Tar Heel Nation Waits: Day 18

All that is missing is that ominous music and a custom logo like CNN uses when they do special coverage.

This has really be insane.  I do not recall the month following the loss to Georgetown being this fevered last season but then again Wayne Ellington announced a return almost immediately and with Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson doing so at the banquet.  That left Brandan Wright who was being projected in the top five and everyone assumed he was going pro anyway.

Now it has been a firestorm of rumors for a solid week.  That in and of itself is not unusual given the proliferation of message boards but the number of variations on the rumors strikes me as odd.   There is also the fact what we thought would happen almost three weeks ago may not happen at all and we will get something totally unexpected.

On the basis of the DraftExpress report, which I think has credibility, I am almost ready to swap the odds on Hansbrough and Lawson staying that I set over two weeks ago.  At that point I thought Hansbrough was a near lock and Lawson was most likely to leave.  Now that seems to have reversed and with good reason.  Hansbrough would probably like to at least gauge himself at the Orlando pre-draft camp either to get an idea of what he needs to work on(meaning a return) or to wow the scouts who think he is a late first rounder(meaning he is gone.)  It would appear Lawson has finally picked up on what most people have thought and that is this draft has too much depth, especially at PG.  Lawson is also not completely healthy and undoubtedly that would show up in the draft camps.

Wayne Ellington’s status has been shrouded in mystery.  While we have heard comments from Lawson’s mother and Hansbrough’s father as well as rumors placing either one of them in or out of the draft, Ellington’s situation remains clouded.  There has been some banter about Ellington leaving but mostly his status is seen as 50-50 with no one know anything.  Ellington is not even projected as a 1st round pick by what is publically known which is why no one can understand why he is considering the jump.  Family pressures have been discussed in part but I am not sure entering the draft without being a 1st round lock is going to help his family financially since a 2nd round selection is not guranteed money.

The wild card in all of this is the assertion from DraftExpress that Danny Green was thinking about testing the waters.  In some ways this was not a surprise, mainly because he was discussed some as a possibly NBA defector in the first few days.  That kind of talk dried up and everything from UNC indicated the coaching staff was gathering information for the Big Three only.  So what does it mean that Green’s name has come up now?  It could mean that Green has gone solo in the process and has opted not to use the UNC coaches as a resource.  Speculation on the message boards has included talk of a sleazy agent making promises to his family however I think it may have to do with a small rift between the UNC staff and Green’s father.  According to an ESPN.com article, Green’s father once sent letters to the UNC coaches concerning playing time.  This was followed by Roy commenting that Green’s ill advised three pointer which set off the collapse in the regional final was one of the worst shots he had ever seen.  These two events at the very least cast some doubts on Green’s willingness to stay.  Obviously we are dealing in speculation here but I have no reason to doubt the DE report, especially if Green is operating his draft process independent of UNC.  At the same time, it is one line in a single report so we will wait and see how it works out.  It may turn out Green is nowhere near testing the waters and the information is just plain wrong but I do think there are indications it might be true.

So we wait, hoping the next time we refresh our browser we will see good news.

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64 Responses to Tar Heel Nation Waits: Day 18

  1. Johnny says:

    Oh, the agony. In a stretch of blissful ignorance I had completely blanked on the possibility that someone could declare but not hire an agent so as to test the waters and have a trial run at the workouts in anticipation of next year’s draft. Crap!

  2. C. Michael says:

    I have always maintained that ANY junior who has even a remote shot should test the waters, if for no other reason than to enhance your visibility in the NBA’s eyes for your senior year. Kind of the equivalent of a finance major interning at Goldman Sachs the summer before their senior year.

  3. C. Michael says:

    Haha, awesome… at least I can plead ignorance… April 27th of last year, I was still avoiding all things UNC, if you know what I mean!!

