Cliff's Notes: Roy Williams says he'll never walk through tunnel as opposing coach at Allen Fieldhouse


7:26 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder's video with sights from Saturday and KU center Jeff Withey talking about the message delivered at a team meeting KU had Friday night.

6:06 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Nick Krug just posted his photo gallery from today.

Here's a sample:

Kansas players Elijah Johnson, right, and Kevin Young make their way to the team locker room before practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas players Elijah Johnson, right, and Kevin Young make their way to the team locker room before practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland hams it up for the cameras outside the team locker room, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland hams it up for the cameras outside the team locker room, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Kansas guard Ben McLemore takes questions from media members during interviews in the locker room before the team's practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore takes questions from media members during interviews in the locker room before the team's practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

5:34 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Full audio from KU coach Bill Self and UNC coach Roy Williams has been posted.

4:35 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Kansas head coach Bill Self encourages toughness from his players down the stretch against Western Kentucky in the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas head coach Bill Self encourages toughness from his players down the stretch against Western Kentucky in the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Here's the Cliff's notes version from Kansas coach Bill Self's comments at the podium during today's media session.

KU guard Ben McLemore is young. This is his first time on a big stage. He didn't have his best game against Western Kentucky, but KU's much better when he's in there because he's so athletic and can open things up for others. He's a great shooter. Self is pleased with what he's done all year long.

KU guard Elijah Johnson is a big of a key on the team for everybody playing well because he's the main distributor. Teams are going to guard McLemore a certain way to force him to do things that don't come as easy for him. He's capable of doing those things, though. He just has to enjoy the moment and play the game and not put pressure on himself. When he's aggressive, KU is much better. KU just has to get him to be more aggressive.

KU senior Travis Releford is smart, strong, athletic and understands angles defensively. But more than anything, he's competitive. There was a long period of time when WKU's leading scorer T.J. Price didn't make a basket, and that was primarily because of Releford. Self hasn't seen anyone more competitive on the defensive end in college basketball this year than Releford.

On recent teams, KU's guys enjoy playing for games that are the highest of stakes. But Friday night's game was for the highest of stakes, too. Self thinks KU was ready to play, but he thinks the team was tight. Self says the team isn't going to get up for playing against UNC coach Roy Williams. It will get up for playing North Carolina the team.

KU center Jeff Withey has become better offensively with his back to the basket. Self is happy with him. His numbers don't jump off the page, but he's averaging about 14 points per game. Last year, Withey benefited from Thomas Robinson getting double-teamed. Now, teammates are benefiting because Withey is getting doubled.

UNC doesn't run the same things as Iowa State, but personnel-wise, there might be some similarities. The difference is UNC has a 5 man in James Michael McAdoo. KU hasn't played a stretch 4-man all year like P.J. Hairston. That's different. The fact KU has played a team has played a team that can stretch it at four spots like ISU will be a benefit.

KU had opportunities to dunk a couple balls after beating the press against WKU if it could just play catch. KU didn't do a good job against the press. UNC will try to pressure KU. It might not press, but it will pressure. KU has to be better at attacking pressure and scoring behind it.

Self thinks everybody who has supported Kansas over time respects and appreciates what Williams did during his time in Lawrence. The people at KU were beneficiaries of his time at KU. Anybody who doesn't feel that way isn't real, Self says, because that's the reality of it. Self doesn't think Williams playing KU is as big of a deal after 10 years, though. Self joked he could go back to Champaign, Ill., and they might now know if he was in town there for a month. Williams playing KU might have been more of a storyline if it had happened earlier in time, but Self doesn't see it as much of a storyline now.

3:57 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams pumps his fist as the Tarheels close out the game against Villanova during the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams pumps his fist as the Tarheels close out the game against Villanova during the second half on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Here's the Cliff's notes version of North Carolina coach Roy Williams' comments at the podium during today's media session.

