North Carolina has been the class of college basketball the last two years, making it to the national championship game in consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
But the Tar Heels lost plenty from last year’s team. Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks, Tony Bradley and Isaiah Hicks are all gone; Joel Berry has a broken hand and is expected to be out until about Thanksgiving.
So while North Carolina figures to be solid this season (it’s ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP Top 25), some regression is expected. But head coach Roy Williams went a step further on his radio show.
“We’re so far behind from where we were the last two years that it’s scary at that point.” Williams said. “You’ve got to go as fast as they’ll allow you to go and as fast as they can learn the stuff… we’re much farther behind, we’re much slower right now than we’ve been in several years.”
It wasn’t all negative from Williams. He appears to see potential, but the inexperience combined with Berry’s absence is a recipe for growing pains.
“I know we’re a better team with Joel Berry on the court than when he’s over there with me as an assistant coach,” he said. “I know that for sure. On the perimeter we’ve got a chance to be pretty good. When the ball is going in the basket from the perimeter guys, we are good. The big fellas up front, we’ve got to get a lot of work done with them. We’ve got to find some way to compete on the backboards and some way to protect the rim on the defensive end.”
North Carolina opens up the season on Nov. 10 against Northern Iowa.
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