CHAPEL HILL – If you just listened to Roy Williams post game press conference without watching the game or looking at the box score, you’d think the 7th ranked Tar Heels lost to Stanford and not defeated them 90-72. But Williams knows what it takes to win a National Title. He knows the seeds for those type of teams are planted in November and he knows that if UNC wants to be a Final Four caliber team, consistency on the defensive end will have to get better.
“That was not the game we wanted to play, not the way we want to guard people.”
The Tar Heels came out of the blocks with good defensive intensity, effectively switching on defense and contesting every shot. They held Stanford to just 9 points in the first 10 minutes of play and 35% shooting on the half. But effort noticeably declined in the second period. Turnovers went up and attention to rebounding and details went down.
“It was frustrating in the second half,” Williams continued. “We didn’t guard them. They switched on every screen and we acted like we had never seen that before in our lives. The best thing that ever happened to my team is that we do not have practice tomorrow.”
Graduate leader Cam Johnson echoed the same thing.
“The second half was not how we needed to play. They did some things that took advantage of us. They beat us in the second half and coach is definitely upset about it and so are we.”
But it wasn’t all bad for the Heels. Kenny Williams found his shot after going without a field goal in the first two games – scoring 12 points on 4-6 shooting, half of which came from 3. And UNC’s depth was on full display as 10 players put points on the board.
“I was feeling good all day leading up to the game,” Kenny said after the win. “During shoot around my shots were falling, pregame my shots were falling. I knew at some point they would fall. I had total confidence in that shot and got the result I wanted.”
“We’re really deep,” Senior Luke Maye said. “We’ve got nine guys, six of them can score double digits and seven of them can get five or six rebounds. It’s really cool to have so many guys that can play at such a high level. I think it will really bode well for us when we’re in ACC play.
The Heels will be back on the floor Friday against Tennessee Tech in Chapel Hill. Tip-off is at 7pm.
- UNC Scoring Leader: Cameron Johnson – 17
- UNC Rebound Leader: Garrison Brooks and Luke Maye – 8
- UNC Assist Leader: Coby White, Kenny Williams, Seventh Woods – 8
- The Tar Heels have won 86 of its last 88 home openers, including 17 in a row