(SCSD now has multiple daily posts. Don't miss the others below.)
In the midst of these ridiculous first round games, a quick break to discuss Roy Williams. After accepting the NIT bid and ridiculing the idea that he wouldn't play more basketball if it was offered, I gave him some props:
Obviously I am not a UNC fan, but the man deserves credit. Total lack of BS, total lack of pretension. Basketball is basketball, and he's not too good for a lesser tournament. Hard to hate on Roy. During all the trials and tribulations this year, he never whined, and he always took responsibility on himself. Now they've won a game, and probably put forth their best effort of the entire season. UNC fans are notoriously fickle, but they should take pride in their coach.
But loyal reader and die-hard Dukie Nick sent me a harsh and fairly convincing e-mail arguing the other side. I give him the floor, with the quick caveat that I never used the words "class act":
"I don't know if you said Roy was a class act just to rile up the homers, but the quotes really don't bear your praise out.
First of all, how does accepting a bid mean you're not pretentious? All it means is that he hasn't done the most pretentious thing in the history of college basketball. Real high bar there.
Never whined? He said what he was going through was worse than the haitian earthquake.
Here's another whine, made when his team was 13-8: “My gosh, how can we go any lower?” Williams asked. “Be honest, how can it be any worse than it is right now?”
He berated his own players on his radio show:
“I asked them a question and I got Coach [Joe] Holladay over there. I don’t share things with you that I shouldn’t share, but I said, ‘Coach, what did I say about these two guys today?’ And he repeated it, because I had told the staff. So I told them, ‘At this point, the two best defensive guards I’ve ever coached were Jacque Vaughn and Jerrod Haase.’ And I said, ‘Coach, now compare these two guys right in front of us to Jerrod Haase for toughness.’ And Joe had a great line. He looked at me and said, ‘Jerrod was a 10 and these two are ones, on a scale of 1-10.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s about what I thought because I was going to say that Jerrod was a 1,000 times tougher than they are.’
“So I said, ‘Guys, you’ve got to change. You have the skills, now use the skills. You have the gifts – the Man upstairs blessed you with these gifts – now use them better.’ So I’m trying to motivate them and trying to push them, but we do need to get better on the perimeter defensively and I think we can. And I hope it’s in my lifetime.”
How about when he decided supporting coaches against cancer was less important than his team's karma?
The last thing I remember but can't find online is when he outed Dexter Strickland for not knowing a play during practice number 52.
Yeah, total class act."
I think that might be an ownage. Of Roy. And me?