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November 13, 2012

Roy on Recruiting

During his weekly radio show Monday evening in Chapel Hill, UNC head coach Roy Williams touched on a few recruiting-related topics.

Host Jones Angell prefaced that Coach Williams was not allowed to speak about any specific players by name until after they've signed, and Williams didn't.

But he did speak about the new trend of re-classifying, which just this year has affected UNC when talking about guys like Noah Vonleh and Andrew Wiggins.

"It does make it tougher (with guys reclassifying)," Williams said.

And although he didn't mention him specifically by name, it sounded like Williams was speaking of Vonleh when mentioning how re-classifications are making his job a little more difficult.

"We were recruiting one youngster, and it was really going to fall into place. We really wanted him and because of who was in our program, and who was coming in, it would have been a natural progression for us. And then all of a sudden he re-classified and it wasn't going to be quite as good of a fit."

"You can't change it. It's the culture we're in. And as much as I hate to say it, people are trying to get older quicker, or the bottom line is, they're trying to figure out how they can get to the NBA and make big money quicker. And that's so sad."

"Kids should enjoy their time to be kids, and it's one of the most difficult things in my position," Williams added.

Williams is an old-school coach who is fond of the past, and he remembers a time when just the chance to get to go to college was a huge deal for most prospects and their families.

"I can remember when I first started out as Coach (Dean) Smith's assistant that some guys were so thrilled to get a college scholarship. Now we're a bus stop on the way to something else," he said.

"People are re-classifying so they can start their calendar, their clock, a little bit faster for the NBA. It has absolutely nothing to do with college. They're thinking about that money, that ring."

Williams isn't a huge fan of the NBA's one-year rule before colleges will allow prospects to declare for the professional league, but added that it's not a perfect rule.

Some guys should have the chance to leave after high school, while others have shown they needed more time. In the end, it's an individual situation and not an easy solution that can please everybody.

"I thought at one point with the new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA, that we had a chance to maybe have two years of college before you go. I think it could help. I don't think it will ever be adopted," Williams said.

"I just don't think our culture is ever going to let that happen. Everyone is afraid of going to court and the whole bit."

"The NBA, the players, and their collective bargaining agreement, they're the only ones that can do something with that (the age limit). Again, I thought we had a chance with that last collective bargaining agreement, but it was never brought up on the table."

"For us, I truly believe that if kids went to college for two years, that would have been better. I don't think that two years of college would have hurt LeBron (James) or Kobe (Bryant) or any of those guys, but the decision they made was great for them. I think you should look at it individually."

"To me, it's just a shame that everybody is trying to be an adult so fast. And personally, I think the NBA would be better off themselves with a two-year commitment. It's not a perfect rule for anybody."

UNC has missed out on a few big-time prospects in recent weeks, including Julius Randle, who didn't include the Tar Heels on his latest cut, as well as Troy Williams and Vonleh, who both committed to Indiana.

Williams was asked whether his recent scare with possible kidney cancer was a negative that hurt recruiting, but he says there's been more negative backlash from some of the things that have been printed about some of UNC's other issues.

"I really don't feel that way myself (that my health scare hurt recruiting)," Williams said.

"The junk that's being going on on campus has been discussed, and that's something that's hurt us. But it is what it is. I'm not going to say I'm going to coach for 99 more years, and I'm not going to come out and say I'm going to retire tomorrow."


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