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A UNC Fan On This Year And The Future

Hey guys,

I wanted to check in from Chapel Hill with
a few comments from this perspective on the
current b-ball season. I've emailed you once
or twice before...

First, let me continue to give "props" to your
site. I love it and read it daily. You guys
have the true-blue fans perspective (Duke blue
that is) and yet at the same time, you show a
reason in your articles and commentaries than
any intelligent fan can appreciate. I also
consider it an indirect form of flattery that
you continue to keep an eye on the Hill, no matter
what the situation is.

I wanted to send you the real tarheel fans
perspective on the state of hoops on the Hill.
My background is that I, like you guys, am a lifer.
I was a UNC undergrad '87, grad '95, and now work
on campus as a prof. It's truly a fun existence...
...and one I'm thankful for every day. It certainly
beats a job in the real world!

The hoops report:
Our current situation with hoops is pretty clear
to us real fans. We are suffering a bit of talent
drought resulting from several sources.... most
specifically the transition between three head coaches
in four years. There are of course contributions from
early player departures and recruiting choices, but I feel strongly
the coaching transitions probably are the biggest single factor.

It's going to be a long season, and we know it. We are
confident, however, that the future is bright with Matt Doherty
at the helm.

I've attended all the games so far. Despite some dips
in attendance, the real fans are there. I have to tell
you in many ways, it's been fun... ... a refreshing change.
It's so nice to see fans genuinely cheer for the players.
I think the bulk of folks in attendance recognize
the deficiencies I mentioned .... and really get into to
the games. The Binghamton game was louder with 15000 fans
than the Dome gets when it's full at many games. In a sense
we recognize that we are actually watching a team grow up.
This, while a painful experience in some ways, is also a bit
refreshing for the real fan.

A consideration of the other teams in the ACC proves quickly
our situation is certainly not unprecedented. EVERY team (including
Duke) has endured some difficult and often unexpected "down" years.
I reference Duke's 13 win and 18 win seasons in '95 and '96 respectively
(both less than 5 years removed from back-to-back national championships
and 4 NCAA finals appearances). I recognize the factor that Coach K's
back played in the first of those seasons, but as a basketball aficionado,
I also recognize the dip in personnel on the Duke rosters during the same

The problem in Chapel Hill is that this generation (and some before it)
has never had to endure any real "down" years. Tarheel fans are spoiled
in many ways. With winning more than 20 games for 20+ years,
it was inevitable that the Hill was in for a "reality check" at some point.


In the long run, it'll be fun to see how the Heels grow up.
I for one am anxious to see the team when all the players are Doherty

For that, we'll have to wait a few years.

For this season, however, we're going to have to pay some dues...
It's going to be "payback time" in the minds of many ACC teams, and
we know it.

Some questions recently heard on the Hill... for your enjoyment.

Will we make it to double figure wins... 13 wins or even 15?

Is Clemson going to finally beat us in Chapel Hill this year?

How bad is it going to be against Duke?


The future, however, is bright. The real UNC fans know this....
... and recognize the patience needed to get there.

I'll be at every game as usual pulling for this team and enduring

the "bumps in the road" as they grow up.

Duke and Coach K are clearly on "top of the mountain" in college
basketball. While you know it bugs us UNC fans bigtime, I have to
tell you, I also see it as a good thing. I'd rather it be Duke
than any school outside of the ACC. Duke and the ACC
in general continue to get stronger. This can do nothing
but help get the Heels back on top more quickly.... It'll
happen sooner than many think.

You guys keep up the good work. As I said above, you're
site is among the best I read.

Take care and have a great holiday!