Roy Williams said this last night during his radio show:
"Well, a lot of people say that, and that’s completely off-base. The kids did not come back to win a national championship. They chose to come back because one, Tyler [Hansbrough] just enjoys college basketball, enjoys being at the University of North Carolina, enjoys being a Tar Heel. That’s the reason he came back. He has a dream to win a national championship, there is no question.
"Ty Lawson came back because everybody said he would be drafted in the first round, but nobody stepped forward and said, ‘We’re going to take you.’ If they had, I think he would have gone. If the Indiana Pacers had said they were going to draft him with the 11th draft pick, I think he would have gone. Wayne Ellington and Danny Green came back because no one said that they would take them in the first round.
"And what it’s done is that it’s probably put more pressure on the kids, because everyone is like, ‘Oh, they came back to win a national championship.’ Hey, if somebody’s going to give them $11 million dollars, they were going to take the $11 million dollars. Just like you would and everybody in this room would. So it’s not true and I’ll say this – they came back and now their dream is to win the national championship."
The media and especially announcers during games love to promote this notion that the Tar Heel players collectively decided to come back and make a run for the title. That is has never been true. The reasons these guys came back were primarily personal not based on a team goal to win the title. And there is nothing wrong with that. They went into the draft process doing what they thought was best for themselves(even against their coaches' advice) and did the same at the end of the process. Winning a national title was something they may have considered but not in the romanticized way it gets potrayed. Roy is correct. It does create undue pressure because it makes it sound as though they wasted their time or failed if it does not happen. Once the decision was made, their focus shifted to the team and the title but in terms of making the decision, I am not sure it was ever a key factor.