North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams held his annual summer press conference and answered questions on a wide variety of subjects ranging from his incoming freshman to the university’s investigation into the AFAM department.
Here are some of the highlights.
Williams said that there was no reason to think that Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland and Marcus Paige, who injured his foot in the McDonald’s All-American game, wouldn’t be at 100 percent by the fall.
Given the departure of Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller, the incoming freshman will have their work cut out for them.
“A year ago sitting here I thought there was a great chance we’d lose Harrison and a great chance we’d lose John but I didn’t think at think at this moment that we’d lose Kendall even though I thought Kendall was eventually was going to be an NBA player,” Williams said. “So to those three and Z also changes our team drastically to say the least and it makes the four freshman a lot more important. They’re going to have to be able to play quicker.”
Incoming big man Joel James will have an important role to fill as the 2012-13 squad will have many more bodies in the back court than it does in the front court. James, who is listed at six-feet-11 inches dropped 60 pounds while in high school.
“He’s got a lot of growing to do,” Williams said. “He’s only played for a couple of years. He does have size. When he was here on his official visit they played a pickup game and Z told me that he hit him as hard as any body had hit him in his three year, at that time, college career.
“He’s got a load, there’s no question when he whacks you you’re going to know that you’ve been hit. We have a tremendous need for size and I think he can do some good things for us and maybe it’s all dreams and hopes but we’ll have to see when he gets here.”
When asked what he thought Harrison Barnes’ brand was Williams said, “I have no freaking idea what the hell it means.”