Ninety five percent of all Division I programs that lose four players to the NBA the prior season would be staring at the 2012-13 season wondering what could be done in order to find a way to through the year without embarassing themselves too much. But I cover the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and for Roy Williams rebuilding is not an option he has as the head coach of the Tar Heels. For UNC Basketball mediocrity is not something that will be taken well, look at the `09-`10 season for coach Williams or the 01`-`02 season that did former coach Matt Doherty in. To play at Carolina means to win close if not more than 30 games a season, the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season, and to be a part of the last weekend of the NCAA Tournament. The fan base does not lower its standards, and I am pretty sure, that while being more realistic, the coaching staff does not either.
This off-season has not been easy for the head man of the program, as coach Williams did not just have to deal with all the things he does once the season is over, but also with several stints in the hospital due to tumors in both kidneys, that turned out to benign. And through it all, another Top 10 recruiting class, a team that no one in the media sees falling below third in the ACC and is in the Top 12 of most polls is what the Hall of Fame coach is going to give to its fan base.
Now the masses have been worrying about how come UNC Basketball has not been able to bring in enough of the top recruits for next season. While this might be true or not, here is what I will say about it… When they see what Carolina does in this year some of those recruits from 2013 might wonder if they went to the right program, and the ones from 2014 will take a much better look at the school in Chapel Hill. Even with the likes of Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, John Henson (all lottery picks) and Tyler Zeller (picked 17th overall) all in the NBA there is still plenty of talent on this squad, as well as good incoming freshmen ready to get their taste of the college basketball world while donning the carolina blue.
Within a week the season will begin for UNC Basketball, make sure you get ready for it, and enjoy the ride. It might be a bit bumpy at the beginning, with so many new starters and new freshmen, but in the end this squad will be one that I truly believe people, both fans and not, will remember for a long time to come. The one thing that I would warn all is not to judge it from the first month of the season, but from the last one, as they will constantly progress in getting better and gelling more with one another. It is also the season where head coach Roy Williams should get his 700th win in his career. If coach stays true to his saying that he will be the head man at UNC for another 6 to 10 years we could see him get to 800 and then 900 as well, and I am sure, if I can, I will watch each and every one of them!
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