The Tudor Files 11.7.12

Caulton Tudor is a columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. According to his bio, he’s been writing for North Carolina papers for more than 30 years. If you’ve ever been around a sports desk, you know that the most senior guy in the room usually has his own column, and you are not allowed to question his column. Caulton is that guy at the N&O. Good thing we don’t work in newsrooms anymore! These are the Tudor Files……

Caulton is paying attention to basketball again! It’s been a while since we’ve heard from our buddy in Raleigh. Other than a quick “I have no idea who will win the NCAA tourney” column, he’s been mostly focusing on football. Maybe he’s been focusing on football a bit too much, though? This one was just phoned in.

One way or the other, this will be one of those benchmark basketball seasons for folks who believe Roy Williams wins big only when he can hit opposing teams over the head with a fistful of NBA first-round draft picks.

This will be an important season to Roy’s haters whether or not UNC wins a lot of games.

The North Carolina men’s basketball coach will begin his 10th season at his alma mater with only one player – sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo – rated as a certain first-rounder in the 2013 NBA draft.

Junior wingman Reggie Bullock is listed by most of the scouting services as a likely first-rounder and several other Tar Heels are routed as eventual first-round possibilities.

So to recap, this season is important for people who think Roy Williams can only win with lots of NBA talent. He only has one first-round NBA talent guy this year. But then again, he does have another first-round guy and several others who will be first-rounders…….EVENTUALLY.

Caulton then goes on to say that because UNC lost so many players, Carolina fans are expecting a season like ’05-’06, when UNC outperformed expectations to make the tournament and win a game. Then comes this:

But there’s one big difference. That 2005-06 team had freshman Tyler Hansbrough but barely stopped Murray State in its first NCAA tournament game before losing to George Mason.

Clearly it was a masterful job by Williams, who was voted league coach of the year.

There are so many things wrong with this passage. His “one big difference” here is describing what the ’05-’06 team did in the tournament. That’s not a difference. This year’s team hasn’t played a single game, let alone a tournament game. It’s kind of impossible to make that comparison. He hasn’t even defined some kind of expectations for this year’s Heels. What is this big difference?

He then says that after barely beating a mid-major then losing to another mid-major that it was “clearly” a masterful job by Williams. So Roy is a good coach?

Faced with a similar inexperience after Hansbrough led the 2009 team to an NCAA title, Williams provided his critics with some fodder when his 2010 team failed to land an NCAA bid and stumbled to 5-11 in the ACC.

OHH, so he’s NOT a good coach? Either way, this season will be important to Roy’s haters.

With a freshman – Marcus Paige – at point guard and a rebuilt interior, this North Carolina team more resembles 2009-10 than 2005-06. Unless, that is, McAdoo is a new Hansbrough.

I kind of agree that this year’s squad is a little more like ’09-’10 because it doesn’t have any seniors like David Noel in the post. But this is just a ridiculous way of making a comparison. Larry Drew II, while inexperienced, was a sophomore when he started for ’09-’10. Bobby Frasor started his first game as a freshman…..for the ’05-’06 team. So by Caulton’s own logic, this year’s squad would actually be much more like that team.

If the recruit rankings are on target, Williams’ talent pool is not overwhelming by past standards. …… No one in the group was rated as a top-25 player, much less top-10. 

Except that the WORLDWIDE LEADER IN SPORTS has Marcus Paige at No. 22.

This season will be an adventure for Williams, 62. On paper, he doesn’t have Final Four material. For that matter, he doesn’t really have regional top-four seed material.

So on paper UNC doesn’t even have material to be in the top 16 teams? AP Preseason No. 11.  Coaches Preseason No. 12. 

I hate this non-argument kind of column. He’s not saying that Roy is a good coach, though he says there’s some evidence to that theory. He’s not saying Roy is a bad coach, though there is some evidence to that theory. He’s just saying, “HEY GUYS, we’re going to add more evidence as to whether Roy is a good coach or bad coach THIS SEASON.” As if there was a season in which that wasn’t the case.  You could say he’s trying to put more stock in this season because Roy doesn’t have “a fistful of NBA talent,” except that he told us in the very beginning that this team does have a fistful of NBA talent. Dumb.