Congratulations to North Carolina: Upper Classmen Win
It was a great performance and Roy Williams has done it again. Congrats UNC.
In one of the most dominating championship games I can remember, North Carolina completed the mission and proved everyone right – UNC is the best team in the country.
As a basketball fan that has been very critical of Tyler Hansbrough, I must say that I was happy to see a TEAM led by upper clasmen who came back from testing the NBA waters and was able to finish the job.
Like Kansas, Florida, UNC in 2005 and UConn before, UNC had veteran leadership at every position and off the bench. It proves home the point that you need upperclassmen to win a championship.
Since the 1997 Arizona team that had a freshmen Mike Bibby running the point (still had Michael Dickerson and Miles Simon) and with the 2003 Syracuse team that was lead by Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara as an exception, every championship team has had strong leadership from juniors and seniors.
Look at the teams:
- 1998 - Kentucky: Jeff Shepard, Nazr Mohammad, Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, Heshimu Evans, and Cameron Mills
- 1999 - UConn: Rip Hamilton, Jake Voskuhl, Kevin Freeman, and Ricky Moore
- 2000 - Michigan State: Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell, and AJ Granger
- 2001 – Duke: Shane Battier and Nate James
- 2002 - Maryland: Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Byraon Mouton, Steve Blake, and Drew Nicholas
- 2003 - Syracuse: Kueth Duany
- 2004 - UConn: Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, and Taliek Brown
- 2005 - UNC: Raymond Felton, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel, Melvin Scott, and David Noel
- 2006 - Florida: This is a slight expection to the rule, the leaders were sophomores, Al Horford, Jokin Noah, Turean Green and Corey Brewer. But you still had Lee Humpry and Chris Richards play key roles.
- 2007 - Florida: See above. Juniors and Seniors this season.
- 2008 - Kansas: Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kuhn, Russell Robinson, and Brandon Rush.
- 2009 - UNC: Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Bobby Fraser *Marcus Ginyard played only three games due to injury and will apply for a medical reshirt.
While “one-and-done” maybe the fade, the teams with the titles have juniors and seniors on their rosters. That last sentence, is a double edge sword for coaches. Do you recruit the top tier recruits who may leave after on year? Or do you search for the four player who has the potential to get better every year?
This is where Roy Williams has a leg up on the the rest of the country. As a freshmen committing to UNC, you know that the chance to get enough minutes to get looks from NBA scouts if tough. So you come back.
UNC will reload next season and should be competing again for an ACC title, but the young Tar Heel may struggle in certain situations. Williams will look to relatively “new” players to lead the powder blue nation in tough games.
Either way, this team was impressive.