Bio not provided
I admit that it felt kinda weird that someone my age sent a direct message to a teenager's twitter account, but all I said was "Glad you're a Tarheel. Don't worry about being the next Vince Carter. Just focus on being the best JP Tokoto you can be." Kid responded back and I'm sold. I'll agree with you, Jason. This kid has SUPER potential, based on the YouTube videos and the Jordan Classic showing. But most importantly, whether he's holding up a "0" behind MIles Plumlee or retweeting every UNC Fan, I want this kid to have the humility and the passion needed to lead UNC for the next couple of years (hopefully 3, but that's another conversation for another time). He's got the character makeup to do it, but I hope the $$ don't get in the way once people see him in a Carolina Blue Uniform. I can't wait to see this kid play.
1 year, 7 months ago on UNC Basketball: Superstar Potential on the Way
@MandMSportshow Don't get me wrong... Harrison Barnes was a VERY good player at UNC. Not good, but VERY good. But since we're in full disclosure here, April 2008 spoiled me in a significant way for two reasons. One, Tyler Hansbrough decides VERY early that he's coming back for his senior year because he "WANTS A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. PERIOD." He stayed after a Sweet 16, Elite 8 and a FInal Four in his first 3 Years. That spoke volumes to me about his character and how much he loved UNC and the legacy he wanted to leave at UNC. The Second Reason? Lawson, Ellington and Green test the waters, find out that they are late 1st round picks and decide to go for another Championship Run. Ginyard gets hurt early, Zeller gets hurt, but Ed Davis shines late and we get Title #5, Ring #2 for Roy. Maybe it's my fault that I believed that Harrison had the same mindset as Psycho T. Maybe I just got spoiled by watching a great 2009 Team. But in the back of my mind, I also know that once they start the NBA clock, their playing career is virtually over in 15 years at best. Now will all of them last that long? Probably not. But these kids, when they are THAT talented, can LEVERAGE college (not use, but leverage) to get you ready for the Pros so you can maximize your time in the league (hate to brink up a Dook guy, but Mike Dunleavy is a pretty good example). Barnes & Marshall have great NBA Potential, I just thought that they could leverage more experience at UNC to perfect their craft, get in the NBA and win a title at the same time. Lawson, Ellington & Green could have gone pro in 2008. But they are significant contributors to their respective teams now (Green & Lawson are starters), in my opinion, because they stayed another year at UNC to enhance their game. At they happened to win a title, too. My hope is for Barnes, Marshall and Henson to have long careers in the NBA. My fear is that leaving too early shortens the lifespan of their realized dream.
1 year, 7 months ago on Harrison Barnes: Were We Wrong About Him?
Honestly, I feel duped. From what we heard about his work ethic, his plans academically, etc., he was the person EVERYONE wanted on their team. I didn't really care about the overestimation (1st Team All-American) at the beginning of his freshman season, because the transition from High School to the College Game is an adjustment that is different for everyone. But, Harrison developed into a great scorer at the right time and as evident in the tournament run in 2011, you knew we had something good in Barnes. Add to the fact that he turns down the pros, everything made sense. Fast forward to the 2011-2012 year. Riddled with injuries. Not being the 30+ pt scorer some folks wanted him to be. Kinda being labeled "invisible" in random periods of games. We even dealt with that too. But that's because at the time, I thought, that this is what champions do. Play their game, work on the fundamentals, continue to develop the mental toughness that you need in the tournament, and play the games. Aside from the FSU loss and the Duke debacle, everything seemed to be right in place. Then, Henson's injury happened. Then, Kendall's injury happened. But rather than focusing on the injuries, I looked right at Harrison because this was the VERY moment that you wanted to see if he truly has the "Tyler" gene and would will the team to their goal. The FIRST inclination that I was wrong? 20 for 61 in the Sweet 16 & Elite 8 games, can't make a shot that requires him to dribble more than once, gets exposed on the defensive end by Clark Kellogg's son, can't seem to create his own shot AT ALL, and UNC loses in the Elite 8. Even Tyler Hansbrough in a loss will still get a double double because of his will alone. Then there was the SECOND and final indication that truly did it for me. Gut check time after the KU Loss. We saw all the photos with the towel over his head and the tears that we heard. Does he stay and finish what he started, or does he go pro. After THAT type of performance in 2008, in a very similar moment, Psycho T, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green say "Nope, we're finishing the job" in 2009. When they made the collective decision to return (sparked by Tyler committing to his senior year EARLY in the process, which I remember vividly), they WON the WHOLE DADGUM THING. Harrison Barnes? He bolts and he can't tweet out his logo fast enough and work on his "brand." Really? I'm cool with Harrison going after the job that only 500 people get in the world. But he's going to get the job ANYWAYS. But 60% of all NBA Draftees are not only out of the NBA, but they are broke too within 5 Years. And he'll need two years to complete the degree he's walking away from. Does 20-61 on the biggest stage provide a great NBA audition? Does the new HB logo guarantee you 5+ Years in the NBA? Does two Elite 8 Appearances merit the #40 hanging from the rafters of the Dean Dome? I can't see it. I just can't. If anyone's number gets retired, it's Tyler Zeller's (and just imagine what would have happened if he didn't break his wrist freshman year). But not Harrison's. No way. You can't hang his and not Vince Carter's. You can't hang his and not Ed Cota's (or Ty Lawson). It just doesn't seem right. So to close, I feel duped. I wish him well in the pros and I hope he has a successful career, but the last two weeks just made my stomach turn on the potential that could have been, that he proclaimed he would honor, and just didn't. I'm old enough to potentially be his father (if I had a kid in High School), but there's something in me that loves UNC so much that if it was me, I would have loved to become legendary at the NCAA Championship level. Now, we'll never know and I have to stop saying "what if" and move on to Marcus Paige, JP Tokoto, Brice Johnson, Joel James and the returning Tar Heels to achieve greatness through them.
