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If Hubert Davis Fails, What Will UNC Do Next?

No one hates Hubert, but UNC fans are not a patient lot.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at N.C. State
 Feb 19, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis reacts before the first half of the game against North Carolina State Wolfpack at PNC Arena.
Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

This season was a huge disappointment in Chapel Capel Hill as the Tar Heels, pegged as the #1 team preseason, didn’t even make the NCAA tournament.

There is a lot of pressure on Hubert Davis to right the ship this coming season.

To be fair to Davis, most fan bases wouldn’t be screaming about a 20-13 record. It’s not like it’s Louisville 2023 or, worse, Matt Doherty at the turn of the century.

There aren’t many who loathe Davis. Clearly he’s a decent man who holds UNC traditions sacred. He played for Dean Smith, who is the father figure of the UNC family, and that’s important over there.

As Georgetown found out with Craig Esherick, John Thompson III and Patrick Ewing though, keeping it in the family doesn’t always work.

So while we don’t wish Davis ill, it’s worth asking: if he fails, who’s next?

If it’s a family hire, they have limited options. First is probably Jerry Stackhouse, who has done a decent job at Vanderbilt. After that?

Wes Miller would be the other logical candidate. He did a great job at UNC-G and is now at Cincinnati, where so far he is 41-28 - 18-15 in his first season and 23-13 in his second. He struggled for five seasons at Greensboro before turning it around. winning 25, 27, 29 and 21 games in his final four seasons there.

Outside of those two, the family tree is pretty limited. So where would you go?

Here are our suggestions:

We would have put Chris Beard high on this list before his disastrous end at Texas. That’ll never happen now. Ditto for Nate Oats, who would have gotten consideration before the disgraceful situation at Alabama and how it was handled.

Scott Drew - he’s proven himself to be a superb coach and builder.

Dusty May. The guy has been brilliant at Florida Atlantic, building from nothing. He’d be a major hire.

Brad Stevens. He’s shown no interest in returning to college but would UNC intrigue him? He’d be as able to handle the pressure there as anyone.

Dawn Staley would be an amazing hire but she said recently that she has no interest in the men’s game.

Ryan Odom. Reportedly, he really wants to be in the ACC and UNC would be a huge platform for him.

Pat Kelsey - He’s done a brilliant job at second-tier schools and he knows the ACC. Due for a move up.

Over the decades, UNC has proven it will work hard to keep up with its rivals. Everett Case’s success led to Frank McGuire. Matt Doherty’s struggles led to Ol’ Roy Williams. We don’t expect Davis to fail like Doherty did, but if he fails things may get ruthless. Don’t be surprised to see the Tar Heels swing for the fences if they have to go outside the family.