Yesterday I opened my Google Reader and, like the rest of the “Tar Heel Family” was shocked to read that David and Travis Wear have decided to transfer from North Carolina to a destination which has yet to be announced. Because I am obsessed with North Carolina Basketball, I went looking for answers last night. Since you can believe everything you read on the internet, that was my source of information. It is a bad source. Something is wrong. People don’t transfer out of the Mecca of College Basketball (insert your lame NIT jokes here). After a season that was one new rock bottom after another, this announcement found another way to go just a little deeper.
For those that don’t follow “the program”, Carolina was loaded with “bigs” this year. Ed Davis, Deon Thompson, Tyler Zellar, John Henson and the Wear Twins. No one really thought these two would get much burn on the floor (although they were both McDonalds All-Americans). But the season went south and injuries pressed them both into action. They both dealt with injuries too so it’s not like they were the second coming of Tyler Hansbrough. I think I read they averaged a combined 10 minutes and 6 points per game…..COMBINED.
Here’s why it matters:
Ed Davis is going to be counting a whole bunch of money in the NBA in a few weeks.
Deon Thompson will get a degree and graduate in a few weeks
John Henson recently celebrated hitting 200 pounds on the scale (he’s 6’10”)
Tyler Zeller has spent more time watching games in a suit due to injury the last 2 years than playing in them.
What this announcement means to UNC Basketball is that the last 2 names on that list are the ONLY two big men that will fill the paint next season. That sound you just heard was a collective *gulp* from the Tar Heel Family. While the Wears were not expected to do much, they would get minutes for foul trouble and injuries. We all know that Roy loves to substitute players like it’s an All-Star game and “wear” (no pun intended) the other team down. Gonna be tough to do that with 2 “bigs” and a bare cupboard.
The other thing the disturbs me here is that something is fishy. Both “kids” went through the end of season chat with Roy and had a program for what they needed to do before next season. That program never mentioned transferring. None of the other players knew. Roy didn’t know. There is a lot of speculation that someone (*cough*) Their Father (*cough*) made the demand call to have them come home to the West Coast. He has said that “more details will be given when they announce where they are transferring”. What? Really? What?
I’ve watched Carolina for 20-plus years. Watching last season you could tell there was something in the water. It looked at times as if Roy had lost his team. This went beyond “X’s and O’s”. You could roll a basketball out to 7 McDonalds All-Americans and they would figure out how to win ball games. Yet Carolina couldn’t and didn’t. I get Ed Davis leaving early to make bank (although I think it’s a huge mistake). Injuries happen. But 2 kids that were in line to receive a whole lot of playing time and their tuition paid for under scholarship at North Carolina don’t just bail. Something went down.
All that to say that the cloud over the Tar Heels will soon be lifted. With the arrival of Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall, Roy has a new crop of talent to run the floor. The size will be a problem, but I have a feeling that we haven’t heard the end of that yet. Roy’s got money to spend and players still “waiting it out” know that significant minutes just opened up at UNC. What would have been a dream is now more than reality. It’s necessity. I hope Kadeem Jack is reading this because I am speaking directly to him.
This summer will really say a lot about what’s going on and what 2011 will look like in Chapel Hill. Stay tuned…..