Roy stopped short of cussing. But those attending the Tuesday press conference at the Smith Center could all fill in the blanks.
Coach Williams is angry about a number of things. Not the least of which is Carolina’s most recent loss at UAB.
But it was the lackluster way in which the Tar Heels carried themselves in the game, especially in the first half, that likely irked Roy the most.
“They outplayed us. That was the bottom line. They wanted it more. They hustled more. They had more intensity. That’s aggravating to a coach. I’ve always felt like I should coach execution. I shouldn’t have to coach effort,” Coach Williams says.
But the dip in effort level begs the question. Who are the leaders on the floor for the Tar Heels? Marcus Paige has said he is growing into his leadership role more and more each day.
“I think from the start I felt that was my role and that’s my job. As we play more games, it just becomes more natural for me. I can be more of an ‘out there’ leader. I can yell at guys and get on guys. They really look to me. That’s something I appreciate I guess,” Paige says.
Well, in situations like Sunday’s first half on the road against the Blazers, the Tar Heels could have used a little more yelling from not just Coach Williams, but self-professed court leaders like Paige.
But yes, we know Roy has been all over them. He didn’t like the Joel James’ hushing of the crowd early in the UAB game one bit either.
“I was on their case in the locker room yesterday. I was on their case at practice today. I’m going to be on their case tomorrow. I’m going to be on their case Wednesday,” Coach Williams says.
That’s a lot of cases to be on. But I trust Roy at his word.
It’s like the Carolina players are still looking over their shoulders for the golden saviors to come ride out in their golden chariots and save the day. But each game, P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald miss their entrance cues. They are nowhere to found. They’re caught up in an NCAA traffic jam.
Until this young basketball team begins to realize this is it, these are the players they have now, these are the only boys in Carolina blue who they may have all season. Only then may they start to step up and fill out their new roles.
And maybe the scrappy, energetic Tar Heels we saw against Louisville will reemerge against Michigan State Wednesday in primetime? Who knows?
But for now, there is one thing we can count on. The team is enduring the wrath of Roy.
“They hate it, because we don’t play until Wednesday at 9 o’clock. We had this pretty itinerary. I changed it. We have a film session at 9 am Wednesday morning. And that’s just the start, because I am going to be one of the meanest ‘blankety-blanks’ in the valley the next 48 hours,” Coach Williams says.
Oh boy. Let’s see how Carolina survives.