UNC held a Tar Heel Tour event in Charlotte last night where AD Bubba Cunningham, Larry Fedora and Roy Williams all addressed the crowd. Inside Carolina has a complete rundown of remarks from all three here. Here are some of the more choice items discussed.
**The inevitable question about the N.C. State game came from the audience. Fedora quickly responded, saying the game was “184 days” away.
However, he emphasized that there are other games on the schedule that need to be concentrated on as well.
“I don’t want to talk about it too much, because I don’t want to legitimize their program,” Fedora said of N.C. State.
How refreshing, a UNC football coach who gives a crap about the NC State game. Then again, I probably should not talk about the Butch Davis era at the risk of legitimizing it.
This quote will get some play in the media and a portion of the Wolfpack fan base will take offense to it. Those that do miss the point when it comes to these types of booster meetings. What Fedora says here(and Roy during his turn at the mic) is red meat for the fan base. The Tar Heel Tour Stop of the Wolfpack Caravan are akin to political rallies during an election year. The candidate stands up in front of a group of partisans and says all sorts of things that generally garner a positive response. Fedora is doing that here and letting the fan base know he cares about the NC State game but also plays to the "UNC is better than NC State" mentality. The problem is the five game losing streak which Fedora had nothing to do with. In that respect he gets a free pass of sorts providing he backs it up come football season. My gut feeling is he will.
**A member of the audience asked if Williams stopped recruiting Mason Plumlee because he did not want to go head-to-head against Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. As expected, this elicited quite a response from the Tar Heel coach.
“I went to freaking Ames, Iowa eleven times and his [rear end] went twice,” Williams said in reference to the recruitment of Harrison Barnes. “Don’t tell me I'm not going to go head-to-head.”
Regarding Plumlee, Williams said, “It was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done, because I needed two post players and all of a sudden I get a phone call from the Wear family.”
The commitment of the Wear twins locked up both post player scholarships Williams had, leaving no scholarship room for an additional post player such as Plumlee.
**Williams addressed the movement in college basketball towards the “one and done” players and how it changes his strategy.
“College basketball to a lot of kids is basically a bus stop and the culture creates that,” Williams said.
The college game is unable to compete with the NBA as far as money and status and therefore Williams “has made some decisions over the last four or five years to not recruit certain kids, because it’s just going to be a one and done.”
At the same time, Williams said he recognizes that he needs to do what is in the best interest of the basketball program and University and that sometimes involves recruiting a player who may only stay one season, such as Marvin Williams and Brandan Wright.
“Everything is aimed towards the NBA game… everybody is trying to find the next Michael Jordan,” Williams said.
Roy's one and done talk will lead to some hand wringing over on the message boards but it has been that way for awhile. I am hard pressed to see where it has been a major issue. The Mason Plumlee "what if" is fun as well, especially given his current level of development in the post versus what UNC has typically produced. There was also a question about Kendall Marshall, John Henson and Harrison Barnes leaving early to which Roy responded.
“If somebody told you that you could make a few million dollars by going ahead and leaving school early, you would have done it,” Williams said. “There’s no question and don’t give me that ‘rah rah Carolina’ stuff.”
On the assistant coaching hire, Roy hopes to make progress this week with the fourteen former UNC players who have applied.