Thursday, March 25, 2004

Williams already gearing up for next season
The Raleigh News & Observer has a story today about what Roy Williams expects for next season. As I mentioned earlier this week, Williams expects all his players to return, but he also is confident that high school All-American Marvin Williams will choose Chapel Hill over the NBA. Here are some of the highlights from his press conference:
Roy Williams is excited about the prospects of Marvin Williams joining the Tarheels because at 6'9" he will provide some much needed support inside, perhaps freeing Sean May to play more as a power forward. The coach went on to say that he's been in contact with JamesOn Curry, but it is still too early to make any decisions about where he will be next season.

Williams mentioned that he's talked to several people about Matt Doherty getting back into coaching, although he didn't want to get too specific. Like Doherty or not, if Larry Eustachy can get another job (apparently Southern Miss will name him head coach today), there's no doubt in my mind that Doherty shouldn't be out of work for too long -- and maybe he's had time to reassess his coaching style during his time off.

Coach Williams says he plans on meeting with all players early next week, and this is what he had to say about players leaving college early to turn pro:
"... I've said many times if a guy can be drafted in the top six to eight picks, than I have zero problem. To hear someone say, 'If he's going to be drafted in the first round [then go],' well that's not very bright.

If a guy is drafted with the last pick [in the first round], that's $2.5 million. Taxes are going to take half of that, so now you've got $1.25 million. And then you're going to buy three cars, two mink coats and six houses and two years later, you're in debt $2 million. Just to say that anybody can be drafted in the first round -- in my opinion, that's not a good thing. Drew Gooden got $10 million. He was the fourth player picked. If they do what they're supposed to, that's enough to take them all the way out."
There is still no consensus, but Raymond Felton probably won't sneak into the top eight -- of course a lot can change between now and the end of June.

When asked how his players can get better defensively, Williams had a simple solution: " should never guard someone like you want to be guarded." He went on to show exactly how serious he is about this whole 'defense is really important' thing:
"I got mad last year when I came back from camp one night and there had been a pickup game where the old guys had beat the young guys. It made me mad, because I think winning is important. So I went around to every player and said, 'What happened?' They said, 'Well, we took bad shots and didn't guard anybody.' I said, 'Then change.'"
When asked if he needed a break after a very trying season, this is what Coach Williams had to say:
"I'm absolutely worn out, but I also want to start again. I'd like to start next year's team with the feeling that this year's team has right now -- with the knowledge and the experience that this team has right now. I don't want any of that to be lost over the summer."