While those in Chapel Hill are used to Roy Williams being Ol’ Roy, Williams’s attitude and demeanor during Final Four press conferences has caught the national media off guard. Some have written that Williams is particularly tight and ornery this week – those that know him best don’t see it as anything out of his ordinary schtick.
On Sunday, Williams was asked why he was trying to dictate what questions reporters ask, with his expressed desire to not speak about the NCAA investigation or his potential retirement cited as specific examples.
“Good question,” he said with a wry smile. “I don’t have a great answer.
“I guess just being a human being. That’s all right. I’ve been asked five times since the ACC tournament, at least, if I was going to retire. So in today’s time of social media, why in the dickens can’t people get that information without feeling like they have to ask it themselves.
“I don’t think I at all have tried to dictate. Jimmy Boeheim dictated. He said, Stop asking me that question, ask Roy. So I answered the question before anybody asked it. I disagree with you. I don’t think I dictated that.”
“We would have enough fire to burn this whole building down if we burnt all the paper that has been written about that stuff in the last two and a half years,” Williams said about the NCAA investigation. “It’s not that I have a Napoleon complex. I am 5-foot-10. I always stand right in front of Joel (Berry) at every team picture, so he has to stand on his tiptoes to be seen.
“I guess I would disagree with your question. The other thing, so what if I have the right? You have the right to ask me again. But this is America, I have the right to say no, ask somebody else. That’s what Jimmy Boeheim did (when asked about retirement).
“First of all, I would say to your question, I don’t have a great answer, but I disagree with your question because I haven’t stopped talking anytime somebody’s asked me.”
A MOMENT LONG-AWAITED FOR WHITE
In the final moments of Saturday’s 83-66 win over Syracuse, Stilman White was one of several bench players who entered the game and took the elevated floor at NRG Stadium. Four years ago, White thought he had a shot of playing in the Final Four, an unexpected starter at point guard with Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland injured. When the Tar Heels lost to Kansas, with White about to leave for a Mormon mission, he thought his chance to play in a Final Four had come and gone.
“To come that close to a Final Four, be tied at the last media timeout, really starting to believe you have a shot at getting to experience and come up short,” White said. “Then I had to wait a while. ... It’s definitely been worth the wait.”
NOVA NOT OVER N.C. STATE LOSS
As Villanova prepares to face North Carolina for the seventh time in the NCAA tournament, it’s a loss to another Triangle team that still bothers Villanova’s players. The top-seeded Wildcats were eliminated in the second round a year ago by N.C. State, with the Wolfpack moving on to the Sweet 16 for the second time in four years.
“I think last year we were definitely playing our best ball at the end of the year,” Villanova forward Daniel Ochefu said. “We came up short in the N.C. State game. This year, we just continue to get better.”
There are four players still around who played in Villanova’s last NCAA tournament meeting with North Carolina, in the 2013 first round: Villanova’s Ochefu and Ryan Arcidiacono and North Carolina’s Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige. That was Roy Williams’ 700th victory.