Actually just one tidbit ahead of the first "real" action UNC will see this season when they play D-II St. Augustine's in an exhibition on Wednesday. Eddy Landreth at the Chapel Hill News takes a look at the Tar Heels during their open to the public scrimmage on Friday.
They can go somewhere between 10 to 13 deep with quality players in the regular rotation. In the early stages of practice, Williams has used the depth to work his team rigorously.
"We've got three real walk-ons plus Wes [Miller], so we've got 17 guys" Williams said. "I can push them as hard as I want to push them and barely make them tired, because there are so many substitutes."
Williams plans to use this depth to torment opponents with aggressive defense and run them into the court with up-tempo offense. It should make for exciting shows and wide margins of victory.
"Hopefully," Williams said, "we will be able to extend our pressure some. Hopefully, we will be able to pressure more without fouling. We want to play defense; we want to pressure; we want to trap a little bit more. We're not going to go crazy and do things I've never done. I'm not comfortable with it. But we'll do a little more and hope our depth will give us more stamina and energy so that we can move people in and out."
Okay that is pretty freaking scary. Two things here. First, no one is getting tired because Williams has so many quality players that not only can they work hard all practice but there is little concern he will wear them out. This may not be important now but it will be come March when the miles of the season may start to wear on teams with little depth. Physical fatigue will not be an issue at UNC this season though I suppose being emotionally fatigued could play a role. The second aspect of this is the fact there are so many quality players in practice, they get to work every day against good competition. Taking the court in practice against guys who will push you will only make you that much better in real game situations. I would also think that with the high head count of good players it means Williams can run certain lineups through scrimmages against other units and get a better sense of what they are capable of versus teams which play their starting five against their second five.
Williams also answered the chemistry question, which apparently he is tired of talking about.
"I have answered that question 8,000 times," Williams said. "I am not frigging worried about it. I'm really not. [The players] have to worry about it, number one. Number two, they are such good kids that they worry about what is on the front of the jersey. If our team wins, chemistry is going to take care of itself. If our team doesn't win, everybody will point at chemistry. The bottom line is North Carolina has to score more points than the other team. Worrying about chemistry is not going to help us figure out how to do that."
That being said, he still thinks about it.
"Chemistry is a concern," he admitted. "Chemistry is something every coach is concerned about, but if I go to press conferences or alumni events, they forgot the chemistry they took in school or they didn't take any in school, because that is all the hell they want to ask me about.
"H20, sodium chloride, that's all I know about chemistry."
I count myself as one of those fans worried about the chemistry. However, chemistry is not an issue at this point in the season. Chemistry issues become more prevalent when the playing time is being doled out or they end up dropping a game or two. So, asking Williams about chemistry right now is pointless since there is nothing happening at the moment to foment bad chemistry. Williams is right in that winning will take care of any potential problems players might have with each other and losing tends to bring them out more.
Then again the media and fans have to find something to quibble about with this team because there is not much else we can find wrong here.