  4. DeanForever says:

    I think that Wayne has chosen to view all of this from afar; in other words, he will not make an announcement until the other two/three do. Wayne has to know that going in the early second round is going to be a helluva (not in a good way) way to start your pro career. Yet, there is one component to all of this that I have not seen mentioned. Wayne may test the waters simply out of spite. Look at the intangibles: he was a highly-touted UNC recruit (which usually results in a ding-ding-ding on the pro scout’s alarm), he can score, he is (fairly) athletic, and he can hit (with marginal-to-fair consistency) outside shots. He averaged over sixteen points per game on a UNC team that made the Final Four. He has probably considered all of those positives as far outweighing the negatives, which, this year, really hurt his chances. The negatives are: he struggles to get good looks without the ball (aside from screens), his scoring is more inconsistent than most 16 PPG players, his shot disappears and reappears in dramatic fashion (a more exagerrated way of saying he is inconsistent), and his defense kinda sucks.
    Yet, thinking through the positives, Wayne may just try to ride this process out on the UNC ticket and hope for the best. Also, the talk of Danny Green (whether this even exists beyond the blogosphere is dubious) testing the waters may have instilled an overdose of pride in Wayne. “What? Danny going pro and I’m not? There’s no way his game is better than mine!” Well, I’ve got news for Wayne. Right now, Danny’s game is better suited for the pros. Aside from the (occasionally excessive) fouls, Danny plays better on both ends.
    So, the irony of all ironies is that Lawson now appears to be the only lock to come back. I think that the popular synopsis is that Hansbrough, Green, and Ellington will test the waters, and that Hansbrough could likely go pro. Green has an outside shot at this, but the other two will be in UNC attire next season. I would like for all four to be back, but I can live with Lawson and Ellington (and most likely Green) returning.
    Think about this-what if all three end up coming back, and then, right as the summer season is getting underway, Tyler makes his dramatic gallup back into Chapel Hill!
    After all, that is still on the table (at least until Sunday anyways).

  5. C. Michael says:

    If Tyler goes pro, and everyone else comes back, and UNC wins the title (IMO, if UNC “only” loses Tyler, they are still pre-season #1), then does Bill Simmon’s rename his “Ewing Theory” the “Hansbrough-Durant-Ewing Theory”???

  6. Chris says:

    If Danny wants to play ball next year, and leaves UNC, he’d better buy a ticket for Barcelona. Other than the fact that he’s not quick, cannot jump, and has what I would characterize as a medicocre college career, he’s a lock for the NBA. Somebody please show me another player with Danny’s stats, athletic ability, college career who has made it in the NBA. I think the final 4 was in many senses a wake-up call as to what the NBA can be like…………..they may all want to go, just like they wanted to win the championship, but none of them except Tyler has the the ability to make it.

  7. C. Michael says:

    Tayshaun Prince, Hubert Davis, Tracy Murray (per minute), Raja Bell…

  8. Tar Heel Fan says:

    As I pointed out yesterday, Green reminds me of Tayshaun Prince. I also think his jumping ability is fine. He makes lots of plays around the basket on the basis of sheer athletic play and being able to jump despite the fact he is only 6-5.

  9. wcb22 says:

    I wonder if the NBA has given Roy multiple lists of where our players would be drafted based on who enters the draft. Although we are stressed out, Chalmers, Collison, and Augustin haven’t said anything yet. I would think for Lawson especially, it would be hard to make a decision without knowing their decisions.

  10. wcb22 says:

    Yet another rumor

    This information is actually from an IC premium poster and has been leaked to the dookies board. It seems wrong that the Dark Side has this rumor before the (less wealthy) Good Guys, so here is the quote from the dook thread. FWIW, looks good to me though it is just another rumor until we hear official word.

    “A poster with a very informed source has confirmed that two players are coming back with the third testing the waters. The poster knows the details but won’t say anymore other then that he expects all 3 to be back in the end. The announcement will be on Friday. This poster has given the IC board word of commitments from Kendall Marshall, Reggie Bullock, John Henson, Dexter Strickland, Tyler Zeller, and Ed Davis before it was announced so he has a lot of credibility. Many feel that he is actually one of those recruits or very close to one of the recruits.”

    mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=167&am…6&t=2390174

  11. C. Michael says:

    I feel like Chalmers/Collison/Augustin/Lawson are all waiting on each other. I think if one declares, then at least two of the remaining 3 will announce they are coming back. The one exception being Augustin, who will clearly be picked ahead of the other 3.

  12. C. Michael says:

    wcb22,

    Saw that too, and my first though was, “That info very much mirrors what was on DX yesterday: Tyler to test; WE and TL to return.”

  13. 52BigGameJames says:

    I am continually amazed at the wide difference of perception when “net-grading” out players:
    DeanForever–you’ve made some good points but Wayne’s “defense kinda sucks”? Also, you didn’t mention his rebounding or passing, both significant improvements/aspects of his game this season, as well as being arguably one of the best slashers and finishers–certainly a better finisher than Green, who tended to get “packed” by taller players. I was as down on E as anyone in 06, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

    Chris: while I agree with you and DF that neither are NBA-ready just yet, Danny is certainly better than you’ve portrayed. When he wants to be, he is one of the better defenders on this team–I would even argue at least as good if not actually better than Marcus…at least Marcus w/turf-toe.

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    There seems to be a lot of good vibrations on the IC premium board from a couple of posters. We will see how it plays out.

