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UNC basketball coach Roy Williams: This year's team his 'least gifted'

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- University of North Carolina basketball head coach Roy Williams said he believes this year's Tar Heels team is the "least gifted" he has ever coached at the school.

Williams made the remark on his weekly radio show Monday, after the Tar Heels' 96-83 loss to Georgia Tech Saturday at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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"We have had some very gifted teams," Williams said. "This is not a very gifted team.

"It's the least gifted team I've ever coached in the time I've been back here."

RELATED UNC basketball coach Roy Williams ties Dean Smith on wins list

Williams cited his players' attitude and focus for reasons for the loss and criticized the Tar Heels' ability to close out on defense.

"It was the most ridiculous exhibition of concentration and using our brain I have ever seen," he said.

Williams also said there hasn't been anyone to replace several of last year's stars, including Kenny Williams, Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson. North Carolina also lost Nassir Little and Cobi White to the NBA.

The Tar Heels (8-6/1-2 ACC) have lost six of their first 14 games this season. Cole Anthony leads the team with 19.1 points per game; Garrison Brooks is averaging 13.9 points, Brandon Robinson averages 10.5 points and Anthony is out with a knee injury.

Brooks led the Tar Heels with 35 points in Saturday's loss, in which Georgia Tech shot 59 percent from the field compared to North Carolina's 43 percent.

Williams led North Carolina to a 29-7 record last season, en route to the Tar Heels' ninth-consecutive NCAA men's basketball tournament appearance. The team has posted at least 20 wins in 15 of Williams' 16 seasons at the school, with a 19-11 mark in 2003-2004, Williams' first season as head coach, the lone aberration.

Williams tied hall of fame UNC coach Dean Smith for fourth on the all-time Division I men's college basketball wins list after a win against Yale Dec. 30. He has an overall record of 879-240 and is 461-139 at North Carolina. At Kansas, he was 461-139 before being hired by the Tar Heels in 2003.

North Carolina next hosts Pittsburgh (10-4/1-2 ACC) at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday.

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