Around halfway through the season last year UNC coach Roy Williams realized that his team was at their best when they went small. He plugged shooting guard P.J. Hairston into the starting lineup and played with only one big in James Michael Mcadoo. UNC went on to string off several impressive victories before making a deep run in the ACC tournament.
In an announcement that was equal parts expected and dreaded, North Carolina has announced that at least three of its players are going to make themselves eligible for the NBA Draft. Sophomore Harrison Barnes, junior John Henson and sophomore Kendall Marshall are all entering the NBA draft. In addition, senior center Tyler Zeller has also played his final game for the Tar Heels. As if that were not enough, reserve freshman forward James Michael McAdoo is also considering his options. As such, the Tar Heels will be losing 4 or 5 players to the NBA.
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams provided a very classy statement:
It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball. On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well. I really look forward to watching Harrison, John and Kendall play in the NBA. I know they will be very successful. They have been and will always be great Tar Heels.
Do not weap for the Tar Heels, however, as they have the fifth rated incoming class. According to ESPN, North Carolina has the top rated point guard prospect in Marcus Paige, the eighth rated power forward in Brice Johnson, the the 21st-rated small forward in J.P. Tokoto, and the 17th-rated center in Joel James. So it is just a matter of reloading for the Tar Heels.