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Oakes: Roy’s Remarks – “The Wooden Way”

By Matt Oakes Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

“I’ve always talked about one of John Wooden’s great quotes that I love; it was ‘Be quick but don’t hurry.'”
-Coach Williams

UNC vs. Clemson 027Roy was referring to the play of James Michael McAdoo in this recent quote. Coach was alluding to the fact that the junior forward has a tendency to rush things, especially in the heat of battle. No arguments here. Did anybody see him during the 0-3 ACC start?

But in the Clemson game on Sunday, things were different. McAdoo was alert, but not frantic. He had clear court vision. He saw the plays. He lit it up with 22 points. Maybe there’s something to this guy John Wooden?

But I by no means think this advice is digestible to only McAdoo. I think the rest of the Tar Heels should take this Wooden gem to heart as well.

Leslie McDonald, you’ve been rushing your shots, just throwing them up. You feel you have to step up and knock down shots – be that sharp-shooter everybody talks about. We know you want to make a big splash. You’re a senior, after all. But no. Just look at this last game versus Clemson. You were patient with your shot selection. It paid off. You scored in double figures for the third straight game, and (even better) shot a higher percentage. You even praised the benefits of patience after the game. Roy and Wooden would be happy. Keep it up!

UNC vs. Clemson 020Kennedy Meeks, keep plugging away. You’ve lost 30 pounds. That’s nice work. But simplification could aid your maturation as well. Underneath the basket, go up strong to the rim. Don’t try to toss one in, or most certainly don’t fall away from a shot. Take the ball and slam it through the nets. It’s that basic. Don’t panic inside. If someone is in your way, you’ll pick up a foul or rip through them on your way to an “old-fashioned” three-point play, as Roy calls them.

J.P. Tokoto, your turnovers are sloppy. There’s no need need to turn and try to make a play until you secure the ball first. Think clearly. Slow the process down. The little things make a huge difference. Just ask the UCLA skipper who won seven straight national championships. He taught his players how to correctly put on their socks.

Roy would do well to continue to channel his inner Wooden. This year’s squad calls for it. He’ll need to pull out all the stops. And who better to turn to for reinforcement?

Coach Wooden incorporated this adage into his philosophy, along with the rest of the building blocks in his famous “Pyramid of Success”. And he experienced wild success – to the tune of ten national championships in 12 seasons. Let that sink in.

In short, if it worked for the legendary John Wooden, it should work for anybody (sans the 10 national championships part).

You would always hope Carolina’s players would listen closely to Coach Williams. But, heck, if they don’t want to listen to him, at least listen to Coach Wooden – the best this business has ever seen.

The Tar Heels would no doubt be wise to heed the sage advice from the “Wizard of Westwood.” You can almost hear the calming, simple voice of the basketball patriarch now: “Be quick but don’t hurry.”

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