Williams says his team is excited and confident, but it knows it has a big challenge ahead of it. UNC's game was frustrating for a while. Villanova got more aggressive and made a great run before the half. Williams took all five of his starters out not as much as because he was frustrated with them, but more because he wanted to tell the players to defend the post a different way. UNC went back to a big lineup in the second half against Villanova.

UNC is not as good at running after opponent made shots this year as it has been in the past. Williams says his team still has been able to run effectively after opponents' missed shots.

Williams says KU is good defensively because it's long, athletic and has a shot-blocker at the goal. KU center Jeff Withey was strong in last year's game against UNC. KU's guys on the perimeter do a good job of keeping opponents in front of them. KU's goal isn't always to steal the ball; it's go give the opponent one bad shot.

Williams says his team is going to play the way his team has been playing all year. For 15 years, he's taught his players to take the ball right to the eyes of a shot-blocker, but his team doesn't have the kind of personnel to be able to do that this year. He's hoping to spread KU defensively to get good spacing. He also wants his guys to be smart against KU. If a 6-foot-3 guard gets an offensive rebound and tries to go over Withey on Sunday, Williams joked he'll soon have a 6-foot-3 assistant next to him on the bench.

KU led the nation in defensive field-goal percentage for a reason, and it's not just because Withey blocks shots. KU has other good defensive pieces and also has length. Size helps you close out better, deflect more passes and bother more people's shots. Syracuse's zone under Jim Boeheim is effective because it has long players closing out on shots. KU recruits a certain type of player to play defense, and its defense is a huge reason for its success.

Williams has changed a lineup mid-season, but he's never changed a style of play in the middle of a season. He's still not totally comfortable with it. But as a basketball coach, you have to try to get your five best basketball players on the floor if you're not successful. The players had to buy in. They're the ones that should get the credit. UNC's team has gotten better as the season has gone on.

• Williams joked that he's a wacko, and said that every day of a game while coach at KU, he ran by the tombstones of Phog Allen and James Naismith on his jog and asked them for advice. He loves the passion of KU fans. Some would tell him, "We've got a seven-hour drive back to Dodge City, but that was a great game." Both places (UNC and KU) have great passion for the game. Williams loved his time at KU. He loved every day there. He's loved his 10 years back at UNC. Williams says it's not immoral to love two institutions. Williams has said before if there's ever a time where he doesn't get goose bumps when walking into Allen Fieldhouse, he would quit. He gets the same feeling in the Smith Center. Somebody asked Williams the other day if he'd ever play a home-and-home with KU. He said the answer is no, and his athletic director understands that. He will never walk out of the opposing team's tunnel at Allen Fieldhouse.

Williams doesn't worry about the times when he has to go to a knee on the sideline to collect himself when he's light-headed, which happened once against Villanova. Those spells started when he was 13 years old. It's not vertigo. He's had it checked out by doctors. It's just a rush of blood to the head. He's not worried about it.

Time heals all wounds. Williams had friends that told him that. Some people were very disappointed when he left KU. They let him know about that. The people have been nice from KU during his time in Kansas City this week. People have been yelling at Williams on the street. Only one person yelled something at him that wasn't nice. Basketball is important around here.

KU guard Ben McLemore can really shoot. He's an unbelievable scorer who does other things well. McLemore right now is one of the best wing players there is in college basketball.


Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 8 months ago

Congrats on your 700th, coach. Most of which you've gotten from the time spent at KU. But we always have fond memories of your coaching here nevertheless. Good luck tomorrow. You'll need it. Rock Chalk!

Saad Saifeddine 9 years, 8 months ago

we need bmac to get his A game back if we wanna have a good run in this year's tourney! Rock chalk!!

