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Breaking: ESPN Reporting Drew to Leave Team[UPDATED]

UPDATE #2(THF): Statement from UNC.

Roy Williams:

"This morning I spoke to Larry Drew Sr. and he informed me that it was in Larry II's best interest to leave North Carolina at this time," says Williams. "Personally I hate this for Larry and our team because he was such an important part of our team and he has continued to improve and played well in recent games. He was our defensive award winner in two of our last four games and has handled the ball really well in our four-game win streak.

"But I understand that families and players have to make their own decisions as to what is best for them at a particular time in their lives. He contributed agreat deal to our program in his two and a half years here, including being a part of a national championship team. I regret that Larry and his family feel this is the right thing to do, but again, each individual has to do what they think is best. He will be successful wherever he chooses to go. I appreciate what he gave to our University and basketball program in his time here."

Larry Drew:

"After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I have decided it's in my best interest to continue my education and basketball career elsewhere," says Drew II. "I have enjoyed my time in North Carolina and appreciate the support of everyone associated with the program. Over the last three years we've accomplished a lot as a team and those experiences will help me not only on the court, but off the court as well.

"I'd like to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at one of the nation's top colleges in UNC, and my teammates for their support as well. It is unfortunate my career didn't meet expectations in Chapel Hill, however I do look forward to continuing my collegiate and athletic career in the near future."

Parse those as you will. Roy's statement basically says Drew was an important member of the team, was contributing in positive ways and there was no reason from a basketball perspective for him to leave but his family thinks he should, I hate it, but it's their decision.

As for Drew's statements I wonder who is the source of the "expectations" he did not meet? Himself? Fans? Roy? His father?


UPDATE(THF): Some tidbits are trickling out ahead of what will be the most watched Roy Williams Friday press conference since Ty Lawson's Toe Saga.

The general vibe coming out now is this was parent driven. Fox Sports' Jeff Goodman cites a source who says Larry Drew, Sr. called Roy Williams this morning and "blindsided" him with the news.

Larry Drew did post the following on Twitter:

Its sad because most people are conditioned NOT to see the bigger picture.. Either that, or they just don't want to.

According to the AP story posted at ACC Sports, Drew has already left for Atlanta where his father is coach of the Hawks.

More to come later.


In absolutely stunning news, Pat Forde of ESPN is reporting that junior point guard Larry Drew II has left the UNC basketball team and will transfer.

Roy Williams will appear at a press conference at 2:00 Friday that will be carried on a number of area sports stations and online at WRAL Sports Fan.

More on this as the dust settles and after we have heard what Roy Williams has to say.