FanPost

Get Off Roy's Back!


"Ole Roy has always been overrated!"

"Roy was never a good coach!"

"Roy can't recruit!"

"Roy Boy Needs to Go!"

These are just the nicest sampling of a thundering roar from college basketball fans. Certainly these sentiments are common refrain from Duke, NC State, Kansas and Kentucky fans. Yet in the aftermath of Belmont's less than shocking victory over our Heels, surprisingly enough many so-called "die-hard" Tar Heel fans are starting to echo these sentiments.

If you read the comments to the articles covering the Belmont game, you will find supposed UNC fans making arguments for the ouster of Coach Williams. You can read all the criticism regarding his inflexibility, his inability to coach, and his downfall in recruiting. Those disgruntled "fans" point to UNC's lack of "top-tier" talent as Williams' inability to land recruits. They scream about the miscues in the waning seconds as example of Roy's incompetence in the coaching profession. They use lackluster performances against Holy Cross and a stinging loss against Belmont as the bellwether argument that we are doomed.

Fire Roy Williams!

In the words of SNL alumus Cheri Oteri's Character, Nadeen:

"SIMMA DOWN NOW!"

Yes, the disjointed play against Oakland, Holy Cross and Belmont are concerning. We all had high expectations coming into this season, with some carrying unrealistic championship aspirations. Certainly the play so far has not lived up to those expectations. Even accepting the loss of two starting backcourt players is no excuse for the uninspiring play. But to jump off the deep end and start calling for Roy Williams head is simply ludicrous, and I am not sure that is even a strong enough word.

Facts are facts. Roy Williams is among the top 10 coaches in the game. Has been and still is. Regardless of the contingent of college basketball fans, media and even members of the fraternity who aren't keen on Williams "okey dokey" demeanor and believe him to be less than genuine, the facts speak for themselves. No amount of media misinformation and "hater" sentiment changes that. This is true for Williams as much as it is for Coach K, Calipari, Pitino and other coaches who are disliked by fans of opposing programs.

Do I like Coach K? No. Do I despise Calipari? Yes. Do I think Jim Boeheim is a whiney weasel? Yes. Are these three among the top 10 coaches over the past decade? Absolutely. #nodoubtaboutit

So what are these facts?

The tables below compare every coach that has won a championship since 2004-5. I don't count Coach Williams' first season because that season is an anomaly due to dealing with the mess that Doherty left - just like I wouldn't tab Tom Crean's first season at Indiana]. I did leave out Jim Calhoun because he retired and is irrelevant now. I then looked at some other non-championship coaches [in this time frame] who are consistently considered among the best coaches Boeheim, Izzo, and Matta. While there are other good coaches out there that have done well, I did not include them for a variety of reasons. For example, Ben Howland won a lot of games and recruited well, but has been fired. Sean Miller is obviously an up and comer but hasn't been at Arizona long enough. Guys like Mark Few haven't gone far enough in the tourney, and the Shaka Smart's do not have the longevity of success.

Below you will see how Williams has fared against the cream of the college coaching crop since 2004-5:

2004-5 SEASON TO PRESENT
COACH W L PCT RS CH T CH F4 NCH
WILLIAMS 265 69 79.3% 6 2 3 2
K 266 58 82.1% 3 5 1 1
SELF 278 50 84.8% 9 6 2 1
PITINO 249 81 75.5% 3 4 3 1
CALIPARI 285 57 83.3% 6 6 3 1
BOEHEIM 248 80 75.6% 2 2 1 0
IZZO 236 88 72.8% 3 0 3 0
MATTA 253 73 77.6% 5 4 2 0
DONOVAN 249 83 75.0% 3 3 2 2
RS CH = REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION
T CH = CONFERENCE TOURNEY CHAMP
F4 = FINAL FOURS
NCH = NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Starting with this whole idea that Williams can't coach, I find that argument difficult to swallow. Williams resume speaks loud and clear. He is one of two coaches that have won two national titles in this span. He is among four coaches with three final fours. He has won six regular season ACC titles and two ACC tourney titles and a very difficult basketball conference. And he has won almost 80% of his games, putting him fourth on this list.

One thing you can see from this is all of these coaches are great and all are extremely successful. To say that Williams can't coach is completely asinine. To argue that Williams isn't among the better coaches is equally silly. You cannot even make a case that Williams doesn't belong among the top 10 coaches in college basketball, because clearly by these numbers, he belongs. Okey Dokey?

Can you say he is overrated? I guess that depends upon how he is being rated. Seems to me, by all media accounts and sentiment among college basketball fans, is that Williams rates [opinion only] as a subpar coach. I have not seen a single poll showing Williams as a top 10 coach. How is it possible that he is overrated when he in fact is being rated FAR BELOW his actual production and ability?

Roy Williams is UNDERRATED!

