UNC's Roy Williams will 'be damned' if he's going to emulate Duke
Two games into a new North Carolina season, and we have our first memorable Ol' Roy moment. UNC coach Roy Williams provided it on Sunday after the Tar Heels' 97-57 victory against Chattanooga.
Late into his postgame press conference, a reporter asked Williams a question based on a comparison to a recent Duke team. The question was about whether there were similarities between Nate Britt, the Tar Heels' senior guard, and Quinn Cook, who played an instrumental role in leading the Blue Devils to the 2015 national championship.
Cook that season was Duke's elder statesman, a senior leader on a team that relied on the contributions of three freshmen. This UNC team, meanwhile, is somewhat reliant on freshmen – especially 6-foot-11 forward Tony Bradley – but the Tar Heels are more dependent on an experienced nucleus of returning players, including Joel Berry, Isaiah Hicks, Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks.
Nonetheless, Williams was asked whether Britt, who started on Sunday after coming off the bench on Friday in the season-opening victory against Tulane, was UNC's version of Cook.
To which Williams replied:
“You know, I assure you that nobody has more respect for Duke and their program than I do, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pattern what we're doing after them. So let's get that straight right now.
“But they've been fantastic. I don't know if anybody's ever done a better job coaching than Mike. But we don't talk about things like that. But the difference is Quinn was a big-time scorer and an emotional leader, and a good defender. And Nate so far hasn't got the scoring, but guys do trust Nate.
“And I think if Nate says, 'Let's go to so-and-so restaurant,' the guys would just say, 'OK.' Because they trust him. But no, I may compare him to teams that I've coached. But I'm not comparing to not only Duke, I'm not comparing them to Slippery Rock or anybody else. That's not in my DNA to.”
So there you have it: Williams' first memorable foray into Ol' Roy mode. We'll do our best to keep a running list of these this season.