  15. wcb22 says:

    From what we have seen, Tyler, Ty, and Wayne are not talking to their teammates about their decision (if you believe that), but I wonder if they are talking to each other? It would be great if they decided to each make a sacrifice to come back for one more shot at a title. In hindsight, this is the decision McCants and Felton made, which was the key to the 2005 title.

  16. C. Michael says:

    Same thing happened with UF after the 2006 season. Horford, Noah, and Green all wanted to go for a second, but Brewer, who’s family was in dire financial straights (his father had severe medical problems) was all but gone. Apparently, the other three convinced him to come back and go for two.

    What I find interesting, is this story is always told with a positive spin, yet it completely overlooks the fact the three privileged athletes (Noah, Horford, and Green all had dad’s who were professional athletes) essentially put their wants ahead of their teammates needs.

  17. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Unless the three rich players received money from the parents and gave it to Brewer to help his family. Any NCAA rule against players giving each other money?

  18. Mark says:

    Besides the fact that I’m about to go out of my mind in anticipation of some sort of announcement, I’m only gonna check this site for tangible news. The comments by some posters are ridiculous. We’ve gone in a complete circle as to who is going and now is staying. Additionally, if you were to believe some comments, you would think that this year’s team were a bunch of no-hack bums–Tyler can’t play defense, Ellington can’t play D, Green can’t jump (I’m sure Paulus would beg to differ).

    I don’t care a bit about the NBA and I don’t pretend to know what it takes to play in the NBA, although its obvious playing defense is not a requirement. But, come on. UNC had some of the most talented players in the country this year. So stop slamming my team.

    I hope the all return.

  19. C. Michael says:

    I think that if it was anything tangible, the NCAA would have big problems with that. Just listen to some of the questions surrounding the whole, Demar Derozen / lil Romeo relationship.

  20. DeanForever says:

    Which one is ‘Lil Romeo? I lost interest in hip-hop when the sad trend-shifting maneuvers of both MTV and the music industry basically pulled the plug on Wu-Tang.

  21. C. Michael says:

    Master P’s son. Had one song make the US Top 40 (My Baby, 2001), yet he STILL has a Greatest Hits album… (thank you Wikipedia!!)

    C.R.E.A.M. 😉

  22. DeanForever says:

    Oh goodie…what did he say, what did he say?!?!?

  23. C. Michael says:

    He is in.

  24. Tar Heel Fan says:

    This draft keeps getting deeper and deeper. As it stand right now the message board are optimistic of an eventual full return with one player testing but coming back.

  25. DeanForever says:

    With an agent? Thanks for the updates CM.

  26. DeanForever says:

    If Lawson comes back, would the dominos start to fall in our favor?

  27. C. Michael says:

    No agent, according to Jeff Goodman.

  28. 52BigGameJames says:

    OMG–if they all come back we will be expected to win it all–e gads!!! now I wish…oh, never mind.

  29. Tar Heel Fan says:

    And since Chalmers is listed as the 29th pick in the 2009 draft I am not sure that affects Lawson’s potential status. Augustin on the other hand does greatly.

  30. wcb22 says:

    Augustin affects everyone’s draft status.

  31. scl11 says:

    Abrams is going too

  32. Josh Bowling says:

    We will be as loaded as the 2005 team if we have all returning. I would be convinced that we were one of the top 2-3 teams in the nation next year. I don’t see this Kansas thing ever happening again. We should have all the hype of the 05 team if all return.

  33. Josh Bowling says:

    ^^^^^

    Or do you think that our team has a culture of losing in the ncaa’s? Sometimes a mindset of “can’t win” can overtake a team if they have successent losses. Just like the Phoenix Suns have with San Antonio. Phoenix is just as good, but simply have been defeated so long that I think players don’t believe they can win against the Spurs. Maybe these incoming freshmen (who have been associated with winning their whole life) come in and expect to win—THUS WIN as a result. Just a thought.

  34. DeanForever says:

    Augustin going in should (SHOULD) push both Lawson and Ellington out right now. In fact, this may confirm the notion that Tyler will merely test the waters (to see how he stacks up) but nothing more. If Lawson and Ellington come back, you know that Psycho T is gonna be salivating at the prospect of coming back with more than a legitimate shot to be a national champion.

    For the record, I will be glad when I stop typing the phrase “testing the waters.” I am still using (that phrase) despite the Vitalean level of cliche that it propagates.

    Also, I hope that Augustin’s decision will help to cease all of the Dannt Green talk. I have been as guilty as anyone for selling his case as the most-NB-ready of any Tar Heel right now, but enough’s enough. I don’t have the full spectrum of insight on his father’s situation right now, but I hope the best for his family. Whatever he needs to do, he needs to do. However, I don’t see him doing “what he needs to do” to a great extent in the NBA (next year).

