Tag Archives: North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball

Mike Krzyzewski is as Overrated as Roy Williams is Underrated

When the question of the best coach in men’s college basketball gets asked, many immediately respond with Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He has over 1,000 career wins, five NCAA Championships and is currently the man leading USA Men’s Basketball at the Olympics.

His career numbers are impressive — since the 1983-84 season he has only missed one NCAA Tournament. There’s been 12 Final Fours, 12 ACC regular season championships and 13 ACC conference tournament championships.

From the 96-97 to 00-01 seasons Duke won five straight regular season titles. The final three years of that stretch included three straight ACC tournament championships to go with the regular season titles. There were two Final Four’s, with an NCAA Championship in 00-01.

That was easily the most dominant stretch of Coach K’s coaching career.

While Duke won the NCAA Tournament in the 2014-15 season, it’s been six years since they’ve won the ACC regular season, and five since they’ve won the ACC Tournament. That’s a decent drought for a coach considered head and shoulders above his peers.

Back to the question — Who is the best coach in men’s college basketball? How many names were brought up before Roy Williams? I personally don’t put him in my top 5, which is telling since North Carolina is one of three teams I follow closely.

He’s often labeled as a coach who gets by with the talent on his roster, one who lacks the ability to make in-game adjustments. Sometimes it seems as if UNC finishes games with more timeouts than they started with.

Furthermore, there’s criticism that he’s been unable to land top-tier high school prospects in recent years. It’s pretty impressive when you can be accused of relying on your team’s talent, while also being blasted for the lack of it.

Williams has won 16 regular season conference championships, including seven as the head coach of UNC. He has two national championships in eight trips to the Final Four.

Yet, he’s overlooked by the public, underrated amongst his own fan base.

Where Coach K and Duke don’t have an ACC regular season championship in six years, Williams and UNC have three. That’s telling for two elite coaches in the same conference — with a large gap in how they’re perceived by the public.

Coach K very may well be the best coach around, but good ol’ Roy deserves some respect as well.

For what it’s worth, here is my top 5 list of active men’s college basketball coaches:

  1. Rick Pitino (7 Final Fours, 2 National Championships)
  2. Tom Izzo (7 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)
  3. Mike Krzyzewski (12 Final Fours, 5 National Championships)
  4. John Calipari (4 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)
  5. Jim Boeheim (5 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)

Active wins leaders:

  1. Mike Krzyzewski, 1043
  2. Jim Boeheim, 989
  3. Roy Williams, 783 (8 Final Fours, 2 National Championships)
  4. Rick Pitino, 743
  5. Bob Huggins, 719 (2 Final Fours)

While I applaud Krzyzewski for building Duke into the power it is today, I still can’t shake the feeling that too many of his teams in recent memory have underperformed. Top-level talent should produce consistent top-level results — both in the regular season and postseason.

This is why I give Pitino and Izzo the top spots, they’ve done more with less.

Coach K is overrated — somehow the coach who has won more games than anyone, hasn’t won enough. Roy Williams is underrated — viewed as a man just trying not to screw up a program that runs itself.

‘Tis how it goes when you’re the head men at Duke and North Carolina.

E-mail Zak at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @playorbplayd.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Bryan Horowitz

Will Roy Williams Crush Kent Babb Like a Dove?

The University of North Carolina Tar heels (UNC) basketball team and Roy Williams have had a March to remember. They won the ACC and were awarded a coveted 1-seed by the NCAA Tournament committee. UNC has lived up to their seeding as they’ve cruised into the championship game against the Villanova Wildcats. March Madness has been good to the Tar Heels.

With all of the success UNC has had during the 2015-16 season, there is a shadow that looms over them and Roy Williams. The Washington Post’s Kent Babb illuminated the issues surrounding Williams and his UNC program when he published “Scandals and health burden Roy Williams to deliver for the players he loves.”

These allegations of academic fraud are not new revelations for UNC. The NCAA has been investigating the academic climate at UNC and as Sara Ganin and Devon Sayers stated in their CNN article; there were 18 years of academic fraud that had taken place at UNC.

Whether or not Williams approved of Babb’s perspective, the fact remains that there is well established controversy surrounding UNC and Williams. An argument could even be made that UNC should not be participating in the tournament this year. The only reason they are eligible for the tournament is because the NCAA had to place their investigation on hold in light of new findings that UNC self-reported about their women’s basketball team and men’s soccer team. Aaron Beard highlighted these convenient findings in his Associated Press article.

