- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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Some notes from Roy Williams’ weekly radio show on Monday night:
DON’T FINE FOR COURT-STORMING: The ACC is expected to discuss the safety of court-storming at its league meetings in May, and whether an SEC-like penalty structure should be enacted.
Williams said he would hate to see teams penalized.
“I’m not bothered by it as much as many people,’’ Williams said of court-storming, which became an issue again last week when Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed concern for his players’ safety after Virginia fans stormed the court at the conclusion of the Cavs' upset over the Blue Devils
“… The home team’s crowd, they choose to do that, they choose to be involved. It is college athletics. I’m not one of those guys to think we ought to hang people up by their toenails just because they run out on the court. But it does get dangerous.”
Indeed, Williams opted to take his team off the court early last season at Florida State (accidentally leaving his walk-ons on the floor to finish the game) when he knew the crowd was going to rush onto the court after the Seminoles’ blowout victory.
Safety for the visiting team is key, he stressed. But he understands fans’ desire to celebrate after an upset.
“I’m old fashioned in some ways; I’m also dumb,’’ Williams said. “I remember when I was an assistant coach and we lost a game. I think it was at Notre Dame and they stormed the court. I told Coach [Dean] Smith I wish one game we’d lose that they didn’t have to storm the court. That’s just a dumb, naïve, dumb young assistant coach is all that is. Coach Smith looked at me and said, ‘You know if they’re storming the court after they beat you then they haven’t beat you very often.’ Then I said I really liked the fact that they stormed the court.
“When we were at Kansas we had it a lot. We’ve had it a few times since we’ve been here as well.”
ONE FOR THE ‘TEAM’: Williams said he doesn’t remember ever seeing a basket quite like the one his “team” made on Sunday, when center Joel James' pass was inadvertently tipped into the basket by a Florida State player.
“Key thing to me: As soon as Joel took two steps down the court he raised that hand. He wanted to get credit for that basket, too,’’ Williams said, laughing. “… In the old days he would have gotten credit for the basket, but the rules have changed. Now they just give you the ‘team’ basket. You don’t get an assist, don’t get a shot attempt or anything. I told Joel today that I have seen some of his shots that look bad, but that was the worst one I had ever seen.”
Williams also said he thought that might be the first “team” bucket his squad has ever scored.
But, he added, “I’d like to have 20 of them Wednesday night [at Maryland] and about 40 of them on Saturday [vs. third-ranked Duke].”
WHO WAS THAT BLUE-HAIRED GUY?: Williams said he enjoyed the fact that football coach Larry Fedora -- wearing a blue wig and visor -- stood in the student section, cheering, during the Tar Heels’ win over FSU.
“I saw him in the tunnel after the game; he was waiting for me in the tunnel there, and I thanked him and told him I thought it was great and the whole bit,'' Williams said. "It was neat. He’s a little wacko. We sort of fit together sometimes.”
Williams, a huge supporter of UNC’s football program, said he didn’t know if he’d make his way into the “Tar Pit” for a football game in the future. But ... maybe.
“I don’t know that I need to get down there with the youngsters, but you never can tell what I might do,’’ he said. "I can tell you one thing: I’m not jumping out of any frickin’ airplane to come in there, but I’ll do about anything. If he [Fedora] wants me to do it, I’ll do anything.”
SEEDING TALK: Asked about whether he is concerned about where his team might be seeded in the NCAA tournament, Williams said no: “It’s out of my control. I have a little control for who goes in the game, what defense we’re playing or something like, but it’s that old saying, you should worry about what you can control. …
“I’ve never been drastically upset by any seed we got. We’ve gone to the Final Four as a five, a three, a two, a one. Bottom line is, you’ve got to play on game day. I don’t worry about those things.”
ESPN's Joe Lunardi projected UNC as a No. 7 seed in his latest Bracketology on Tuesday.
BRIEFLY: Williams said that before the team left for Clemson last week, there was cake and ice cream at the office to celebrate former coach Dean Smith’s 82nd birthday. Williams helped Smith blow out the candles (there were only two, not 82).
Some notes from Roy Williams’ weekly radio show on Monday night:DON’T FINE FOR COURT-STORMING: The ACC is expected to discuss the safety of court-storming at its league meetings in May, and whether an SEC-like penalty structure should be enacted.