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Parrish: A Glance At Roy's Recruiting

Roy loves recruiting and does it differently than anyone else.

Roy Williams warns up front that the story is "corny as all get-out," but he tells it still because it's a good story and, let's be honest, corny as all get-out has never stopped the North Carolina coach before.

Either way, I'm excited. Because I like good stories and love good recruiting stories, even corny ones. So I'm sitting here inside the Dean Smith Center on a January afternoon just listening to the story, and it's a story about Marvin Williams from an AAU game in which he played against that legendary Atlantic Celtics summer team featuring Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and Randolph Morris.

"Marvin got 36 (points) and fouls out with a couple of minutes to play, and people gave him almost like a standing ovation because he had been going against all three of them by himself," Williams remembered. "So then Marvin goes down there to the end of the bench, and there's a timeout, and then he gets five cups of water and takes those five cups of water and gives them to the five players who are in the game.

"To me, that matters," Williams added. "I like that."

The amazing thing about this story is not that Marvin Williams got the water or that Roy Williams liked it, but that Roy Williams even saw Marvin Williams get the water, and now allow me to explain.

You see, summer AAU tournaments are all madness, just players and coaches bouncing from one game to the next as focus takes a backseat to everything. I've been in enough gyms in July to understand the scene, and the scene typically consists of coaches sitting with their buddies -- Bill Self hanging with Billy Gillispie, Mike Krzyzewski right beside Jeff Capel -- and chatting, texting, telling stories or making dinner plans because most guys are there just to be seen, the evaluation part of the process having long been completed.

But Roy Williams is different.

I noticed this a long time ago, back when I was working at a newspaper, and though I don't remember the exact year I remember the moment vividly, the moment when I first met the current North Carolina coach. There were a bunch of us standing around him at an AAU tournament asking questions about this and that, sort of like an informal press conference. But then a game started, and one of his potential prospects was about to play. Williams stopped almost midsentence and said, "OK guys, I've got to go do my job." And then he walked away, into the bleachers, up to the top row, alone. He subsequently watched every little thing that happened on the court, and that's when I realized that Williams has a unique passion for not only recruiting, but for the process of recruiting, and so now I'm sitting here in the Dean Smith Center and I'm asking him why.

Why does he watch so attentively when others do not?

How does he maintain the passion given that his level of success tends to make others relax?

"The humorous answer would be the fear of losing," Williams said. "I think that probably has something to do with it."

The money quote from Roy comes at the end of the article where he states he is an "OK coach" which probaly makes the rabid ABCer wet their pants in excitement.  Some of that is self deprecation on Roy's part and based on the kind of criticisms Roy has received there may be some truth to that admission.  Good thing he is such a solid recruiter which is based on building close relationships with players( as seen with Roy still going out to see guys who have already commited play even now) and an incredible attention to detail while watching games.  Undoubtedly this kind of eye for little things is why Roy repeats the "our kids are character kids" mantra so often.  He believes that because, like the Marvin Williams story, he has been paying attention to things besides what goes on during game play.

Overall there is much to be proud of as a Tar Heel fan seeing your head coach conduct himself on the recruiting trail in this manner.