UNC coach Roy Williams addressed the media before the Tar Heels travel to Uncasville, Conn., for the Hall of Fame tipoff this weekend.
The Tar Heels face Richmond on Saturday and either Fairfield or No. 3 Louisville on Sunday.
Some topics Williams covered:
The Heels took a step forward offensively against Belmont from their sluggish performance against Holy Cross, but Williams said they took a step back defensively, allowing the Bruins to shoot 40 percent from the 3-point range. “I wasn’t pleased at all, and when I looked at the tape, it was even worse,” Williams said. “It’s a strangeness to it because I thought we did make some great strides and were much better offensively against Belmont, but defensively we were not there.
Williams said their 22-for-48 free throw performance will go down as one of the two worst of his coaching career. It was particularly perplexing because both James Michael McAdoo and J.P. Tokoto had shot better than 80 percent from the line during a recent practice. McAdoo was 11 of 19 and Tokoto 4 of 16 in the loss to Belmont. “If two guys make 81 and 84 percent on their own, I can’t simulate what their thought process is in a game,” Williams said. “We’ve got to be able to handle that part of it. We do shoot them, more than likely we’re going to shoot more.”
Richmond has made only 17 total 3-pointers this season and shot 18.7 percent from behind the arc. (Belmont had made only 15 overall entering Sunday’s game before duplicating that number and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range against the Heels.) Williams said he watched half of the Spiders win over Belmont on Wednesday after returning from the Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House, whose honorees included Dean Smith.“It should get our guys' attention the team that beat us lost to the guys we’re playing next,” Williams said. Williams later “knocked on wood” first tapping his desk then his head when adding that the Spiders, “haven’t shot it great from the 3-point line yet.”
Freshman forward Isaiah Hicks logged just two minutes against Belmont, which happened in part because of matchup problems, but Williams said that will change. “It was the only thing at the end of the game I was mad at myself about,” Williams said. “I should have given him more opportunities. We’re going to give him more opportunities.”