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November 3, 2007

Williams less than thrilled with exhibition win

CHAPEL HILL - It didn't take a genius to figure out that Roy Williams was mad.

But just in case there was any confusion, the North Carolina coach had a fool-proof plan of showing his team just how unhappy he was.

A pair of mass substitutions snapped the Tar Heels out of their early second-half funk and spurred them to a 114-62 exhibition win against Shaw.

"I guess Duke must be about 40 points better than we are," Williams said, referencing the Blue Devils' 79-point margin of victory against this same Shaw squad. "It wasn't a good night for us."

The Tar Heels led just 50-34 early in the second half when a frustrated Williams yanked all five players on the floor.

But the next group didn't fare any better, and with the score exactly the same, Williams swapped out that group - in favor of the last five men on the bench - a mere 62 seconds later.

"He made his point," said Marcus Ginyard, who was the starter at small forward.

When the starting five returned 1:40 later, the team went on an 18-5 run to blow the game back open.

Clearly, the message was received.

"We got a little sloppy at one point," junior Danny Green said. "But it was our first game out so we know what we need to do to correct the mistakes. We didn't take a step backwards but we didn't take a step forward."

Other than having to fire up his team, Williams got a lot of what he expected to see.

As usual, Tyler Hansbrough was a force in the paint, scoring a game-high 23 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

His fellow frontcourt starter, Deon Thompson, had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

"Deon stepped up and played well tonight," Hansbrough said. "He's a strong guy and he got some boards."

But the other guy in the mix for a starting spot alongside Hansbrough, Alex Stepheson, also played well, shooting 5 for 6 on the way to 10 points.

And while Thompson started the first half, Stepheson started the second.

"That should show it's still pretty much a race for the starting spot," Williams said.

The Tar Heels shot 63 percent in the game but hit just 2 of their 14 3-point attempts.

They also had 17 turnovers, including nine in the first half.

"I don't mind turnovers, but when they're careless turnovers it's bad for your team," Williams said.

Bobby Frasor played quite a bit of time at the shooting guard spot, though he also contributed six assists without a turnover.

But what did the Tar Heels learn about themselves in their first game against outside competition?

Well, let's just say it wasn't necessarily a welcome lesson.

"We learned that we were playing very inconsistent," Ginyard said. "Too many mental errors. We didn't play with enough intensity. It's a decision we all have to make. We have to play better."


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