Barry Jacobs, a member of the ACC sporting media for nearly 40 years, teamed together with some of the other top sportswriters on the North Carolina beat, including Tar Heel Illustrated's Eddy Landreth, for this comprehensive resource previewing the 2012-2013 Tar Heels.
Get your copy by clicking the link below, and be sure to check out some of the excerpts from this year's edition.
Barry Jacobs' ACC Preview.....
Tar Heel adherents will always associate 2012 with 1977 and 1984, when possible national championship runs were derailed by injury. Arguably last year's blow, the loss of Kendall Marshall against Creighton in UNC's second NCAA game, was the toughest to handle, coming too late to adjust even if much adjustment was possible.
Then four of the top six players in All-ACC voting -- senior Tyler Zeller, the league's 2012 Player of the
Year; junior John Henson, voted the league's top defender; and sophomores Harrison Barnes and Marshall -- joined the NBA. That leaves Carolina with plenty of talent but modest seasoning...What's left are newcomers and heretofore supportive players and reserves.
Only three Tar Heels - senior Dexter Strickland and juniors Reggie Bullock and Leslie McDonald - were employed regularly for at least two seasons. All played primarily on the perimeter.
Art Chansky's Look at UNC's 1993 Title Team.....
"The key to our team was that from top to bottom, one through 15, we were committed to winning," Eric Montross, now a UNC fundraiser and radio analyst, said recently. "Nobody cared about who scored, rebounded or got the assists. Some nights it was George, Donald, Brian, Derrick or me. You can go down our roster and find contributions from every player, both in games and in practice . . . the effort we all put in to help make our teammates and team better."
Lynch was, well, the linchpin, the senior leader who always played like the kid who got a second chance after being pronounced dead at birth (true story). He wasn't the center around which everything worked, like the seven-foot Montross, but the team deferred to George even on the rare occasion when it got a little snippy out there.
David Teel's Top 25.....
#10 NORTH CAROLINA: Four Tar Heels made All-ACC last season, and each is in the NBA, a talent drain that perhaps only Kentucky could appreciate. But as with the defending national champions, weep not for North Carolina. James Michael McAdoo flashed offensive versatility and defensive instincts last season as a freshman and was sage enough to resist the NBA's siren call.
The Tar Heels' season will hinge on finding a point guard - senior Dexter Strickland and freshman Marcus Paige are the prime suspects - to replace Kendall Marshall and push the ball at Roy Williams' preferred manic pace.
Ron Morris on ACC Expansion.....
If you are lucky, and old enough, you grew up in an era when there was much symmetry to college athletics, particularly when it came to conference alignments. The leagues made sense geographically, academically and athletically.The Atlantic Coast Conference, for example, was a perfect set of eight schools. The Big Four North Carolina schools of Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest formed the league's inner-belly. Maryland and Virginia resided to the north, and Clemson and South Carolina to the south. College Park to Columbia is just under 500 miles and about an eight-hour drive.
For me, growing up in Wyoming, there was no more perfect alignment than that of the Western Athletic Conference. Arizona and Arizona State were paired geographically, as were New Mexico and Texas Western, Utah and Brigham Young, and Colorado State and Wyoming.
The same kind of balance and sensibility existed within most conferences such as the Big Ten, Southwest, Southeastern and what was then called the Pacific-8. If you followed college athletics, even casually, you had a general understanding of what schools were members of what conferences.
Then TV arrived, or at least widespread television coverage of college athletics.
Mike Waters on Syracuse's Move To The ACC.....
Jim Boeheim, more than anyone else, would understand the impact of Syracuse's upcoming departure from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. And his reaction is not what you might expect.
"The Big East is not what it used to be," Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard in July. "I think the ACC is a tremendous league and it's a tremendous opportunity for us.''
And Boeheim's right.
In 1979, the Big East, the brainchild of the late Dave Gavitt, consisted of just seven schools - Syracuse, Boston College, Georgetown, St. John's, Connecticut, Seton Hall and Providence.
Until the most recent upheaval in the college sports landscape, the Big East had grown to 16 teams. And after Pitt's arrival in 1982, every single one of the Big East's expansions had been predicated on football.
But now, West Virginia has already left for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pittsburgh are headed for the ACC.
In response, the Big East will soon balloon to 18 teams as the beleaguered conference adds the likes of Houston, SMU, Central Florida, Memphis and Temple in all sports plus Boise State, San Diego State and Navy in football. No wonder Boeheim looked at the sprawling Big East; with teams in each of the country's four main time zones, and then furrowed his brow just a little more.
From Roy Williams Unfiltered, with Barry Jacobs.....
You remember Benny Dees? [Dees was head coach at New Orleans, Wyoming, and Western Carolina between 1985 and 1995, where he compiled a 172-123 career record.]
I see Benny at the Augusta Peach Jam last year (a summer AAU tournament in S. Augusta, S.C.) I come over. 'Benny, how are you doing?' He's sitting there, he looked over at Billy Kennedy (head coach at Texas A&M). He said, 'All you guys don't know it right now because he's getting really good but -- excuse my language, you know Benny -- he said, 'This m.f. can coach his ass off.'
'When he was at Kansas he was winning with five white guys with burr haircuts running up and down, beating Vegas in (one of the only games) they lost the year they won the national championship (1990).' The old-timers like that, they remember those days.
It did, it bothered me for about five minutes, and that was it. Perceptions change all the time, but perception is reality. But your point, what your biggest point is, people think that people can really coach that don't run the ball up and down the court. That's a fact.