  35. C. Michael says:

    Hard to call back-to-back trips to the Elite 8 and Final 4, and a combined 9-3 NCAAt record, a “culture of losing.” For that, they just need to look 8 miles down the road… 😉

  36. DeanForever says:

    Josh-

    If everyone returns…let me think of how best to phrase this…

    If everyone returns, plus the addition of Drew/Davis/Zeller

    Plus the return of Bobby Frasor

    Plus a mega-ton chip on Roy William’s shoulder…

    Good Lord.

  37. MinnyTarHeelFan says:

    One thing I wonder about (being so far away) is how team chemistry might play a role in these three-four players decisions. Do they all get along great. Are there personality conflicts that could lead to “If he goes, I’ll stay, but if he stays, I’m outta here?”

  38. wcb22 says:

    Dean – your comments are the reason I can’t concentrate at work. It’s too exciting a prospect to fathom. But I am trying to not get my hope up.

  39. C. Michael says:

    Agreed.

    I’d say it would be the most talented UNC roster since, and probably equal to, the 93/94 roster…

  40. C. Michael says:

    And in terms of comparing talent of a roster to its contemporaries… I’d say it has no equal. Obviously, some of Dean’s mid-80’s teams had better overall talent, but so did everyone else…

  41. Tar Heel Fan says:

    If everyone returns UNC is easily the #1 team in the nation bar none. They would have the most talent and exceptional experience with quality depth.

  42. Wadsworth says:

    The Italian lottery pick declared as well.

  43. Josh Bowling says:

    I appreciate your optimism Dean and C.Michael.

  44. Chris says:

    For what it’s worth, and it may be worth nothing, NBAdraft.com’s 2009 (next year) mock draft has Tyler at 20, Wayne at 27, Ty at 28, and Ginyard at 55. It’s worth is only probably that of one person’s independent view of the Carolina talent.

  45. Josh Bowling says:

    Chris, I think a good year and a national championship will improve those numbers for those players. At the beginning of this year, I would have had Lawson in my top 15. Wayne, I just dont know what to say about him. He only needs CONSISTENCY, and that assassin like attitude he had during the 1st Clemson game. If he can do that on a regular basis, a top 10 for him. I guess if Hansbrough can extend his game to hitting half-court game winning shots (like a lot of folks thinks he needs to be able to do) then he can be a top 10 as well.

  46. robuck says:

    Texas’ DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams have also announced that theyare entering the draft process…

  47. G. Keith says:

    Let’s be serious here: With the flock of players who have declared for the NBA draft in recent days, the UNC players keep falling down one or two spots (they were already borderline second round). I think this long wait may actually provide Tyler, Ty, Wayne and Danny with some sobering facts — they are not going to be drafted in the first round this year, thus no guarantee of anything. If the three — or even four — UNC players declare, what are the chances three or four UNC players are going to be taken in the first round. And if you aren’t going to be taken in the first round, what’s the point in being in the draft (other than to “test the waters”). These guys simply need to ALL come back and make the most of their college experience and wait until their draft stock rises. As for Tyler, he needs to realize that being UNC’s all-time leading scorer and the ACC’s all-time leading scorer are much more important than 10 years in the NBA as a role player, when he can still have that next year. He needs to realize he has a shot to be talked about as the best “while at UNC” player ever, and that means his name will be brought up for the next 30 years. Come back, boys. Wayne — keep proving you can drive to the basket, play defense and create your own shot; Ty — show that you can handle a grueling NBA season, even if you have an injury; Danny — don’t ruin what could be a breakout year for you next year; and Tyler, work on the 3-pointer this coming year (you’ve go the range) and continue to show that your spin moves in the lane make up for your supposed limitations.

  48. DeanForever says:

    I think that tomorrow’s entry should be titled “Sobering facts for the fab four.”

  49. DeanForever says:

    CM-

    On the one hand, this is good news (regarding Danny and no reported involvement in the discussions). On the other hand, a few folks here have posted that Danny was not involved with the UNC coaching staff in the process of going pro. I personally think that Danny was and still is NOT thinking that he has much of a shot (at getting a highly-compensated [relatively speaking] slot) in this year’s draft.

  50. Will says:

    If they aren’t finishing the process until the weekend, I am sure it’s because they are figuring out the other early entries first. There really is no other explanation.

  51. brightmma says:

    any more news on stephenson and a possible transfer? One thing is for sure, if everybody comes back and the new guys are any good, it will be really crowded! But, it will be “on like neck bone” any way! Go heels!!!!

