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January 5, 2009CHAPEL HILL -- Following Boston College's 85-78 upset victory over top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday evening, head coaches Roy Williams and Al Skinner spoke with reporters.
BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH AL SKINNER
How was Boston College able to keep North Carolina from getting out in transition?
"I'm not sure if we really kept them out of transition. We just really wanted to play the way we wanted to play. Let's come in and execute our stuff and adhere to the things that we do. We're not a team that's going to win a track meet by any means, and let's not get caught up in that. (UNC) is going to make some plays in transition. It's not like we have to come back and respond right away. I thought it helped to have a senior point guard (in Tyrese Rice) that understands that, and kept the pace the way we wanted to."
How were you able to keep the pace slower?
"There's no question that we kind of kept it at our pace, at least, as far as I'm concerned---on the offensive end we did what we wanted to do. Our offense dictates the way we want to play and the guys were really patient. I can't say this often enough---I just wanted to make sure that we go out and play the way we wanted to play. The other thing is that I think we were prepared, especially in the first half. I thought we were very prepared for whatever pressure they brought. We only had two turnovers in the first half, and I thought that was key in the sense that the guys understood what it is and what we needed to do."
Thoughts about Boston College's overall performance:
"First of all, we have better overall ball handlers than last year. That, and then obviously (we have) another year (of experience). I think our guys were very embarrassed by their performance down here last year. The guys that did play, they were disappointed in themselves. I'm not saying they should have beaten North Carolina, but that they should have represented themselves a little bit better."
What does it mean for the Boston College program to upset the No. 1 team in the country on their home floor?
"For the program, it's one league win right now---that's all it is. I think our program has done okay, so it's not like we haven't had any success in the past. This is a league win. This is league play. We've got 15 more games to go and it may be no more significant than that. Maybe at the end of the season it has some significance, but right now (not as much). I hope we don't do this, but if we lose in the next 14, what good is this win? I mean, it's a win. It's a win in the league. It's a great win for us and anytime you can win on the road you have got to be extremely happy, and we are about that."
UNC HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS
"I grabbed Al (Skinner) after the game and told him it was a great win for them. It was very disappointing for us, to say the least. I really believe they (Boston College) are the type of team who sets the tempo in the first half by out-working us. They were tougher and out-rebounded us. They had 13 offensive rebounds in the first half. In the second half, we could never really get over the hump. All of a sudden, it is a 13 or 14-point game. We had a nice comeback because our kids are always going to continue trying, but we could not get over the hump again. Needless to say, it hurts, and it is frustrating."
"It's hard to see we shot 29 percent (from the field) in the second half, and it is hard to beat anybody like that. I thought (Rakim) Sanders and (Tyrese) Rice were both sensational for them in the first half. We just could never get over the hump. We did not get them to turn the ball over very much. Then we had some guys, including myself, who did not have a good a day as we thought we would."
How was Boston College able to slow down UNC's transition offense?
"They made shots in the first half. That was the biggest thing. They shot 44 percent and I thought they made 80 percent of their shots. They made seven threes (pointers) in the first half. The other thing is we did not do a very good job of attacking. Again, I think we have to be more physical. We have to be tougher---mentally and physically---but we had some opportunities. Even the last play of the first half, I thought we did what we were supposed to do. We even had two fouls to give, and we were trying to get a double-team, their guy comes off a screen and the guy that should be there is not there. We could foul and they would not even get a shot off, or if we get a turnover we could get a shot ourselves. We missed a lay-up, a follow dunk, and another wide-open lay-up because they sprint back and do what they're supposed to do. It is not characteristic for our team to play the way we did today. Hopefully it will not be characteristic for us to play like that again."
Thoughts about the team shooting a disappointing 15-of-27 from the free throw line:
"15-of-27 is not good, and especially when a lot of those are on the front-end of a one-on-one. During exam break we have extra shooting periods. We thought we shot more free throws in the last two weeks than we have the entire season. It is part of the game. We have to make shots from the free throw line and make shots away from the basket to get over the hump. I think it (the score) was 56-54 and we had three straight possessions. During one of those three possessions when we missed a lay-up, Will (Graves) made a casual pass to Tywon (Lawson) and he misses a lay-up and Will missed the follow (shot). Again, when you shoot 29 percent (in the second half) it is hard to come back on people."
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