Yesterday, after thinking about it a couple of days, probably talking to both their parents and head coach Roy Williams, junior John Henson, winner of the ACC Defensive POY for two years in a row, sophomore Harrison Barnes, who came in third in scoring in the conference, and sophomore point guard, winner of the Bob Cousy Award for the best PG in the nation, all decided to forego their remaining years at North Carolina and enter the NBA Draft. Like it or not, all three made the right decision, as they did what they felt was the best decision for themselves.
There is a reason why I posted something for each of the players, and will add that the first two made All-ACC 1st team while Marshall was on the second squad, because we all want these young men to be the best they can be while at UNC but then think it’s wrong when they use those skills to move forward. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill basketball program is among the top in the nation, and has been for a long time, and the players that came to it are looking to be able to go pro once done in college. Anyone that calls themselves a true fan should thank the trio, along with the seniors, for what they did in the years they were here and be ready for the next group of young men that will don the carolina blue. This is the nature of the beast, if you want a program that wins the conference regular season and goes deep into the NCAA Tournament you are going to have players that are not going to stay the four years.
In my opinion, if you want to fault them then you are selfish, cause no one should ever fault someone for wanting to better themselves and their family. Sure, would I love for all three to come back next season? Yes, but that is selfish, unrealistic and most of all wrong! These young men gave us plenty in two seasons, but some of us (maybe even me at times) are spoiled and we do not think anyone should leave early unless they trade it in for a national title. These two seasons gave us a couple of regular season titles in the ACC, two runs to the Elite Eight, lots and lots of individual accolades, and it came because, let’s always remember this, the front court of Henson and Barnes, along with senior Tyler Zeller, all decided they would come back one more year.
For this old Tar Heel having watched this group was an honor, as they worked through a tough schedule and injuries, and got five minutes away from being in another Final Four, and wish them all the best as they head on to the next level.