CHAPEL HILL- Despite a season-ending loss to Kansas Sunday, the predominately young North Carolina men’s basketball team has a lot to celebrate including Head Coach Roy William’s 700th victory, 25 total wins, three talented incoming recruits, and two seniors finishing a successful career.
Here is Williams on the season.
“It was a fun year,” says Williams. “It was a year filled with ups and downs and every time it was bad the kids bounced back and did some good things. At the end of the season they kept getting better and better and better. As a coach you love that, but you hate the way it ended in the second half against Kansas.”
The win Friday night against Villanova marked Williams’ 700th victory in just 879 games.
Although the Tar Heels were led mostly by lower classmen, Williams was still impressed with the season.
“We treated a lot of the season with kid gloves,” says Williams. “We tried to pamper them somewhat and truly tried to push them and keep them focused. They really did a nice job of it. I was extremely proud and it was a fun team to be around.”
Williams speaks highly of some of his younger players.
“Big Joel [James], he’s just the kind of kid that you like,” says Williams. “James Michael [McAdoo], you just like. Marcus Paige, you want to put your arm around him and adopt him. And Reggie [Bullock], you see where he has been and where you’d hope he will be at some point in his life.”
Strickland finished his career playing in 106 wins, was key defensively, and had one of the best assist-error ratios in the country.
As for NBA discussion, Williams comments on his star players.
“P.J. [Hairston], Reggie, and James Michael, those three for example, are going to be NBA players,” says Williams. “There is no doubt in my mind. Is it going to be next year? I think that is a big question.”
Statistically, P.J. Hairston was the leading scorer for the Tar Heels throughout the season with 14.6 points per game. McAdoo followed close behind with 14.4. Bullock, also in double figures, averaged 13.9. McAdoo finished as the leading rebounder and the leader in steals. Desmond Hubert was the leading shot blocker and Paige was the leading assist man with Strickland right behind Paige.
As for the start of the post season, Williams is in the process of meeting with each of his players and focusing on recruiting for now.
The Tar Heels finished 25-11 overall on the season and 12-6 in ACC play.