposed to a couple of years ago? In addition to the victory and moving on?
TYLER HANSBROUGH: It does feel good to win the game. But also, I mean, I remember that game in New York when we got our tails beat pretty bad. You know, I was thinking about it in practices and things like that.
You know, I thought Heytvelt pretty much outplayed me there. It feels good to go and beat a team that's already beaten you once.

Q. Tyler, when you have a big time matchup coming up like you do on Sunday, can you talk about how -- is it different to approach a game like that, to stay within yourself in the context of the team?
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Yeah, definitely. I think one thing, when you're going against a great player and someone that's really, obviously, has done a lot.
But I think for me personally, I just have to play my part within this team, not, you know, like I said, not try to force anything, let the game come to me. And, you know, just try to play good defense and get some rebounds. And eventually the offense will come.
You know, I'm not looking at it as a matchup between me and Griffin or something like that. I'm looking at it as North Carolina is playing Oklahoma.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Wayne and Tyler, if you'd like to head back. I'm sorry. There is one more.

Q. Just talk about Griffin as a player. I mean, are you excited about playing? That's kind of a matchup everybody's been looking forward to.
TYLER HANSBROUGH: Yeah, I mean, you see him on TV playing a lot. Like I said before, I don't watch a lot of college basketball.
So if you're going to ask me about certain players, I don't really know a lot about people's game, but obviously Griffin is catching a lot of hype and the way he's playing. He's deserving. He's a good player.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Now we'll excuse you guys. Thank you, Wayne and Tyler. We'll now go ahead and open it up for questions for Coach Williams.

Q. Roy, after their lead was cut to 11 and you called the time-out, what specifically upset you during that run? And what did you say to get the 12-0 run going there?
COACH WILLIAMS: I was disappointed because we were shooting the ball so quickly. We shot a three from the corner and get a rebound and throw it back out and shoot another three.
I've always thought that, when you get an offensive rebound, you should make somebody pay. So we missed those.
And then Tyler gets it stripped on an inside shot. Wayne tries to beat his guy off the dribble and gets it stripped 35 feet from the basket.
So I said the game is North Carolina against Gonzaga. It's not how many points you can make or what you can do individually. It's us. So I got after them a little bit about playing five guys against their five guys. That we've got to make more intelligent decisions. One of the questions earlier about not turning the ball over. When we don't turn the ball over, we've got some pretty good shooters. But you take bad shots, that's the same thing as a turnover.
You take a shot with 34 seconds on the shot clock is dumb, and I don't want us to be dumb.

Q. Roy, can you talk about the play of Ty Lawson tonight and how he was feeling afterwards?
COACH WILLIAMS: I haven't had a chance to talk to him about how he's feeling afterwards. I know that yesterday morning I was very concerned, but we practiced -- my days are running together. Today's Friday.
We practiced Wednesday and got on a plane, came here. Thursday's all day with media. He didn't have very much time at all to get his foot in the pool. And we have found that has been the one thing that's helped him more than anything.
Because of everything that was going on Thursday, he almost had no chance of getting in there. And then the flight and the air pressure when you're up in the plane, I think that added a little bit of swelling to it.
Last night he was able to get in the pool. We got him in there this morning, and that was really helpful to him. When he came for shootaround, he thought it felt better, and he was going to go and get back in the pool again.
We took him out at one point because he turned his other ankle a bit. It was not the toe. It was his left ankle that he sprained it a little bit.
We were able to get by with him only playing 27 minutes. Hopefully, it will be good. We'll have a little practice tomorrow, but we'll have some time to get him in the pool too.
COACH WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

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THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll get started with Gonzaga post-game news conference. As you see, we have head coach Mark Few along with student-athletes Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo. We'll start with a few comments from Coach Few, and then we'll take questions first for the student-athletes. Coach?
COACH MARK FEW: Well, we ran into a great basketball team tonight. They played great. When they are shooting the ball like that, especially from the three-point line, I think it's going to be tough for anybody to beat them.
You know, you just tip your hat to them. They played a great game. My guys battled. We had our chances. We got it back to 11, and then Bobby Frasor hit back to back threes and kind of drove that thing up.
We knew it was going to be a high possession game, and we even felt good at the half when we got in there, I think, down 11.
But just could never quite get a handle on stopping them. I think we had some turnovers and some poor shots on offense, which that just fuels their fire. We pride ourselves on being a great transition team, but they were much better than we were tonight.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Josh and Jeremy.

Q. Josh, do you ever recall playing a basketball game that you started in which you didn't get a rebound? And the second part of this question is can you just evaluate the way Tyler Hansbrough played tonight?
JOSH HEYTVELT: Off the top of my head, I don't know if I had one before this or not.
Tyler's a really good basketball player. And I don't think he played out of his mind. I think he had just a good game. Their entire team just played great.
THE MODERATOR: No questions for Josh and Jeremy. We'll open it up for questions for coach Mark Few. Are there any questions?

Q. Mark, I was going to ask you a little bit about their play in the first half and how well they took care of the basketball almost the entire half.
COACH MARK FEW: Yeah, you know, in some instances I think the toe injury might have helped Ty Lawson. I mean, he's playing at a great pace right now.
He's not forcing anything. He got in the lane a couple times where he was closely guarded and we shut down option one, option two, option three, and he was under control and found option four wide open out there on the back side of our defense.
You know, when they're -- when he's distributing like that, I mean, he had nine assists, one turnover. He shot the heck out of it from three. And they took great care of the ball.
We had a very poor deflection half. We charted our deflections. We had less than five at the half, which was our lowest total of the year, and we were able to get 20 in the second half, which is where we usually are.
Again, most of that was just due to Carolina. They were pushing it, sharing it, and getting themselves great looks. But they knocked them down. It's one thing to get them, but it's another to knock them down.
So they were -- they definitely had their A game tonight.

Q. It's one thing when Hansbrough does what he's doing but when Danny Green steps up and shoots like he hasn't been the last couple of weeks, how much more difficult are they?
COACH MARK FEW: It's just -- and I've said all along, if all 16 of us, if we all play at the top of our game, North Carolina wins the national championship. I just feel like, when they're playing at their highest end, they're better than the rest of us.
And they played that way tonight. I mean, Danny Green was supposedly struggling tonight, and he's making threes. Bobby Frasor, we had the game to 11 and forced a time-out. I mean, he's shooting 20-something percent from three, and he comes in and bangs two threes off down screens -- double screens up at the top of the key to get it back to 17.
And Larry Drew even hit a three. I mean, they were -- when they're shooting it like that, you know, it makes it very difficult to help on Tyler or Deon or Ed Davis down there. It was impressive, impressive performance.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts