Go Heels. Go to — Duke.
It has always been that intense between these two college basketball programs, both long-time powerhouses in the ACC.
But, a new era has begun in Chapel Hill with the retirement of Coach Roy Williams.
His replacement is previous assistant Hubert Davis, who is a former Tar Heel player and has been around long enough to know the playbooks at Chapel Hill.
He brings a fresh approach to the game, as well as his assistants.
It had become obvious over the past few years the basketball program needed some overhauling.
Everyone, who knows me, knows I am a diehard Carolina fan with a deep dislike of Duke.
That is not likely to change.
Already Coach Davis has made it clear more emphasis will be on defense and turnovers and striving to put in a game with equal play in both halves.
I became a Tar Heel fan in the 1950’s and go back to the days of Coach Frank McGuire, who won the national title with an undefeated season of 32-0.
When McGuire left, another era began with Dean Smith, who went on to bring national titles home to Chapel Hill.
Roy Williams replaced Smith when he retired.
But, did you know when the Tar Heels won the 1956-57 national title they defeated Kansas in a triple overtime?
That is where Dean Smith played in his college days.
Roy Williams played one year on the Carolina freshman team as a non scholarship player.
He went on to win national recognition as the coach at Kansas.
Folks are whining that Hubert Davis has never been a head coach.
Roy Williams had never been a head coach until he took over at Kansas.
Personally, there is a breath of fresh air in Chapel Hill and the next several years will tell the story.
It promises to be exciting with new playbooks on the table that hopefully will bring a new approach in offense.
College coaches today are fighting to keep good programs together, because of the one and done approach kids are taking.
College basketball has become a training ground for professional basketball programs, and it is a complicated issue.
Kids whose lifelong dream is to become a professional basketball player cannot really be blamed for not going pro if they have the opportunity.
Yet, it goes much deeper than that. Is it fair to the institution that brought them on board with a full scholarship?
Of course it is not.
The lure of the big time and big money has taken entirely too much away from the colleges and universities across the country.
And on the highest of college levels, it has made coaching a near disaster job, because if the coach doesn’t win he, too, has quickly become a one and done.
It will be interesting to see the results of Coach Hubert Davis as Chapel Hill’s new man in the gym.
The best of luck to him and his staff.
William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.