Look, every coach has a style, as way, a pattern, a system. You might argue you dislike a particular coach's system or style, yet it is hard to argue that the particular style that you dislike is ineffective or does not work when results show otherwise. Calipari has perfected recruiting one year players and playing a free-wheeling, players controlled system. He has won a lot of games and got his championship. Self has a different system, as does K, Pitino and others. All this shows is that different is simply different, but does not mean better or worse. All of these coaches, including Williams, does what they do because they have had ultimate success doing so. Does it always work? No. Will it always produce a national championship? No. But that is true for Calipari, Krzyzewski, Self, Pitino and others. Calipari's system failed last year, does that make him bad? Has he lost it?

All of these guys are great and all do it differently. Sometimes it doesn't work as well as others, but that doesn't mean you should abandon what you do. What you have done over the course of decades that has won you many games and brought you championships will work again and to throw that out is just plain dumb.

Roy Williams can coach - Case closed

"But he can't recruit anymore! Williams hasn't brought in top-tier talent. He is losing out to other coaches every year."

Huh? Wha? Who? Arghh!

TEAM RECRUITING RANK
COACH ALL AM McD AA 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 11 YR AVG
WILLIAMS 4 22 NR 9 1 NR 11 5 4 6 9 13 4 10.4
K 5 22 NR 2 5 8 27 8 10 2 NR 5 2 11.0
SELF 7 11 2 4 12 NR 2 6 23 29 10 2 7 11.2
PITINO 0 5 7 5 9 NR 6 16 NR 9 NR 7 5 12.9
CALIPARI 6 20 9 7 NR 10 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 5.6
BOEHEIM 2 7 NR NR 22 3 NR NR 7 16 18 11 19 18.2
IZZO 1 3 11 NR 18 14 22 NR 11 21 13 NR NR 19.5
MATTA 3 10 NR NR 2 7 5 NR 3 10 NR NR 3 14.5
DONOVAN 1 8 12 NR 20 1 10 15 19 25 25 8 10 15.5

Look at the table above. Now shut up!

Yes, Cal is King! He has dominated recruiting like no other. I won't speculate like some do, and will simply give him the recruiting title. Good for him. But to claim that Williams hasn't done the job on the recruiting trail, over the long haul or even recently, is a claim made by someone smoking a lot of crack. In fact, Rob Ford wouldn't even make a stupid comment like that.

Over 11 years, Williams has the second highest average recruiting ranking [NR gets a 26 rank]. He, along with K, has recruited the most McDonald's All-American HS players. He has coached a respectable 4 all-Americans. He has had 7 top 10 recruiting classes and three of the last four years [well, including next year]. And he has won with that talent. What world do you live in to think that coach is not capable of recruiting top-tier talent?

"But that talent hasn't panned out. He has recruited guys that aren't as good or have the wrong skills or the wrong position... Yada Yada Yada..."

I recall when Dean Smith won his second national title. The main players [bulk of the minutes] were:

Montross

JR

Lynch

JR

Donald Williams

SO

Brian Reese

JR

Derrick Phelps

JR

Hinrik Rodl

JR

Pat Sullivan

JR

Kevin Salvadori

JR

Scott Cherry

SR

Matt Wenstrom

SR

Dante Calbria

FR

Who wants to step up and claim that, on talent and skill alone, those individuals are superior to this edition of the Tar Heels? Thought so.

Sure, I will give you that Lynch and Montross would certainly be starters on this team. Yet I am not so sure any of the others, again on skillset or talent alone, would be much better than what we have. Donald Williams played out of his mind, but is he a better player than PJ? No way. Pat Sullivan started and played big minutes. Jackson Simmons isn't that far off from what Sullivan's skills were. That team was equally devoid of shooters [except Williams], had a seriously weak backcourt on paper, and very little to offer off the bench. But that is why you play the games. That team was GREAT because those players were older, more experienced and smart. They outplayed everyone, but not when they were freshman and sophomores. It took them time to come together and gel. Remember that the previous season's team was 23-10 with essentially the same roster but with a great shooter in Hubert Davis. They lost him, but won it all the next season.

This team is no different. They are far more skilled and talented. Do they have the mental make-up that team had? I think it is too early to tell. To give up on them smacks of idiocy. To infer that the talent has not lived up to the hype is misguided at best. Blaming a lack of recruiting shooters or any position is simply false - look at that championship roster. None of them could shoot a lick [except Donald].

To say Roy Williams isn't coaching them correctly is wrong.

UNC hasn't looked good without it's full complement of players. They may not get PJ back. You can hardly blame Williams for PJ's indiscretions. You can't find fault in Roy's unwillingness to recruit a top level shooting guard this year when he thought he was at least two deep with PJ and McDonald. Stuff happens and you have to deal with it. That is what the fans need to do. Blaming makes no sense.

It is time to start supporting the team rather than tearing them down. These young men need time to develop, both individually and as a team. The idea here is to improve, and we cannot possibly come to conclusions or determinations after three games. We need to get off Tokoto's back and realize, like Brian Reese, this kid will end up being a valuable member of a championship team if we let him. [BTW, Tokoto is SOOO much better than Reese was]. We need to let these guys get their feet under them before we pull the rug out.

Simma Down Now!

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