The wait is over Tar Heel Nation. Junior forward John Henson, sophomore forward Harrison Barnes and sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall have informed North Carolina coach Roy Williams they intend to declare for the NBA Draft. While no official announcement has been made for the other potential early entree into the draft, all indications are freshman forward James Michael McAdoo will return to Chapel Hill for his sophomore season.
The decision comes much faster than we typically see from star players contemplating their futures. Players have until April 10th to inform their Universities of their decision this year. The timing of their decision gives Roy some flexibility in terms of potentially recruiting more players for the 2012 season. Here’s what Roy had to say to tarheelblue.com
“It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” says head coachRoy Williams. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.
“When I recruit a young man I talk to them about their ultimate goals and each of them are taking that next step toward reaching the goals they spoke to me about. I am extremely pleased for them. They have meant so much to our basketball program and theUniversity of North Carolina. I thank them for everything they have contributed to Carolina Basketball.
“I really look forward to watching Harrison, John and Kendall play in the NBA. I know theywill be very successful. They have been and will always be great Tar Heels.”
“I’ve loved my three years at Carolina, and now I’m ready to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA,” says Henson. “It’s tough to leave because I love my teammates, coaches and UNC. I wish we’d been able to bring our fans a national championship, but it wasn’t meant to be. I am proud of what we accomplished, especially the last two years.
“I’m honored and blessed to have the opportunity to compete in the NBA,” says Barnes. “The love and respect I have for basketball fuel the drive toward my ultimate goal – to experience an illustrious career in the NBA. I have consulted with Coach Williams and my family, and although it was a difficult decision, I have decided to enter this year’s NBA draft.
“I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates and the Tar Heel Nation for all their support,” says Marshall. “It’s been the greatest two years of my life. I have always put the team before myself and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. My life long dream has been to play basketball at the highest level possible and I feel now is my greatest opportunity to fulfill this goal. I will always be a Tar Heel at heart and I will carry the experiences that I’ve had here both on and off the court with me for the rest of my life.”
Keeping It Heel will bring you any and all updates on potential roster moves, recruiting targets and the entire fallout of the decision by Barnes, Henson and Marshall.