CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Roy Williams needed a few minutes to muster the courage to sit in the chair behind his desk the spot once occupied by Dean Smith.
It was a day full of adjustments for the new North Carolina coach, who had to get used to surroundings he knew so well at the beginning of his career.
I sat at the side to gather myself a little bit,'' said Williams, who left Kansas after 15 successful seasons to return to his alma mater Monday night. I had to think about what I was doing for a couple of minutes.''
The 52-year-old Williams looked tired Tuesday and still a bit shell-shocked to find himself back in the Smith Center, where he learned his trade for a decade as an assistant to Smith, and where he and his two children attended college.
In fact, Williams won't be at North Carolina's basketball banquet Tuesday night. Instead he's planning to fly to Kansas to be at his former team's season-ending function Thursday night.
That will be hard,'' he said. Most of the years I walked in to a standing ovation. I don't think I'll get that this time, but I want to be there because those people are genuine. I'm going to show respect for my team and love for my team.''
Williams will also be wearing a Final Four ring from the Jayhawks to North Carolina's first fall practice. He's doing it to make a point.
I'll wear this until this team gives me a new ring,'' Williams said. It's not a slight to North Carolina's program. I'm hoping it will be incentive if they want to get that Kansas ring off my hand.''
Williams takes over a team that is young and talented, but was also undisciplined at times during a 19-16 season. The Tar Heels took too many outside shots and had turnover problems.
Williams said the Tar Heels will try to run teams into the ground, just as his Kansas teams did.
I hate it when the ball gets walked up and down the court,'' Williams said. I've watched them play and I think we have the ability to do that. We're going to try to make them run faster than they ever have in their lives. And we're going to play man-to-man defense because I can't coach zone and I despise it.''
North Carolina is expected to return to prominence under Williams.
His biggest challenge comes off the court, where several problems arose in the storied program under Matt Doherty, who was forced to resign April 1 after three seasons.
Players said Doherty, a former teammate of Michael Jordan with the Tar Heels in the early 1980s, was difficult to get along with and at times was demeaning to certain individuals in front of the team. They met with athletic director Dick Baddour to voice those concerns days before Doherty was forced out.
The extended Carolina family also became split under Doherty, who didn't follow many of the same philosophies Smith and Bill Guthridge applied in four decades of building a college hoops power.
Williams is closer to a Smith clone, a no-nonsense tactician who also has a tender side and a top-notch resume.
In his expertise, I'm light years away,'' Williams said. In his successes, I'm about light years away. But I do try to do so many things like him because that's my background, that's the way I was taught to do it.''
One thing is clear: Williams plans to work hard mending fences in and around the Smith Center, and with the large North Carolina fan base.
When you looked from the outside, everybody wasn't on the same page,'' Williams said. My teams have never been accused of not being on the same page.
Off the court, we need to act better as a team, better as a family,'' he added. Part of the problem is that Matt had an almost unbearable situation of factions with diverse attitudes. It wasn't together and at this level to succeed against Duke and Maryland you can't have too many warts.''
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