ESPN.com delved into the rather interesting world of message boards highlighting the thoughts of fans following games in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Among the more interesting nuggets is this quote apparently gleaned from a UNC message board.
Seems to me Roy Williams is always a couple minutes too late on his time outs and can’t seem to get any of his teams to execute down the stretch. His only NC team with UNC could run the half court but they weren’t his recruits. Roy is a great recruiter, and I don’t see even with respect to Georgetown’s D that UNC, with Lawson and Hansborough, can go that cold for over so long. It is amazing and no doubt falls on the coach. This isn’t the first game this year that UNC had a decent lead then lost to a team that toughened up and got the game close.
The reason this strikes me as odd is that it raises the whole “Roy did not win a national title with his own recruits” meme which is often repeated by ABCers and Roy critics in general. And like those folks this person also believes that Roy is a good recruiter. And that is logically inconsistent. Let’s take each statement one at a time:
Seems to me Roy Williams is always a couple minutes too late on his time outs and can’t seem to get any of his teams to execute down the stretch.
You actually get no argument from me on the first part. I have been fairly clear that I thought Roy should have called the timeout a possession sooner. However I take issue with the idea that his teams cannot execute down the stretch. This is a young team and execution in the clutch is often something that comes with experience. As for myself, I have trouble faulting Roy for his players failing to make plays. And I suppose the flip side of that implication is that John Thompson III should get credit since his players because hit the shots that rallied them to tie the game.
His only NC team with UNC could run the half court but they weren’t his recruits
What does one have to do with other here? The implication of this sentence is that Roy does not recruit players who can execute in the half court. Am I wrong or is that the logical conclusion? That being said the usual meaning behind this classic argument is that the coach is really not a good game coach he just inherited a crop of good players who could overcome his bad coaching. Of course in this case Roy had this team for two full seasons. The players bought into Roy’s system by the time the 2005 season was in full swing and if anyone wants to argue that this team with there disparate personalities could be placed on autopilot and win a title they are a bigger fool than this guy here. Execution in the half court does have something to do with experience and also the shots falling which they were not for UNC.
Roy is a great recruiter, and I don’t see even with respect to Georgetown’s D that UNC, with Lawson and Hansborough, can go that cold for over so long. It is amazing and no doubt falls on the coach.
Contradiction! If Roy is a great recruiter then it sort of blows the “he won with another person’s recruits” out of the water since the caliber of the players he would bring in would be the same as the ones he inherited. As for Lawson and Hansbrough (notice this guy could not even bother to spell Tyler’s name right) since when did them making or missing shots fall on the coach? I can see where, in respect to the Hoya defense, it seems like UNC should have made a few shots but that in itself proves Roy was not totally at fault. Honestly how do you go from players missing shots to it being the coaches’ fault? That takes a huge leap of logic and a complete failure in understanding how the game works. Roy can draw up plays until he is blue in the face, scream at them from the bench, call all his timeouts, and do any number of things people who are not basketball coaches thinks he should do but the one thing he cannot do is shoot and make the shots for the players. Believe it or not the players are still on the hook to make the plays the same way Georgetown did when placed in the clutch situation. And just like it is not Roy’s fault the players went cold, it is not Thompson’s credit that Hoya players hit the shots they hit.
This isn’t the first game this year that UNC had a decent lead then lost to a team that toughened up and got the game close.
No it is not. And this is what happens with young team’s who lose focus. If you noticed the two teams it happened against in the regular season were experienced with veteran players. It was a simple matter of not making plays down the stretch. And while coaching plays some part in that so does players hitting shots which players do much better the more games they play.
So in review, Roy made some mistakes but the fault of the collapse against Georgetown lies with the players missing shots and playing porous defense. Roy having someone else’s players or his own has nothing to do with him winning the national title in 2005. It was his second season which those players which means they were his players and since Roy is a great recruiter then you can safely assume he can bring in the players of equal caliber.
In other words people really should think before they type.