Roy Williams and sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks met with the media to preview the Louisville game. They both talked about Montrezl and his energy, and Roy Williams used “harassment” to describe Louisville’s defense.
Comparing Notre Dame (UNC’s last opponent) and Louisville
-Louisville shoots a good percentage. Notre Dame shot a great percentage. Louisville makes you turn the basketball over on a great level that Notre Dame didn’t do. So they’re different teams. Everybody will say that Notre Dame lives on the three; Louisville shoots a lot of threes as well. They don’t shoot as high of a percentage. But I think there’s a lot of changes in every team, but playing at a high level is not any change at all because Notre Dame plays at a very high level and Louisville plays at a very high level, and they both play at a very high level with their intensity. They sort of do it a little bit differently.
On Montrezl Harrell
-Montrezl is going to shoot a couple (threes) but he’s probably not going to shoot nine. So it’s a completely different challenge for Brice (Johnson) with (Pat) Connaughton (who shot seven threes against UNC) as oppose to Montrezl. Montrezl is a very emotional, very physical, very energized player. There’s no question about that. Usually those kind of guys embarrass you if you don’t raise it to that level. Connaughton was a perimeter player who shot the ball into the basket. And do you know what those guys do? They embarrass you if you don’t get out there and guard them so it’s just different.
On Louisville’s Defense
-I think harassment is probably the best word. You have to be looking around because his guys are running from behind if you did get past them. They are trying to deflect it from behind. They’re trying to cut you off and take a charge. They’re trying to pick your pocket if you’re not paying attention. You turn your back and dribble away from them, they may come after you. To me, the pressure that they put on defensively is the number one thing about the teams that Rick coaches as far as I’m concerned. You look down at the turnover margin and it’s +5.2. That’s pretty big.
On Montrezl Harrell
-I just remember him from high school, he was the same exact way. He’s just always playing with intensity, always playing defense, always being aggressive. So that’s what we expect tomorrow (Saturday) is his best shot.
On the game
-So we just have to take it upon ourselves today and just realize that it’s a big time game. We’ve got to focus in film today. It’s ACC play and that’s how it’s going to be every single game. So you’ve got to come out with a mindset of posting up hard, scoring the ball, passing the ball, whatever you have to do for the team to win.