A sloppy performance both offensively and defensively vs. lowly St. Francis had him worrying about his team's readiness for the bright lights of Vegas.
Turns out, Roy knows a thing or two about his team.
Facing Texas, they would need to be much better, but despite a 17-4 run to start the game, the first half was another rollercoaster ride of turnovers. Fourteen of them in all. Nine of the 14 led directly to Texas points.
Consequently, that 13 point opening lead wound up as a 1 point halftime deficit.
Turnovers ceased being the problem in the second half as the Tar Heels committed only three. What they couldn't sort out in the second 20 minutes was how to slow down Longhorns guard Kerwin Roach.
Befitting his name, Roach skittered wherever he wanted to go. The thing with Roach is, when he gets to the rim, he detonates.
Cam Johnson had to learn that the hard way.
The Heels weren't much better than they were Monday, but Coby White was spectacular. Any doubt as to why he holds the North Carolina high school career scoring record was removed as he put on a show en route to 33 points.
It was the most prolific performance by a UNC freshman since Harrison Barnes put 40 on Clemson in the 2011 ACC Tournament. That Coby can score was no secret, but what really jumped out tonight was that after a quiet second half, he rose to the occasion late, bringing the Heels back into contention.
Not Maye, not Johnson or Williams. It was White. Roy Williams admitted as much afterwards.
Roy Williams: "We even went zone, guys, and we hadn't practiced zone for five minutes."— R.L. Bynum (@RL_Bynum) November 23, 2018
Coby White after the loss to Texas: "We played soft. The first half we let them punch us in the mouth. We didn't play tough."— Ross Martin (@RossMartin_IC) November 23, 2018
White is certainly reason for optimism. Nassir Little is obviously going to be key going forward as well. Perhaps most problematic right now is the relative invisibility of Kenny Williams. He's now made just 10 of 36 shots so far this season (3-22 from 3).
That's either an early season hiccup or trouble going forward. Tomorrow will tell us more about all of the above.
Roy Williams on UNC's ceiling: "I think we're good enough to have a chance at the end of the year. I really believe that in the bottom of my soul. But we're not going to unless we invest a little bit more of our heart, a little more of our brain every day. "— R.L. Bynum (@RL_Bynum) November 23, 2018