Jan 6, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (15) during the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: The Definition of Crazy

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.



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Tags: North Carolina Tar Heels

  • chucktaylorbangs

    fire roy, too stubborn

    • Charles Baker

      Fire Roy? Are you serious? LOL!!! Granted, he needs to make this change, and make it now. PJ should be starting, period. It wont do any good if he waits any longer. However, this should not be about Roy’s stuborn ways and more about the fact that UNC is not very good this year, and has a very young team. As a UNC life long fan I will have to learn to live with that for this year. Roy’s stuboness is what has made him one of the best coaches in the Nation and brought the two National championships to Carolina. But not even the might UNC Tarheels can avoid the result of an entire team being replaced. Kentucky is going through it, NC State is going trhough it, and UNC will have to learn to go through it.

  • Jarrod

    I’m not quick to villianize Roy for loyalty, it is missing in a lot of aspects of sports, but you’re right. It’s pretty clear Strickland isn’t the same guy he was last year (even if he was he still wouldn’t be a huge scoring threat), and we can’t continuously get down big margins against good teams early and expect our bench to get us back in it in the second half. We need to prevent those early runs, especially in games like tomorrow, where Duke can go on a huge run at any point. Bringing Strick off the bench would probably serve as a spark, too, for he’s a good energy guy it seems like. I think a move like this could re-energize the Heels, giving them some hope for some early points and more of an energy spark off of the bench.

  • coachj

    seems to be a common sentiment among those here. I don’t agree with it at all. It is obvious that PJ is not doing what he is asked to do in practice. While I am not there, that seems to be the only conclusion one can draw. As a coach, you cannot make rules for your program and then arbitrarily apply them. If PJ were doing everything he was asked to do, I am sure Roy would start him over Dexter. I am also sure he would play him more than 15 mpg. So instead of questioning Coach Williams, maybe you should be questioning PJ and the other players that cannot seem to convince the coaching staff [and there are multiple eyes from the bench that seem to all agree] to play them more minutes. You earn your minutes in practice, and if you aren’t getting minutes, then you aren’t earning them. Doesn’t matter if you show up to games and play well. PJ may well be a gamer, but the program will go on long after PJ is gone, and if Roy teaches the rest of the young guys that it is ok to be like PJ, his program will go into the toilet. I would rather him have this marginal season and keep the program going in the right direction, then to make change for the sake of wins now, only to create an environment where players believe they can slack off until game time.