  52. DeanForever says:

    CM-

    One more thing.

    You brought up the 1994 Tar Heel team. I remember reading (I believe it was an article in the Sporting News) about how Dean Smith was heavily recruiting Rasheed Wallace, but he had been projected as a lottery pick in the NBA draft. This was all pre-Kevin Garnett, at a time when the Fab Five made it en vouge to play (at least a couple years of) college ball. Anyways, it wasn’t long after the 1993 NCAA tournament that Wallace announced he was going to play for Dean. The trio of Rasheed Wallace, Jeff McGinnis, and Jerry Stackhouse was added to a team that defined chemistry. My all-time favorite Tar Heel (George Lynch) went on to the NBA. Still, life was good.

    I spent the summer of 1993 (prior to my junior year in high school) talking a lot of smack to all of my friends, many of whom were either Indiana Hoosier fans, Michigan fans, Kentucky fans, and/or Duke fans. During that season, we converged at my family’s house for both UNC defeats of Duke. UNC were ranked near the top for most of that season, despite being one of the most frustrating teams to watch. Do any of you remember how Rasheed played his way into the starting lineup, but Jerry was behind Dante Callabria in Dean’s rotation? I believe Stackhouse averaged nearly 13 PPG, but his minutes were marked. The frontline of Montross, Wallace, Salvadori, and Reece was awesome. Unfortunately, that was a tale of two teams. Before I knew it, I received the newest SI, with that gnarly Curley guy (from, of course, Baw-stun College) pounding his pasty fist in the air. “Take That Tar Heels!”, was the caption. Ugh. That team will always be a reminder that a team that looks great on paper does not translate into a team that dominates on the court.
    So, if everyone comes back, we may see more posts referring (or deferring) to the 1994 Tar Heels as Exhibit A in the case for not letting your hopes get the better of you. Exhibit B would be a talent-laden UNC team getting ripped apart (to everyone’s shock) in the Final Four.
    Nonetheless, if they all come back, I may say “the hell with it!” and dream big!

  53. 52BigGameJames says:

    As long as everybody understands that “coming back” is not the thang, but coming back with the commitment to improve those areas that need improvement is the thang, then everything will fall in place. If not, get ready for a BIG fall. And as KU laid bare, there is plenty of room for improvement…for eveRyone!

    Curly & Co. were thugs!

  54. Chris says:

    G Keith, I have to disagree about Tyler. He’s ready to go at about a low first round pick and won’t move up next year. He’s ready to play at the NBA level right now. The only thing that would bring him back would be a national championship. The other three need to work on their game all summer and return next fall. Danny Green wasn’t on anybody’s NBA prospect list. This was a dream by somebody that doesn’t know the game.

  55. C. Michael says:

    Dean,

    I had tried to forget how that season ended… thanks for ripping the bandage off again!! 😉

    You’re absolutely right that talent alone is not enough… but it sure is a nice start!!

  56. DeanForever says:

    52 BGJ-

    Didn’t that Boston College team have a couple of guys that played in the NBA? Curly is the only players that comes to mind. Was Jim O’Brien the coach of BC that year? Didn’t he get slammed for some NCAA violations while at Ohio State, or did those violations come from the BC days?

    Yes, there is always the possibility for the big fall. However, I feel as though we just went through one of those and lightning is set to strike another powerful program. I’m trying to think more 2005 than 1994 here. Again, this is all null-in-void if all the chips don’t fall in just the right places…or somewhere close. I’ve got a good feeling, though.

  57. DeanForever says:

    I feel as though the 2005 squad forever vanquished the “another talented UNC team that couldn’t get it done” label. Yes, we’ve witnessed two consecutive teams that could not win it all, but maybe we are overlooking something here. Perhaps this is all part of a bigger story, and we are witnessing it unfold before our eyes. It’s kinda cool when you think of it that way.

  58. C. Michael says:

    Howard Eisley was the one player on that BC team who had a significant career in the NBA.

  59. DeanForever says:

    Eisley…

    Oh yeah. Thanks for the input CM. Wasn’t there an altercation between Eisley and Derrick Phelps in that game? I’m sure you knew this, but nearly all of the UNC-Liberty U game (1994 NCAA tourny) is on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. The second round loss makes more sense when you watch a team loaded with NBA talent sluggishly put away “Coach Fallawell’s” team of pure, blessed lil’ angels.

  60. Tar Heel Fan says:

    O’Brien was accused at Ohio State and the Buckeyes cut bait with him almost immediately without any kind of due process. He sued them and won a couple of million I think because they dismissed him without investigating the charges fully. IIRC, the violations were minor or not so bad as he should have been fired.

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