Steve Grimm 9 years, 8 months ago

Time always provides perspective and a calming of things. I must say, however, that had it not been for the tremendous success of Bill Self, the emotions of Roy Williams' leaving would still be raw. KU's legacy feels like it is actually stronger with Self than it was with Roy. That can make bygones be bygones much faster. I hope Roy the best (after tomorrow, that is).

chriz 9 years, 8 months ago

Roy ought to be thankful to Bill Self if he's concerned about us liking him. Without Self's success, I'm sure it would hurt us a little more.

Tim Orel 9 years, 8 months ago

Was Bill's second comment about EJ, or about BMac?

Jesse Newell 9 years, 8 months ago

Both. He started talking about Johnson, then talked about how Johnson affects how McLemore plays.

KULA 9 years, 8 months ago

Well I'm certainly glad to be "surviving and advancing," but last night's game was way too close for comfort. We'll have to play much better to beat Carolina. Maybe (hopefully) Bill spent the week preparing for UNC instead of WKU. Guess we'll see tomorrow.

Eric J. Baker 9 years, 8 months ago

Remember last year when we couldn't buy a jump shot against NCState and Purdue and still won somehow? Then went and put on a jump shooting clinic against UNC? I really hope that's how it goes this year.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 8 months ago

I know there was a lot of complaining over how the game was refereed but that really didn't have much bearing on who won or lost. I don't understand why seniors aren't ready to play their first round game in their last NCAA tournament.

Withey admitted to taking the Hilltoppers lightly and that they would be ready Sunday. EJ was quoted saying "a North Carolina-Kansas game, everybody comes to play".

After a season which had plenty of erratic play, I would have thought they would have been ready even if they were playing St. Mary's Sisters of the Poor. This is it for this particular team. They will not ever get another chance and they just didn't seem hungry against WKU and I don't understand why.

Hopefully, they come out fired up and play up to their ability not down to the other teams ability the rest of the tournament. If they can do that then they can hold their heads up regardless of where they finish.

Pitthawk34 9 years, 8 months ago

I do not like this matchup whatsoever. A much better version of Iowa state and we struggle to hit anything outside of 2 ft.

Brodieman1982 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't know if they are a lot better than Iowa State. Lot of bad teams in the ACC. They, like ISU, know how to lose at Texas. I think UNC would finish near the same place in the Big 12 as ISU. Still, it is going to be tough.

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 8 months ago

I was never dissappointed at Roy for leaving, I was dissappointed at the situation. He did it for family reasons, and you can't blame a guy for that. The fact that he refuses to walk out of the opposing tunnel in Allen Fieldhouse shows he still loves KU. If he didn't care, then I'd be dissappointed, but he made his choice for his family, and if you're sane you're family ALWAYS comes first. Should be a great game and I'm confident we will come out on top! RCJH!!

Kit Duncan 9 years, 8 months ago

Totally agree! But beyond leaving KU because of family, he also was beholden to "Coach" (Dean Smith) for coaching him and hiring him as an assistant at UNC, then recommending him for the open position at "his" alma mater, KU. It's very likely that Roy felt serious remorse for recruiting Matt Doherty away from ND to coach UNC and having the whole situation implode.

You can't hate a guy like Roy Williams. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and I truly believe he would have stayed at KU for many more years if not for all the pressure placed on him to return to UNC.

Here's to Roy Williams' 700 victories and his 701st and Fall!

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 8 months ago

I am with you. I did not have a problem with Coach Williams leaving, I had a problem on how the situation developed. At the heart of the problem is Dean Smith, not only he hijacked our coach but to accomplish this he threw under the bus Matt Doherty, an otherwise decent individual whose career never fully recovered.
What makes it worse is that Dean Smith is not only a Kansan but a KU alum and former Jayhawk player to boot; this is hard to forgive. I would receive Coach Williams warmly if he ever returns to AFH, Dean Smith not so much.

Kent Richardson 9 years, 8 months ago

Louisville may break the camo jinx today.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 8 months ago

Well, with Western Kentucky out of the way the South region really opens up.

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 8 months ago

I feel like that's a little sarcasm Lol UNC, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, and possibly Duke or Lousiville. All except UNC were number 1 at one point. If we do it then there will be no question we were the best team this year.

