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A Look At Some UNC Candidates And One Name That Should Get More Consideration

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Whoever they get should be good

Texas Southern v North Carolina Central
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 14: Head coach LeVelle Moton of the North Carolina Central Eagles reacts in the second half against the Texas Southern Tigers during the First Four of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 14, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Here’s an early list of candidates to replace Roy Williams at UNC. The fault line is going to be staying in the family, as they say, versus bringing someone else in. Given the nature of UNC’s program, as Williams himself suggested in 2019, saying “I would like for it to be a Carolina guy. I don’t know if I have any say in it. But I want it to be someone with the same beliefs for what North Carolina has always stood for. For whoever it is, I’d like to see them continue that part of it.”

It’s worth pointing out, again, that in his new book, former UNC coach Matt Doherty said the Dean Smith hired him, not then-AD Dick Baddour. Williams will certainly have input, at the least, but we don't think he would have the same clout, much less the desire, to control the entire process.

Anyway, here’s a working list from SI.com. We’re going to add one to the bottom.

  • Hubert Davis
  • Steve Robinson
  • Wes Miller
  • Jay Wright
  • Mark Few
  • Billy Donovan
  • Brad Stevens
  • Scott Drew
  • Eric Musselman
  • Rick Barnes
  • Chris Holtmann
  • Porter Moser

A few comments here. We’re pretty sure you can mark Jay Wright, Brad Stevens and especially Mark Few off this list. Few is wildly happy where he is. Maybe if a family member needed long-term specialized medical care but otherwise? Not happening.

Brad Stevens just said not to IU. Hard to see him saying yes to UNC now.

Jay Wright? Well maybe. But he’s got a great thing going where he is and, like Few, he’s in his element.

Eric Musselman might take it but he wouldn’t be a good fit with how UNC sees itself. He’s not a bad fit with reality though.

Rick Barnes? Not a chance in hell.

Over at ESPN, Stephen A. Smith made a suggestion that would go over a lot of people’s heads but is really, really smart: NCCU’s LeVelle Moton.

Everyone understands the guy is a tremendous coach and he’s immensely respected. He wouldn't even have to move if he didn’t want to. And think about this, too: he would have a fair chance, from Day One, to own recruiting in this state.

North Carolina has produced great players for decades. Before the ACC integrated, guys like Walt Bellamy, Lou Hudson and Sam Jones had no choice but to go out of state to play high level basketball.

Just consider the talent that has come out of this state in the last several decades:

  • David Thompson
  • John Lucas
  • Phil Ford
  • Buck Williams
  • James Worthy
  • Brad Daugherty
  • Stephen Curry
  • Seth Curry
  • Jerry Stackhouse
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Devonte Graham
  • TJ Warren
  • Chris Clemons
  • Dennis Smith
  • Walter Davis
  • Rodney Rogers
  • Harry Giles

Now think about the players lately who have emerged just from the Triangle, among them Chris Wilcox, Devonte Harris, John Wall and Jay Huff. Think Moton wouldn’t be in it for every one of those guys?

Moton wouldn’t be from the family, but in many ways, he’d be a perfect fit and, we think, a huge success.