Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We all know that is the deﬁnition of crazy. So the follow on question when put in context of UNC basketball… “Why does Roy Williams keep starting the same ﬁve expecting a different result?” I don’t believe there is a coach, fan, or otherwise that has an answer to that question. The only one that truly knows is Roy Williams. I realize that for fans it is a truly frustrating time to be backing UNC and currently Roy isn’t making it any easier. Roy Williams is a Hall of Fame Coach who has many faults but it seems is biggest is his stubborn loyalty.
Numbers wise there is no way to justify continuing to start Dexter Strickland over P.J. Hairston there just isn’t. UNC continues to start poorly in games and the starting ﬁve continues to give nothing on the offensive end. But the excuse has always been their defensive quality. That quality isn’t exactly what Roy would like people to think it is. The starting ﬁve isn’t much better defensively than it is on the offensive end. Dexter Strickland isn’t the same defensive player he was before a knee injury and it is clear. The void between the the Heels starting ﬁve’s ﬁeld goal efﬁciency and its opponents is nearly 45.
To put it in perspective for every 5 possessions in a game the Heels starting ﬁve will score about 4 points to the opponents 8.5. Few teams, even elite ones can continuously make up for that kind of start especially against quality competition.
Bottom line is Roy hates to be questioned by the media or fans but he continues to make it hard for himself. Roy is not above reproach and Roy is not always the smartest guy in the room no matter how many wins he has. Roy continues to say
“Well, they’re the ﬁve best. They’ve won the job in practice. Period. The end. There’s no question they’ve won the job in practice.”
Problem is people are not stupid people understand that practices don’t count towards the W-L record. Roy then goes on to speak about the constant rotation changes in the same interview and says:
“I have no idea if it’s a high number because I don’t keep that, but if you’re getting your tail beat by 26, then I don’t think you can stay with the same lineup. I think you’ve got to try to keep changing some things.”
Those two statement simply don’t make any sense. Those statements when stated in the same interview don’t speak well for Roy’s motives in starting the same ﬁve players. Roy clearly states that when the same things keep happening you have to make changes but also states that he isn’t changing the starting 5. Crazy Roy is not but it has become clearer than ever that Roy has either blind royalty to Dexter Strickland or a problem with PJ Hairston that only he knows.
Either way, for the Tar Heels to reach their ceiling this year Roy is going to have to put his stubbornness aside. Roy needs to make the change that he admitted in his own words must be made or the Heels will continue to start slow and come up short against the nations best teams.