KJD 9 years, 8 months ago

My first reactions in "Whew! Kansas survives big, red scare" for the Carolina match up was that KU has an opportunity to shut down Carolina's break/secondary break and dominate in the front court on both ends: Take care of the ball. Attack the rim with bunnies. Dominate the glass to force Carolina to send at least 3 bodies on the defensive end. Be smart with long KU jumpers to decrease long rebounds. Get back on Defense with urgency which includes after made shots. Play 40.

@ 4:35 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell "Bill Self says playing Iowa State's offense could benefit KU against UNC" shoes in with what has been lingering in my mind. How does KU match up on the defensive end 1-4. I like Releford defending P.J. Harriston who has a complete offensive game from ripping 3's and being the most dynamic Tarheel on dribble drives. Harriston has been taking some glass/paint responsibilities and I like Releford's combination of strength, foot speed, foot work, defensive tenacity to keep Harriston working on both ends. I also like Young and Ellis on Bullock as a decent match up too. Traylor will be physical on McAdoo or the NC big reserves. This, at least from my impression, leaves Johnson/McLemore/Tharpe on Paige/Strickland/McDonald which again I don't see an advantage for North Carolina.

I like the way we match up on Defense quite a lot. With North Carolina having 5 jump shooters on the floor that can sink 'em with consistency, the Iowa State match ups are really nice to have under our belt. I like the experience of handling all of that action K-State runs by setting screens for their shooters as good experience in this game too. North Carolina seems much less physical than K-State, especially comparing H-Roberts and Gipson to McAdoo. North Carolina just lacks the physical presence of Gipson to set brick wall screens and rely on guards to set screens for each other. Our physical style of play is a tough match up for Carolina.

woodscolt 9 years, 8 months ago

Guard play was awful against the hilltoppers. Louisville would kill us because I don't think we would ever get a ball accross half court against them. Everyone we play from here on out is going to try to exploit our guards bad handling and lazy passes. Elijah is better than that if he thinks. All those lazy passes around the perimeter are going to be assists for the wrong team. WAKE UP we are in the tournament now. One and done. UNC is way better than their seed but our bigs should have career days against UNC. Our guards should be able to penetrate and do whatever they want if they can dribble the ball long enough without turning it over.

ollerfarm 9 years, 8 months ago

Glad Ole Roy's gone from KU. It's either here for the career, or on down the road. If you are leaving, then get it over with. KU is bigger and better than Ole Roy and it's bigger than Bill Self. It's THE place in NCAA! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!! Some folks thought Ted Owens was the greatest, but while he was a great recruiter, he couldn't coach a lick. Brown is a great coach, but had to move on, I think he can look back and wished he'd never left and made room for Ole Roy.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 8 months ago

I was one of those very, very upset when Roy Williams left us in 2003. Until I sat down and really gave some thought to what I would have done in his shoes.

He's from North Carolina. So is his wife, Wanda. They went to school there. That's "home." His two kids were there, one in college. The other was married and had at least one child. His Mother was alive and in North Carolina at the time, but not in good health.

So, let's see. I have a chance to take an equivalent job back home where my wife and I are from, where my mother lives in poor health, where both my kids are and where my grandkids are.

What would I do? Same as most of you. Same as Roy Williams.

Jerry Long 9 years, 8 months ago

I did the same thing after I lost one of my sons and 4 years later my wife. I went home. Sometimes, regardless of the situation, you have to get home and I am glad that he had the opportunity to do so. I appreciate what he did here, and respect him for going home to take care of his family. That is really what life is all about, not basketball.

hilary1031 9 years, 8 months ago

FYI - The guard for UNC pictured above is Dexter Strickland...not Rod Strickland.

TexiCaliHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Congrats to Roy! He's a great coach and a class act; handling a difficult situation (which he realizes he created) probably as well as anyone could hope to expect -- who else comes back to the NCAA Championship Game wearing a Jayhawk sticker after getting beat by that team in the Final Four semi-final game? However, everyone should take note that in the 10 years Roy has been at UNC, he has fewer wins than what Bill has accomplished here at KU and, oh by the way, 418 of his 700 wins were during his 15 years AT Kansas. Face it -- we have been truly blessed to have had two HOF coaches (three counting Larry) over the past 30 years.

All that said, let's just worry about getting #300 for Bill on Sunday . . . RCJH!

Matt Gauntt 9 years, 8 months ago

Reading Coach Self's comments about Travis it makes me wonder if Travis will pursue coaching. Coach is right, he certainly has a great head for the game. If he wants to go that direction, I hope someone gives him a shot.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

If Self says that about Travis, then Self can make it happen. Travis has to want it, though.

Regardless, Travis is shooting 41% from trey and having one of the greatest seasons by a KU 3 in memory. You've got to look at Paul Pierce and BRush to find better. Nice company. You NBA GMs take a long look. He is special.

arch007bak 9 years, 8 months ago

Completely off-topic, but watching the WSU vs Gonzaga game and yet another game being delayed for a flagrant 1 foul is getting irritating. I think it's happened in every game today. The NCAA has got to rework that rule. Brushing the chin hairs with an elbow shouldn't constitute a foul.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Well, of course he won't, because he knows he would get his butt kicked in AFH and booed unmercifully.

He also knows that Self would use the win and the mid Atlantic regional promotion of such a game against him to recruit hard in Roy's back yard.

It appears to me from afar that Self has eaten all of the southern fried, East Carolina waste souffle from Roy's he's going to.

Hey, I've got a cool idea.

How about Bill Self announcing: "I will never walk through the visitor's tunnel of the Dean Dome, nor the home tunnel either. EVER!!!"

KJD 9 years, 8 months ago

If Bill did not walk through the home tunnel of the Dean Dome then we'd never hear Bill yarn mythology during his match up against Danny Manning's #1 seed Jayhawk's in the Sprint Center. I would miss that a lot.

Hank Cross 9 years, 8 months ago

More psuedo-sentimental BS from Huckleberry Roy. Does Self have any problem being in the visitor locker-room at Gallagher-Iba? I've never heard so. If Roy doesn't want to return to AFH its b/c he mught be reminded of all of his tourney flops and not getting a team with Pierce, LaFrentz (lottery picks) and two NBA journeymen (Vaughn and Pollard) to the FF.

Mr. December ran up vicitories early, dominated a weak league only to get out-coached in the tourney (Boeheim thanks him for his ring). The only reason he got his rings at UNC is that he is able to get better talent. BTW - way to put KU first Roy - when you agreed not to compete with UNC for recruits. I'd rather have Coach K win 5 more NCs than have roy win another.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 8 months ago

I disagree with just about everything you just wrote. First and foremost Self has no choice but to visit the locker room since he coaches in the league. Had UNC been in our league, well sure, Roy would be a regular returnee at AFH. Self played a few years at OSU, but Roy coached here for 14 years, a big difference.

Hank Cross 9 years, 8 months ago

Think Roy would've ever taken another ACC job? His heart was always at UNC.

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

Well, Oxcal......There really is no place like home. You can't blame anyone for feeling that way.

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

Roy leaving was a bitter time. But since I have learned to accept his decision. I really think the main reason he went back to North Carolina was to be near his family. I can't blame him for that........And I would have done the same.

hawk_of_ages 9 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe we're still getting these nasty comments from KU fans about one of the greatest coaches in Kansas history. I mean, nobody's asking you to root for the guy, but 15 years of excellence speaks for itself.

Phil Perry 9 years, 8 months ago

OK, so how about a home and home and as a sign of respect and admiration they let both teams come out of the same tunnel? Sounds corny, but what a great atmosphere it would be at both venues.

