Roy Williams finally won a championship with one of the best four year players in college basketball since Tim Duncan. The current Tar Heels are an odd champion. There isn't really much that is likable about this group. Their coach is one of the biggest phonies in the game, Hansbrough may be a raging bull on the court but has all the personality of a muppet, Danny Green dropped his dancing routine but is still a buffoon, the way Lawson played towards the end of this season makes you wonder how much effort he really expended his first two seasons, it seemed to be a group without any soul. The NCAA tournament run by Carolina was impressive in some ways but how can this be a great team when they lost to Maryland and Boston College in the same season? In retrospect the out of conference schedule that North Carolina played was mediocre at best. I don't think UNC's win in the title game exonerates the ACC's dreadful performance in the post season. In some sense this championship gets Roy Williams off the hook. His bench coaching has been questioned regularly by even many North Carolina fans the past few years. As opposed to the first three seasons of Hansbrough's career this group of players had the maturity and experience to almost lead themselves to a championship. Williams will never get more from a group of players than the sum of their talent, he just isn't that kind of coach, but then again neither was Dean Smith. It is fortunate for Williams that he recruits better than just about any coach in college basketball and he may be learning how to not hamstring them in the tournament unlike all those failures when he was coach at Kansas. If Roy has figured things out look for him to add to his total of two titles unless Coach K can get his recruiting mojo back.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Now that the basketball season has ended most teams are waiting to see who will stay and who will declare for the NBA draft. In the ACC Wake Forest has been hit the hardest so far. James Johnson will not return next season and Jeff Teague will also enter his name for the draft, though he won't hire an agent. If Teague stays in the draft, as he is likely to do, then Wake Forest will be much weaker at the wings than they were this season. Brandon Costner of N.C. State will also not return to the Wolfpack next year. Miami's Dwayne Collins will also enter his name in the draft. Besides seniors Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green and Bobby Frasor North Carolina will also probably lose Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. The Tar Heels have Deon Thompson returning, one of the softer post players in the ACC, and a very promising freshman in Ed Davis. Right now freshman Tyler Zeller doesn't look to be ready to contribute on a consistent basis. The Tar Heels will need immediate and significant contributions from their heralded recruiting class.