air max 90 baratas Williams settling into old surroundings
But not being on time irks Williams. He prides himself on punctuality and precision, regardless of the task even when that means dealing with the needs of a reporter’s notebook.
It’s hard to blame Williams for being a bit frazzled these days. July 26 marked the 100th day of his administration at North Carolina. And to say the first few months have been a whirlwind, like nothing he’s experienced in the 15 years in Kansas, would be an understatement. And while Williams feels a tad off schedule at times, the only noticeable difference to those who see him these days is his shade of blue golf shirt from deep Kansas to light Carolina.
Then again, Williams never thought he would be in this position, especially after he told his mentor, Dean Smith, “no” three years ago when first asked to take over the Tar Heels. But when the Matt Doherty experiment imploded, UNC came calling again. Fresh off back to back Final Fours, including the national title game last April, Williams was again asked to return to his coaching roots. Williams’ widely publicized rift with then Kansas athletic director Al Bohl was an easy out, and saying no to Carolina twice just seemed wrong.
So he returned to his original home in Chapel Hill, where he was an assistant under Smith in the 1980s, instead of staying in his beloved but adopted home in Lawrence.
“I said I don’t give a (bleep) about North Carolina right now,” said Williams, referring to his candid sound bite on CBS just minutes after the Jayhawks’ loss to Syracuse in the title game. “And that was the truth at that moment. If the Carolina chancellor had said right then that I had to take the job, then I would have told him to take a hike.
“It was such a painful thing for me to leave Kansas. But the first 100 days are so important. We had to get to know the players, and I haven’t been able to do that as well as I wanted. We had them for two weeks in the spring, then they had exams and then there was vacation and recruiting. We had to get our family settled and for my wife to find a home, and we finally moved in (in mid July). I didn’t do a good job on everything, and that bothers me.”
Williams is his own harshest critic. It comes with being a perfectionist. But the move one of the highest profile coaching changes in recent memory would have been difficult for anyone with roots as deep as those Williams had in Kansas.
The move put an emotional stress on Roy and his wife, Wanda. They had lived in Kansas for 15 years. They set out looking for a home in Chapel Hill (Wanda looked through at least 50) and ironically, one of their first choices happened to belong to “The Dohertys” yes, those Dohertys. Williams said he put an offer down on his predecessor’s home, but ended up settling elsewhere near Tobacco Road.
Williams said three years ago that his next move would be to retire or die because he assumed the next Carolina coach after Bill Guthridge would be there for 20 years. Doherty lasted three seasons.
“That’s the only thing I regret saying,” Williams said.
As simple as it may seem, finding a home was mentally draining for Williams, who spent 12 weeks at the Hampton Inn in Chapel Hill. His first night in the family’s new home was two weeks ago, and the only thing that was unpacked “was our bed.”
Gaining closure at Kansas also weighed heavily on Williams, who went back to Lawrence for the team banquet just three days after accepting the North Carolina job. A few partisan fans criticized him for showing up, but during the banquet Nick Collison’s father defended him against a boorish heckler. The evening ended up being extremely emotional for Williams. He’s returned to Lawrence on two other occasions, once to play in a senior golf tournament and another to pack a few belongings.
Most of July, however,
has been spent on the recruiting trail. He was in Chapel Hill July 18 20 “unpacking boxes,” but admits: “It’s a good thing for our marriage that the recruiting period started up again.”
Williams’ assistants have gone through a similar stress test. Longtime assistant Joe Holladay was a stranger to Chapel Hill and had to get adjusted to the East Coast. Assistant Steve Robinson wasn’t as foreign to the area; he coached at Florida State before going back to Kansas, where he worked under Williams before landing his first head coaching job at Tulsa.
“My kids reminded me that we weren’t even in Lawrence a year,” Robinson said. “We had boxes that we never opened from Tallahassee, and then we were moving those to Chapel Hill.”
Robinson, like most of the staff, barely saw his family during the first 100 days. But he has to get his children in school later this month.
“I’d like to stay in one place for quite some time,” Robinson said.
That’s the plan for Williams, too. It’s why getting Marvin Williams was the most important thing he could do during the first 100 days.
Last year, Doherty brought in one of the top recruiting classes in the country in rising sophomores Sean May, Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton, and relative unknown David Noel. But Doherty receives little credit for his recruiting. And the fear remains that the first three could bolt for the NBA after next season, putting even more pressure on Roy Williams to land Marvin Williams. He was a prime target at Kansas, but Marvin Williams said he always wanted to play at North Carolina, even though he grew up outside of Seattle.
The 6 foot 9 Williams has an inside game where he can spin with a defender on his back and score with relative ease. He can put the ball on the floor from the free throw line extended and his 3 point shot is decent, albeit a work in progress.
“Coach Williams is a great guy, and I wanted to be a part of bringing Carolina back,” Marvin Williams said at the adidas ABCD camp in New Jersey last week. “I want to be a part of that atmosphere, the college life. I want to experience that for myself.”
Marvin Williams probably could get drafted in next year’s first round if he wanted, but is adamant that he’s going to North Carolina, not the NBA. That’s about the best news that Roy Williams could receive in his first 100 days.
“We needed something good to happen to get us fired up,” Roy Williams said. “This has been stressful for all of us.”
Roy Williams said the positives in recruiting helped in the transition for the whole staff. And that’s saying something after Doherty was roundly criticized by Carolina faithful for bringing in his own staff from Notre Dame. Williams did the same in April and won’t bring back any Carolina assistants, including Phil Ford.
“They are very happy as a staff, our players are happy with us and we’re all excited,” Williams said.
Those thoughts were echoed by May and McCants, as well as Felton, during the Nike and adidas camps last month, where they worked as counselors.
McCants said Williams met with the team and let them know what he expects, expecting them to follow his lead and no one else’s.
“This coaching staff was all about business,” May said. “Coach Williams jumped on us about grades and work ethic. It’s been great since he’s been here. Everyone has a positive attitude about this going in the right direction.”
May and McCants remain critical of Doherty now months after his departure. But Williams is likely to nip that sort of talk in the bud. He’s still bristles at how Doherty’s departure was handled, by the way Doherty was ripped by chancellor James Moeser and athletic director Dick Baddour at the news conference announcing his dismissal. Doherty remains a good friend to Williams, who was an assistant when Doherty played at Carolina. Williams hired Doherty as an assistant at Kansas.