UNC coach Roy Williams has just concluded his press conference leading up to tomorrow's game against Washington.
A few highlights from notes, and then I'll try to add some direct quotes later.
* He was -- not surprisingly -- very complimentary to UW. He seemed to have particular warmth for coach Lorenzo Romar. And he called Isaiah Thomas "one of the best point guars in the country. There's no doubt about that." Later, he called Thomas "a tough little nut."
Here's the full quote:
Never miss a local story.
He's one of the best guards in the country, no question in my mind. I would have to think about -- best point guards. I would have to think a little bit about it and write it down. I know I love guards who can dictate the pace of the game and can change it even during the course of the game. He can play a half court game and bother you, but he can also play a full court game and really bother you. He can score, and he makes everybody else better. I think in the PAC-10 Conference Tournament, maybe all three games I think he had over 10 assists. I know he did in the quarter finals and semifinals and I haven't finished watching the Arizona game. I've got four minutes left that game. He can hurt you in so many different ways. He's a tough little nut, too. He goes and rebounds the basketball. So he really does so many things for them.The way I would answer that question is, I would have a hard time finding very many people that can have a more significant impact on the game than he does as a point guard, because he really does have a tremendous impact and most of the time very positive impact for his team.
* He downplayed the advantage of playing in Charlotte, despite the fact that UNC is 10-0 in NCAA tournament games here. He said someone has to play close to home, others farther, and added that he's very been beaten by a building or lost because of one.
* He said the Sunday tipoff time -- 9:15 a.m. -- might have been relevant to the Huskies' body clocks if it came on their first day in Charlotte, but he figures they've adjusted by now.
* He listed these three keys to victory: rebound, get back on defense, reduce turnovers, especially the dumb ones.