OT: How does UNC do it?

Submitted by HartAttack20 on December 1st, 2009 at 10:33 PM

Year after year this team seems to reload and come back with amazing amounts of talent and teamwork. Last year they had some amazing talent in Hansborough and Lawson that took off to the NBA along with a couple others. Those guys were huge parts of the team, yet they come right back and look like a serious national title contender once again. Obviously it's a little early to speculate, but UNC is looking pretty good. They had a lot of turnovers earlier in the year, but they seem to be cutting back on that. It blows my mind how they can get so many players that just make shot after shot like it's nothing. It seems to me that college basketball has transformed quite a bit recently. A lot of these young freshmen and sophomores are beginning to start and contribute early and often. This is what makes college basketball and march madness what they are. The talent and athletic difference in players is much less in basketball than it is in football. Players not want to go to college for one year and then ditch it for the NBA. I don't like that, but that's the way it is. A guy like Larry Drew is able to come in and play some solid basketball. UNC isn't perfect, as we saw in the Syracuse game, but they have shown they can really play. Quite the program Roy Williams has built up in UNC. I can only dream that Beilein could get Michigan to a similar level. Obviously UNC has gotten to a point where they get the supreme talent, but it's still impressive what they can do year in and year out.



December 1st, 2009 at 10:41 PM ^

talent. UNC and Duke have such a great history of success that they can cherry pick the very best talent every recruiting year. Same as Florida, Texas and USC in football.

You win enough and get some great players who star in the pros and the recruits come looking for you. Having the same coaches for eons helps. Continuity means a lot.


December 1st, 2009 at 11:22 PM ^

If he can do the first, he'll be able to do the next 2. If not...

To the OP, you get your pick of high school players, and you don't need a whole lot in basketball to be really good. Add a couple of them each year, you have depth.

And even though there are way more basketball teams at that level, there are actually fewer traditional powers to fight over them than there are in football.

It's really not that hard to stay good once you're good. We had one of the longest ongoing Tourney streaks before the program crashed and burned. It's getting to that level that's hard.


December 1st, 2009 at 10:47 PM ^

I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.

John Wooden

I think basketball is a little different than football in that respect.


December 1st, 2009 at 10:48 PM ^

Tar Heel basketball is one of those marquee programs that will always be relevant because of its great history, and once they found the right coach in Roy Williams things took off again. Kind of reminds me of the resurgence you saw at OU under Stoops and USC under Carroll (and soon at UM under Rodriguez).

Also, having a 2/1 girls-to-guys ratio on campus probably doesn't hurt recruiting.


December 1st, 2009 at 11:13 PM ^

The year before the Fab Five arrived on campus UM was a first round out in the NIT. It takes a fuck of a lot more to build and sustain a football program than a basketball program. Give me a five star center and a five star point guard and I'll show you the final four.


December 2nd, 2009 at 12:01 AM ^

Roy does occasionally bring in top-5 recruits; however, he focuses on lower-end 5 stars who are less likely to be 1-and-done. He goes on 2-3 year cycles. Win a NC, then bring in a solid class that'll stick around for 2-3 years (and supplement it with a big 1-and-done guy) and you got yourself another NC a couple years later.

Calipari is a recruiting beast at Kentucky, but I think Roy's system will work better


December 2nd, 2009 at 1:42 AM ^

Roy Williams did not "build up" the UNC basketball program. But I'll certainly give him credit where credit is due.... he went in there and revived the hell out of it, after a couple coaching moves didn't work out so well for them.

UNC basketball was built by Dean Smith, who was the head coach for an amazing 36 years. The Dean Smith Center (aka the "Dean Dome") was built and named after him while he was still coaching there.

Interestingly enough, Dean Smith attended U of Kansas and coached there as an assistant briefly before coaching at UNC. Conversely, Roy Williams attended UNC, then ultimately became head coach at Kansas.

The whole state of NC is a basketball mecca. Duke and Wake Forest continue to field strong teams (as they have for years), and NC State won the title in 1983, but sadly has never gotten back to their glory days after Jim Valvano died.