Art Chansky

McAdoo, Paige In The Zone

All those jokesters who claim “Roy can’t coach” may have the rethink their theories after Carolina’s stunning comeback win over Virginia Tech Saturday. Unless Williams deserves an “F” for his pre-game pep talk, very little of what went bad for the Tar Heels Saturday can be blamed on the coach. And almost everything that went right had ol’ Roy’s hand prints on it. Even after an obviously more motivated Virginia Tech team scored the first 12 points of the game, Williams called a timeout before the first official TV break. That’s a record for the coach who has disdained taking a TO, baby, until his team was down 28 on certain occasions. The Tar Heels spent barely six minutes cutting the deficit in half and from there it was a ballgame despite two of their better outside shooters being bamboozled by the Hokies’ active zone and their hottest marksman of late still too concussed to play. Carolina had the deficit down to one in the last two minutes of the first half and literally threw away a chance to take the lead into the locker room when a miss and a turnover led to five straight points for the visitors. Williams went inside good and mad but his team had wiped out half of the dirty dozen that began the game and had silenced a sold-out Smith Center crowd....

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Heels Loose On, Off Court. Part I

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Matt Wenstrom, UNC ‘93 The 1992-93 Tar Heels will always be remember as a collection of great basketball players. What many people couldn’t see, however, was that this was a team of fascinating characters. The personalities meshed so well off the court as the talent did on the court. There’s no doubt that was a major influence on us developing the chemistry all championship teams have. We were a very loose team. We were focused and serious when the opening tap went up each game but we were always relaxed and having fun until then. I think Carolina basketball is an outstanding mixture of discipline and free-wheeling fun. We may look to the public like the “IBM of college basketball” as some people call us. We’re also the “Toys ‘R Us”. It’s like Coach Smith says, “The disciplined person in society is the free person.” We’re given a very disciplined structure in which to function that, in turn, provides us with the freedom to be ourselves. We had a lot of fun with little pet superstitions that most everyone on the team had. I insisted, for example, on...

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Seeing Red in a Sea of Red

By not competing, Carolina committed the cardinal sin of UNC basketball Saturday night at N.C. State. Whether underdog, undermanned or under intense pressure from a crazed crowd, the Tar Heels have rarely not been ready to fight from the opening tip. They weren’t this time, perhaps thinking their sky blue uniforms would settle a red storm and be good enough against an opponent they had defeated 13 straight times and pretty much dominated for the last 20 years. But that was then and this was now. And arrogant quotes in the preseason and silly dances in the runway before taking the court don’t automatically make them good enough against what is clearly a better team. Carolina’s mantra under Roy Williams is transition basketball, but it was State that scored 20 fast break points in the first half compared to none for the visitors who were beaten badly at their own game. It may have been the first time in the 100-year-old rivalry that the Wolfpack started better players at every position. Even the Tar Heels’ best hope foolishly fouled State’s C.J. Leslie  twice  in the first two minutes (although the second was probably a play-on that never should have been called). Regardless, James Michael McAdoo did not return until 11 minutes remained in the first half and his team already down by 12 points. After his two free throws...

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Lampley Said 'See Ya!'

In the early 1970s, I worked for the Atlanta Constitution and heard a sportscaster named Beau Bock do commentaries on the radio and host what might have been the first sports talk show in America.   Bock was very informative and entertaining in his 2-minute daily diatribe and then he actually fielded phone calls and let people give him THEIR opinions on sports stuff. Brilliant, I thought.   A year or so later, I returned to North Carolina as the sports editor of the old Durham Morning Herald. I went to see my old friend Jim Heavner at WCHL, for whom I had been a reporter and correspondent in my days as a UNC student.   “Jim,” I began, “there’s this guy in Atlanta who does sports commentaries and then spends an hour on the air taking phone calls from sports fans who get all over the lousy Atlanta teams. It’s uproarious. You ought to do that on CHL”   Heavner rubbed his chin, as he’s been doing for most of the last 70 years, while in contemplation. Finally, he spoke.   “We’re the flagship station of the Tar Heels and people in Chapel Hill love sports,” he said. “We could do that . . . and I have the perfect person to do it.”   “You do?” I said, beginning to stick out my chest, hoping of course...

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Are We There Yet? Part II

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Travis Stephenson, UNC ‘93 When classes began in the fall of 1992, we continued gathering mid-afternoon at the gym to lift weights and play pick-up games. We also had to make that horrible run up Laurel Hill Road. This is a beautiful neighborhood not far from the Smith Center, but it’s up, up up, up. Every time you turn the corner you see another hill. That’s one good thing about graduating–Laurel Hill’s out of my life forever. We got to know the freshmen better and they all seemed to fit in well. You get a first impression of someone on a recruiting visit, and you hope that turns out correctly. You hope no one will come in with a bad attitude and cause problems. None of these guys did. Larry Davis showed from Day One how great of an athlete and scorer he is, and he began working hard to refine that talent to what it needs to be for Carolina. Dante Calabria has a chance to be a Jeff Lebo kind of player; he’s got a sweet shot. Ed Geth is an easy-going guy who everyone...

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Bye Bye, Big 10 Terps

Amidst the chaos that has become college athletics, Carolina defeated Maryland Saturday in truly a tale of two halves. The Tar Heels played perhaps their best 20 minutes of basketball to begin the game and ended with perhaps their worst. Depending on when they officially bolt for the Big 10 and the 2014 basketball schedule, this could well have been the Terrapins’ last trip to the Dean Smith Center as a member of the ACC. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, a Kansas protégé of both Larry Brown and Roy Williams, took what he considered to be one of the best jobs in the country two years ago. When the Terps, along with Rutgers, join the Big 10, who knows what kind of a job it will be. For sure, trips to Columbus, Ann Arbor and Iowa City will never match those January games in a warm climate on Tobacco Road. And the load of talent in the Metro Washington-Baltimore area will surely have second thoughts about playing in an unfamiliar conference as opposed to the rivalries they’ve been watching all their lives. But it’s all about money these days, and Maryland’s athletic department had to stave off bankruptcy by dropping seven varsity sports before opting out for the Big 10, which has guaranteed the university at least $20 million more per year than the ACC in television revenues beginning in...

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The Rap On Roy

There’s an old story about Roy Williams from a coaches’ clinic just after he returned to UNC. Williams was speaking to a couple of hundred of his peers, and the subject was the Carolina fast break.   “Our break is pretty simple,” Williams said. Then he went on to detail how it worked: Sean May gets the rebound and outlets to Raymond Felton, who blows up the court as fast as he can. Felton drives into the lane, and if the defense collapses on him he finds Rashad McCants open in the corner for a jumper. If the defense stays home, Felton is free to go to the basket or pull up for a high percentage shot.   Sounds easy and, of course, it worked with those guys, who won a national championship in 2005. But most of the coaches who did not have a May or a Felton or a McCants in their program – rather slower, whiter guys instead of McDonald’s All-Americans — wanted to know how THEY could run an effective fast break.   The story reveals how Williams has become one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball. For many of his 25 years as a head coach – and the 10 he spent as an assistant to Dean Smith – Williams has worked with better players than the opposition had....

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The Rap On Roy

There’s an old story about Roy Williams from a coaches’ clinic just after he returned to UNC. Williams was speaking to a couple of hundred of his peers, and the subject was the Carolina fast break. “Our break is pretty simple,” Williams said. Then he went on to detail how it worked: Sean May gets the rebound and outlets to Raymond Felton, who blows up the court as fast as he can. Felton drives into the lane, and if the defense collapses on him he finds Rashad McCants open in the corner for a jumper. If the defense stays home, Felton is free to go to the basket or pull up for a high percentage shot. Sounds easy and, of course, it worked with those guys, who won a national championship in 2005. But most of the coaches who did not have a May or a Felton or a McCants in their program – rather slower, whiter guys instead of McDonald’s All-Americans — wanted to know how THEY could run an effective fast break. The story reveals how Williams has become one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball. For many of his 25 years as a head coach – and the 10 he spent as an assistant to Dean Smith – Williams has worked with better players than the opposition had. He has coached...

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Are We There Yet? Part I

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Travis Stephenson, UNC ‘93 The record will forever show Carolina won the NCAA championship on that magical night in New Orleans. But for 11 of us, the road to the national title started the night in Lexington, Kentucky, a year earlier when Ohio State bounced us out of the 1992 Mideast Regional. Some losses are more difficult to take than others. When you get soundly beaten by someone, like we did at Wake Forest early in the season, all you can say is, “Good game,” and go on to the next one. But when you could have won, should have won, were in control of the game – and then it slips away, you have to choke it down like a soggy piece of pizza. Ohio State was like that. I think some unspoken alliance was forged that night and it grew in the days that followed. We knew we had lots of talent and couldn’t accept losing like that. The media and fans were ragging on Coach Smith and the team. Then we had to watch Duke win another national championship. I don’t want to take...

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A Season For The Books

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. FOREWORD: We are excited to have had such an enjoyable year, one filled with so many memorable moments. Our players challenged themselves from the off-season on to be the best they could be, and they accomplished their ultimate goal. Only one team in the NCAA Tournament can finish the season with a victor, and I’m so happy for our seniors that they did it in their last chance. The coaches have a chance every year, but the players only have four shots at it. The balance of talent in college basketball today makes the odds overwhelming, so our players can take tremendous pride in what they achieved. Like all of our Carolina teams, this one played hard, played together and made the most of the big plays; we also had the good fortunate to avoid injuries to key players and had the bounce of the ball go our way on some occasions. I’ve always said you have to be both good and lucky, and we were. I do know we couldn’t have accomplished any of our goals without the seniors – George, Henrik, Matt, Scott and Travis.. They all...

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