Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
Thank you, Dean Smith
Dean Smith would have disliked this column. He would have politely urged me not to bother. He would have suggested a dozen topics he found more worthwhile. But I should have written this 30 years ago. With Coach Smith’s passing, it can’t be put off any longer.
Strelow: Sharing my favorite Dean Smith memory
Dean Smith always appreciated an assist. Among his many innovations, Smith is credited with inventing the practice of pointing to the passer after an assisted basket. The North Carolina player who scored did it. His teammates on the floor did it. So did the coaches and players at the bench, even fans in the stands.
Remembering Dean Smith and a wonderful night listening to him tell stories
The moment I heard that Dean Smith had died, I felt very empty inside. Not that I knew Smith well, but I did spend some time with him. When I was a rookie reporter for the Greensboro Daily News in 1977-78, I occasionally was assigned to be one of herd covering North Carolina basketball games.
Dean Smith’s influence on Rick Duckett was big
Rick Duckett is still a busy man as a basketball coach, father and a husband. But when he heard about the death of his mentor, Dean Smith, the legendary former coach at North Carolina, it made him pause and reflect. “There’s no question — if not for Coach Smith, I don’t know where I’d be in life,” Duckett said by telephone from Ohio on Sunday afternoon.
Video: Phil Ford running UNC's Four Corners offense
Freshman North Carolina point guard Phil Ford runs Dean Smith's "Four Corners" offense to perfection in a 78-70 win over Duke in Chapel Hill on February 12, 1975.
UNC's bounce-back win a mixed bag worthy of celebration, criticism
UNC honored Dean Smith with a moment of silence on Saturday, and UNC’s 89-60 rout of Georgia Tech included another well-conceived tribute to Smith. Once the game began, there was too much silence. Rather than speaking in glowing terms about the memorable “Four Corners” set that the Tar Heels ran successfully, Roy Williams made sure to voice his displeasure with the crowd’s indifference.
At home, a huge win for UNC
They came to the house Dean Smith built, or perhaps the house built for him. And in their first game back in Chapel Hill since the legendary coach’s passing, the No. 15 Tar Heels (19-8, 9-5 ACC) did as their predecessor had so many times before: they won, drubbing Georgia Tech (12-15, 3-12 ACC) 89-60. “Being home today was great,” said freshman wing Justin Jackson.
Dean Would Be Smiling: UNC runs Four Corners, rips Tech
Roy Williams held up for fingers, just like Dean Smith, his mentor, used to do when he was coaching the Tar Heels. And then Williams’ guys, in throwback uniforms, assumed their positions in the four-corners offense popularized by Smith. UNC point guard Marcus Paige threw a pass to Brice Johnson for a layup and 2-0 lead the Tar Heels never relinquished.
Video: Marcus Paige, Kennedy Meeks Post-Georgia Tech Interviews
Marcus Paige and Kennedy Meeks talk to Jones Angell following the Tar Heels' 89-60 win over Georgia Tech on February 21st, 2015.
A Special Connection: Dean Smith and Hugh Morton
On Sunday, February 22nd, there will be a very special gathering in the Smith Center on the UNC campus to celebrate the life of Dean E. Smith. There will be players and former players...coaches and former coaches...students and former students. And I choose to believe there will be a very special section that will not be visible to those of us in the arena—and Smith, Bill Friday, and Hugh Morton will be seated there.
North Carolina honoring Dean Smith through its play
As much as North Carolina coach Roy Williams shared stories with his current players about the man and coach who was Dean Smith, he’s never brought up dedicating the season to his memory. At this point, he really doesn’t have to.
Jim Calhoun Remembers Dean Smith: 'Father Figure'
As a a young coach at Northeastern, Jim Calhoun was always looking for the best college basketball minds. In the early 1970s, he made a trip to Chapel Hill, N.C. "I had studied Dean Smith like crazy," Calhoun recalled, looking back on his career in 2012. "They took us in, and Roy Williams was an assistant, Eddie Fogler was an assistant, Bill Guthridge was an assistant, and [Smith] said, 'we don't have a team here, we have a program.'"
For UNC’s Bill Guthridge, the memories are fading away
On the day before Dean Smith's funeral, Bill Guthridge, Smith's longtime assistant and friend, tried to put into words the relationship they shared, but he couldn't say exactly what he wanted to say, or how he wanted to say it. Guthridge sat in his room in the medical wing of an assisted living facility not far from the UNC campus.
Lucas: More Than Four
Marcus Paige has run game-winning plays in hostile arenas. Already this year, he’s vanquished Louisville with a last-second shot, and he sent NC State home angry last season. And despite all that, Paige was unequivocal about one particular play in Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous to execute a play,” Paige said.
With the season nearing an end and many of the team’s goals in serious jeopardy, North Carolina blew Georgia Tech off the Smith Center court with a performance certain to make those in town remember the legacy and life of Coach Dean Smith. Many will say it was just Georgia Tech and the Jackets have struggled to a 12-15 overall record and stand just 3-12 in conference play. Don’t tell Roy Williams that.