clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is It Time To Worry?

We've taken a fair amount of heat for suggesting that UNC basketball isn't
what it used to be. Our basic argument was simple:  if Dean's the greatest
coach of all time, as UNC fans like to say, then his replacement is not likely
to be as good, no matter who it is. 

Still, Bill Guthridge has gotten results and has the best first two year
record in college basketball history.  Unfortunately, his recruiting hasn't
been up to what UNC fans have come to expect, and now the company which brings
you GoHeels.com and ACCToday has an article which
discusses the unease UNC fans feel in the post-Dean era.
  This, in
combination with Art Chansky's Pavlovian (in the sense that it made the fans
salivate) suggestion last spring that Roy Williams would be replacing Guthridge,
and possibly before long (this was firmly rejected by Roy Williams and roundly
ridiculed), leads to a provocative, but natural question: does Vilcom have a
financial interest in forcing Guthridge out? They have a long-standing
relationship and contract with the University, for set sums of money each year,
but of course they make their money off of advertising, and ad revenues will
certainly go down if the program declines.  Anyway, it's an interesting if
unanswerable question. 

Since we've been discussing  the same thing for some time, it's nice to
see some affirmation from someone closer to the other side.  And Eddie
Griffin dismissed the program as cocky, by which he meant they weren't as hot as
they though they were, meaning that UNC doesn't have the hold on young players
that it used to have. 

Panic isn't justified, but the bar which Dean Smith set - and which fans set
for him - is proving to be quite high indeed. The next question, whenever Bill
Guthridge, a guy we genuinely like and respect, either leaves or is forced to
leave, is who will be willing to try and clear that bar next?