Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
Growing up to appreciate Dean Smith's greatness
In his memoir, Smith recounted that his father told him to "value each human being." Dean Smith made the basketball world, and his father, proud. Not only by the big things he accomplished, but by the thousands of little, unselfish things.
Injuries force Roy Williams to adjust practice tactics
Roy Williams no longer has the luxury of turning his practice sessions into teachable moments made memorable by their cruelty. Too many Tar Heels are injured — not just banged up a little bit, but out for extended periods of time, if not for the rest of the season. And his preseason All-America set-up man is still in the games, but he’s out there dribbling while hobbling, yet leading the squad in scoring.
From UNC to Hall of Fame under Dean Smith
UNC has honored the jerseys of 35 former players in the rafters at the Dean E. Smith Center. Among that group, five who played for Dean Smith were later enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Four of those players (all but Larry Brown) were enshrined primarily for playing careers. Here is a look at those four players:
NBA's Harrison Barnes Shines on Court and Social Media
It's not every day that an NBA star tweets at me, but this level of one-on-one engagement is what makes Harrison Barnes unique. I asked if he would be open to sharing some of his perspective on social media and he graciously obliged. Although Barnes really only became active on social media when he entered the NBA, he has used these platforms to connect with hundreds of thousands of fans.
Roy Williams Radio Show Quotes
Roy Williams: "It was tough. I think all of those things pale in comparison to the sadness that we had around here with coach Smith’s passing. You heard me say that I thought I was prepared and I wasn’t. It dominated the week...but it is not an excuse because we didn’t play very well against Pitt. Yet, it wasn’t as bad as I thought when I watched it on tape."
Remembering Dean Smith, a great coach and an even better man
He had one of the best teams in the country when I put in an interview request that I never expected to be answered, much less honored. Why would Smith possibly have time to speak to a zit-faced college sophomore? He did have time. He had a half an hour, actually.
Tar Heel Basketball in the Polls Update
North Carolina is ranked No. 15 in this week’s Associated Press top 25 poll, falling three spots after two weeks at No. 12. The Tar Heels also are No. 16 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, falling a spot from last week. Carolina is ranked in the AP poll for the 19th week in a row, including all 15 polls in 2014-15. UNC was ranked in the final four polls of last season.
Monday Roy Williams Quotes
Roy Williams: "It’s certainly a nice week for us, to say the least. We get killed at Pittsburgh. We cured all of their shooting woes in one day. They hadn’t shot it well all year and we solved all of their problems in one day and now we get to go play Duke at Duke. So it’s a fun week for us. Really, guys, we’ve got to play better."
Dean Smith crafted championship culture
Long before "branding" became essential, you could spot North Carolina's basketball team a thousand miles away. The Tar Heels of Dean Smith were a law of nature. They weren't consistent. They were permanent.
Dean Smith, Jerry Tarkanian, and the murkiness of right and wrong in college basketball
In an era where basketball coaches are now reminded early and often that they aren't employed to be spokespeople for their universities on social issues, it seems more and more likely that we'll never see a Dean Smith again. And that has nothing to do with his 879 wins, 11 Final Four appearances, 30 ACC championships, two national titles, or one gold medal.
William and Mary coaches Tony Shaver, Jonathan Holmes shared special bond with Dean Smith
The timing of the memorial presented William and Mary head coach Tony Shaver, one of Smith's disciples, and Tribe assistant coach Jonathan Holmes a dilemma before news of the memorial had been finalized and a private service on Thursday welcoming family and former UNC players had been announced.
Short takes on Dean Smith
For a period in the 1990s, Dean Smith pledged to eat healthy foods. He had one weakness, though, and Chris Leevy Johnson, a team manager from 1992-96, was often asked to go by Merritt’s Store and Grill in Chapel Hill to deliver it. Smith would hand over the keys to his dealer-issued 740 series BMW to Johnson, who was just a sophomore at the time
ESPN takes Dick Vitale off UNC-Duke basketball this week
Since joining ESPN in 1979, Dick Vitale has called every single Duke-North Carolina game the network has aired. More than any other college game or rivalry, Vitale is known for Duke-North Carolina. But not this week. The streak is coming to an end. Vitale has not been assigned Wednesday's Duke-North Carolina game.
1957 title team member Danny Lotz recognized for athletics, faith, service to state
A fire burns deep within Danny Lotz. Call it the flame of second chances – whether grabbing rebounds on UNC’s 1957 national championship basketball team, or helping wayward souls rebound to a life of Christian faith. At a surprise ceremony Wednesday, Lotz was conferred with The Order of The Long Leaf Pine. It recognizes outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of lifetime service to the state.
Dean Smith proved it's really, really hard to win the NCAA tournament
So what does this prove about Dean Smith, the coach? Nothing. All it proves is that winning the NCAA tournament is really, really hard. For his first few seasons, Smith’s teams couldn’t qualify for the tournament unless they won the ACC tournament. He still made it four times. Then, the tournament expanded, first to 32, then to 48 and finally to 64 in 1985. But even winning four or five or, now, six games in a row is a lofty feat that takes just as much luck as it does skill.