Schools must respond to NOAs within 90 days, which is often when they self-impose penalties. UNC was near its deadline before reporting additional improper assistance from the women’s basketball adviser and possible recruiting violations in men’s soccer.

How convenient for Williams.

Considering that all of this is common knowledge and has been well documented, it was surprising to hear Williams spout his outrage at Babb. Williams didn’t even have to read Babb’s article himself to be outraged. All it took were his friends reading it and reporting back to the coach. Babb’s colleague at The Washington Post, Cindy Boren, offered this follow-up story where Williams’ reaction was documented.

“You know, Dan (Patrick), I’ll try to treat this lightly because I could deal with it much more strongly,” Williams said. “I haven’t read it. Two of my close friends were so mad that if they were to step in front of that guy in the street, it would be a very bad scene because they felt like the guy took — lied. I started to try to say it nicely.

“One of my guys said, ‘I never said anything like that.’ It’s upset all my friends. I haven’t read it, don’t care to read it, never will read it. He’d better step carefully around any of my friends. My high school coach is one of the finest gentlemen I’ve ever known in my life and one of my assistants that was with me for 21 years — and they are so mad at that guy.”

The thought of someone like Babb viewing Williams as anything other than the self anointed God he thinks he is offended the coaches’ friends so much that Babb had better hope that the disciples of Williams never cross paths with the writer. And Babb’s blasphemy was so strong that Williams told Babb that he had better step carefully.

You know, if I didn’t know better, i’d swear that this was the Tupac and Biggie feud all over again.

Williams likes to play naive and likes to present himself as a precious snowflake who is as nice as they come. But if you’ve paid attention to Williams over the years, you’d know that he is comfortable using intimidation tactics when he believes he’s been wronged.

Back in 2003, the University of Kansas fired athletic director Al Bohl. Bohl and Williams did not get along and Levi Chronister wrote a story for kusports.com that highlighted the tense relationship between the two men. Bohl believed that Williams was responsible for his firing and that Williams had metaphorically held the athletic director in his hands like a dove and crushed him.

So before Babb writes another article that is critical of Williams, he should ask himself this question: Does he want to be another one of Williams’ doves?

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.


*Featured image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Top-10 List of Things That Will Happen Before Lane Kiffin Leaves Alabama for UCLA

Do you know who has it easy right now? Lane Kiffin, that’s who. As Alabama’s offensive coordinator Kiffin has coached in two national championship games and won one of them. Not bad for a coach who has the reputation of “falling up.”

Kiffin arguably has the best job in the history of sports. As Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator Kiffin has to orchestrate just enough points to win games and, with the Alabama defense, not many points are needed. He has also had the luxury of coaching Derrick Henry, Amari Cooper and a laundry list of other high caliber offensive weapons. Talent like this is not going to dry up any time soon at Alabama.

So here’s the question: Why would he even think about leaving Tuscaloosa?

That is the question that UCLA should have asked themselves prior to making their offer to Kiffin. UCLA really thought that Kiffin would leave Alabama to be the offensive coordinator for UCLA?

Again, Kiffin has the easiest job in sports right now.

I guess UCLA thought that Kiffin couldn’t say “yes” unless he was at least offered the job. This was a completely far fetched idea on the part of UCLA.

Here’s my Top-10 list of far fetched things that could have happened before Lane Kiffin left Alabama for UCLA.

  1. Clay Travis leaves Fox Sports after accepting an offer from Campus Pressbox. Our benefit package isn’t much, but we make up for it with a kick-ass slack.com app.
  2. I, Seth Merenbloom, will grow a full, luxurious head of hair so I am no longer Campus Pressbox’s “Bald Headed Bastard.”
  3. Donald Trump gets elected President. He names only his kids as cabinet members.
  4. Stan Kroenke updates his last will and testament and leaves his toupe to the city of St. Louis.
  5. Mike Wilson, Campus Pressbox Sr. Pac-12 Writer, starts drinking his scotch the right way. Neat.
  6. Oklahoma leaves the Big 12 and becomes a member of the SEC. Bob Stoops publicly admits that the SEC is the best conference in college football.
  7. Rick Pitino holds a press conference from the bathroom of a Louisville restaurant where he admits to running The Best Little Whore House In Louisville.
  8. Roy Williams’ entire North Carolina basketball team not only makes the Dean’s List, but are in a 16 student tie for Valedictorian.
  9. Jameis Winston retires from the NFL to pursue his true passion which is being an Alaskan king crab fisherman.
  10. Urban Meyer is found to be in perfect health and remains at Ohio State for the remainder of his coaching career.
E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SMerenbloom.

Feature image courtesy of pixabay.com