Gregg Gibson 9 years, 8 months ago

What year was it that UNC got beat in the NCAA tourney, but Coach Roy stuck around for two days and was seen in the stands wearing a KU shirt/sweater? Was that 2008?

packywacky88 9 years, 8 months ago

Really Wiz? Really...2008? really? Still lookin' for that brain, huh Scarecrow?

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

Yes......2008. I think you're being sarcastic, though.

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

There goes Gonzaga......first #1 to fall. No surprise......Congrats to Wichita State.

eric poncharello 9 years, 8 months ago

I've had the pleasure of working at Allen field house in those day's of Roy William's. He was a good person alway's a great guy no matter who you were, he would say hi and treat you like a friend. He did have times of frustration and he would vent how he felt about things to his coaches while walking inside the field house. one nite he did vent about how he would never get the type of players to come and play at Kansas and win championships. which I alway's felt the mind set of him believing that made him not win championships and when I mean championships I mean NCAA championships. Those years ago when Roy had the first press conference in Chapel hill , I saw him looking at those tarheel players while he was talking to the press, which he was smiling at them, I knew then he was never a Kansas guy he was alway's a Carolina guy, he was home.

Hank Cross 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, how could he ever be expected to win a NC with Pierce, LaFrentz, Pollard, and Vaughn, or a team with Hinrich and Collison. I mean after all, it's not as though his predecessor won the NC with Chris Piper starting and Scooter Barry logging minutes. I guess he need to rationalize his being continually outcoached in the tourney by chalkboard wizards like Boeheim (twice) and Jim Harrick.

hawk_of_ages 9 years, 8 months ago

Yes, Boeheim totally outcoached Roy by... uh, his Vulcan mind meld which made our players miss free throws and Gerry Macnamara hit half-court threes. That was all coaching.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Look, Roy apparently made the devil's bargain not to recruit east of the Big Easy; that was apparently why he was complaining that he would never get enough talent to come to KU to build a champion. He understood. No one could recruit only half the country and attract sufficient talent. As soon as he got to UNC he began recruiting the entire country and shortly won two rings. And when Bill Self began recruiting the entire country at KU after Roy left, Self beat his winning percentage and won the ring he never won. Roy apparently accepted the conditions set upon him by Dean. The big question remains: why did KU EVER settle for a coach that would only recruit half the country?

Hank Cross 9 years, 8 months ago

Panic and insecurity. Those same sentiments crept up during conference re-allignment. Some shout - WE ARE KANSAS! - but secretly believe that if KU changes coaches or conferences it will fall to the leve of KSU - or worse.

hawk_of_ages 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, why did we settle for a mere four Final Fours, dozens of all-time great players, and 15 years of unparalleled excellence? We could have gotten John Calipari instead!

Geez, do you guys really believe this vitriol you're spewing?

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate.......Get us through this game tomorrow......what's your advice??

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago


Dominate the glass on both ends.

Push the ball every trip, then spread the offense and run a lot of ball reversals, long cuts and weaves, to drain their legs for the second half.

Then take it inside and jam on them.

KU will still be tall at the end of the game.


Guard the trey stripe.

Jump in the passing lanes to stop the break and secondary break.


Don't let them run Jeff end to end to guard secondary break.


Always bump and screen the secondary breakers BEFORE they get into position to score.

kennethst 9 years, 8 months ago

Nice! I actually feel better after reading that. Not that I'm worried.....but I'm always a little nervous. I'm hoping the crowd is a big advantage, too. 18,000 strong!! Wish I was there.

Hopefully......tomorrow we will be talking about how KU did everything you posted above!!!! And on our way to Texas.............

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

I predict we will suck during the entire first half only not as bad as TCU..then, in the second half, Travis will hit a three pointer and Jeff will do a sensational in your face dunk that will ignite the jets and Naadir will have the half of his life and Kansas will walk away headed to Big D!! I saw it all in a dream!!!

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