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December 28, 2009

Williams frustrated with Heels performance in win vs. Rutgers

CHAPEL HILL - Just when Roy Williams finally downgraded from a giant arm contraption to a lighter sling for his bad shoulder, he got so mad at his North Carolina team that he ended up hurting himself slamming his hand down into his chair.

While he could sort of laugh about it after the game, he hadn't cooled down much about his team's performance.

"I'm so ticked off, it's unbelievable," Williams said.

Imagine how he would have felt if his 10th-ranked Tar Heels hadn't just won the game, a 81-67 victory against Rutgers.

Williams was definitely not happy when the Scarlet Knights (9-3), who came in on a six-game winning streak, cut the UNC lead to four with two minutes to go on a runner by Mike Rosario, who led Rutgers with 22 points.

He wasn't even that thrilled when freshman guard Dexter Strickland answered with a 3-pointer 10 seconds later to put Carolina on track to close out the game.

"He didn't know what to do, so talent took over and he shot it," Williams said. "I hated the shot. But it went in."

The freshman admitted after the game that his shot was not the best option.

"Deon (Thompson) was wide open in the post," Strickland said. "Even though I made it, getting it to Deon probably would have been a better decision."

All in all, Williams probably wasn't too mad at Strickland, who shot 6 for 8 on the way to a career-high 18 points to lead the Tar Heels (10-3).

They needed the boost with Marcus Ginyard missing the game because of a sprained ankle suffered in practice. Ginyard, who missed a game two weeks earlier with soreness in his foot, was not dressed and was using a crutch to get around.

In addition to Strickland's big game, the Tar Heels had good balance, with six players scoring in double figures for the first time all season.

That was about it for the good news, though, as far as Williams was concerned.

"The second half is not something we're proud of, but Rutgers kept coming at us, kept making plays," he said. "We've got to play better."

With three minutes remaining, Williams got so angry at his team that he hurt his surgically repaired shoulder when he slammed his good arm into his seat after calling timeout.

The coach was so mad, he claimed afterward that he literally could not remember what he said to the players during the timeout.

"The few words he said, I can't repeat," point guard Larry Drew II said. "And he didn't say very many words."

Williams was probably no happier when the Tar Heels turned it over on the ensuing possession.

The fact that they eventually won by double figures anyway was little consolation for the players, either.

"We're only winning right now because of our talent," Thompson said. "But in (ACC play), it's not going to work just showing up."

The players also didn't do themselves any favors getting their coach so worked up that he ended up sore after the game.

It's a feeling of pain one imagines Williams will be transferring to his players at the next practice, which he said he was looking forward to.

"I am," he said. "They're not."


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