The North Carolina Tar Heels begin their season tomorrow against Gardener-Webb. Carolina fans are extremely excited, as always for the season to tip off. The only difference this year is UNC isn’t expected to do big things this season.
The Tar Heels kick off the season ranked 11th in the Associated Press poll. Normally the Heels are top 10 every pre-season, if not top 5.
Graduating or losing 4 out of 5 starters to the NBA draft leaves many fans questionable about this years teams’ success. Losing the Bob Cousy Award winner, a second team All-American, and 2 All-ACC team members would usually cause a team to not even be ranked the next year.
With the reputation of the program and the ability of Roy Williams to recruit, the Heels were able to sign 4 ESPN top 100 recruits.
With a young team and a lot of inexperience, every fan is just wondering how this years UNC team be.
Two previous “rebuilding” years for Roy Williams were in 2006 and 2010. In these two seasons the Tar Heels did completely opposite things.
In 2006, the Tar Heels returned 3 players from the previous national champions, Williams was able to have a successful season. 3 freshman started their first collegiate games that year and 1 of them, Tyler Hansbrough was the ACC freshman of the year.
A team that wasn’t predicted to make the tournament, ended up making the tournament and proving many people wrong. They didn’t win the national championship, but they accomplished more then expected.
In 2010, UNC returned 4 players from 2009 national championship team. Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis, two current NBA players were among the returners. Unlike in 2006, this team was expected to win the ACC.
This prediction was proved wrong once the season started. An early season loss to the College of Charleston and only winning 5 ACC games led the Tar Heels right to Madison Square Garden for the NIT.
The Tar Heels made it to the NIT championship, which is still a disappointment for any Tar Heel team. In the championship the Tar Heels fell short to Dayton and turned this season into one of the most disappointing years in history for UNC.
In 2013, Roy Williams returns 5 players, 3 of them sophomores and 2 of them coming back from season ending injuries. Last year the Tar Heels didn’t win the national championship, but were defiantly one of the best teams in country.
Being ranked No. 11 in the preseason poll and predicted as a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, will this years’ team turn out like 2006 and be successful or be like the 2010 team and just collapse?
Leslie McDonald and Dexter Strickland are two players on this years’ team who were also on the 2010 team. They certainly don’t want this year to be like 2010 and are leading the team to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If UNC wants to be successful they have to play to their potential every game and can’t ever give up on the season.
What will happen for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2013? We’ll just have to wait and find out.