1 year, 8 months ago on Harrison Barnes: Were We Wrong About Him?
#50 is one of the best players I have ever watched as far as his work ethic, his determination, his unselfishness, his maturity, and his willingness to put "TEAM" first. You're absolutely right, Matt. Tyler Hansbrough is one of those special players that doesn't come around often and I'm just appreciative of the opportunity to watch him maintain the excellence of UNC Basketball and realize his dream of winning an NCAA title. This whole season, win or lose, I asked myself who would be the Tyler Hansbrough of this year's UNC Hoops Team and quite honestly, I didn't know who it was (I exempt Tyler Zeller because he was a graduating senior). At first I thought it would be Barnes, because of what accolades America "thought" he would get. Then, it became clear that if it was anyone, it would be Kendall Marshall. I understand the lure of the NBA, but if I had 1/4 of the talent that these kids have and I'm on the UNC Squad, I'm milking it for at least 3 years. They didn't stay, didn't win a title, and we're all just faced with "what ifs" and the hard truth that what Tyler Hansbrough did was a special moment, not a normal moment. I wish Tyler Hansbrough all the best and what he means to UNC Basketball is WHY his number 50 is retired.
1 year, 8 months ago on My Evening with “Psycho T”
Way to end the article with the last two sentences. I don't care about the pre-season ranking as much as I care about the heart and the intensity of the players who will suit up next year. I'm glad he's coming back. Time to get Oriakhi.
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball: James Michael McAdoo to Return For Sophomore Season
@KIH Matt Great article and comparisons. Your comment is valid and all the more reason why he should have returned to develop his offensive game to make him more versatile for the pro game. I don't think he can gain much more weight, but if his skill gets better, it's a better fit. I know we've traded tweets over this for a few weeks, but I'd love to see these guys come back. It's a shame that I'm a grown adult following twitter accounts of college kids to give me unsurmountable joy. But I guess this is what you do as a Tarheel fan for over 25 years. On some level, I'm hoping to relive 2008 when Lawson, Ellington and Green say "we're coming back to finish what we started." One of the best days I've ever had as a Tarheel fan. And it worked out.
1 year, 8 months ago on NBA Draft: Is being a “tweener” good or bad for UNC’s John Henson?
Well, we don't have to speculate on McAdoo anymore... HE'S COMING BACK!!!
Alex Oriakhi, C'Mon Son! Play for Roy!
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball: The Block's Up In The Air
Before I start, thanks for all of the in depth analysis on why Barnes, Henson, Marshall and McAdoo should stay. Henson and McAdoo are probably the most NBA Ready, but that doesn't mean that their time is right now. Rather than comment on every article, let me say that overall, I agree. Now that I got that out of the way, I agree with you that UNC should hold their head high because I doubt that ANY other team in the country can go through that much adversity with injuries and make it to the Elite 8. But now that I'm 72 hours removed from the loss, I blame my NBA "Stay or Go" reluctance to everyone, Harrison Barnes in particular, on Tyler Hansbrough and the '09 Team. Yes, I said it. I blame Tyler Hansbrough and company. As it was mentioned in a separate article, Tyler was an invaluable gift to the UNC Program. Hard worker, good kid, stayed 4 years, selfless, etc. But you know why his jersey is on my wall? He had the look. Yes, the look that "no matter what you throw at me, you will NOT stand in the way of my goal, which is an NCAA Championship." Yes, it took him 4 years (3 if Brandan Wright doesn't bolt, in my opinion), but he GOT IT DONE. And we all know that his "look" and his attitude was infectious and resonated through the whole team when it mattered the most: the 2009 NCAA tournament. No one can convince me that Psycho T's will didn't push Ty Lawson to overcome the toe injury vs LSU and go on to set an NCAA championship record with 8 steals. No one can tell me that "the look" pushed Wayne Ellington into the Carolina Mamba and drain almost every critical perimeter shot to earn him the Most Outstanding Player award. No one can tell me that Tyler's will pushed Deon Thompson to go on a tear vs MSU with 8 points by the first media timeout. That's why Tyler's a champion, the '09 Team is legendary and that's what I want to see from Harrison Barnes. He's the one that wants to elevate his Brand. There is still time, but he's got to develop THAT attitude. If "the look" reemerges, everyone comes back and we go for Title #6. I'm only singling Harrison out because Kendall is already there. Henson could see the signs quickly (especially if he's not a lottery pick). McAdoo is just budding with potential. Time to recommit to UNC and focus on Atlanta 2013. It's that simple.
1 year, 8 months ago on Why I'm Not Upset
Well, it won't take too long to sort this out. Players have to let their schools know their intentions by April 10th. The NBA has to know by April 29th. They could dupe Roy on the 10th, but that seems out of character. I wouldn't do that to him... Roy doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. Let the 2 1/2 weeks of NBA agonizing begin...
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball Game Review: Elite 8 Tar Heels vs Kansas Jayhawks
If you were to tell me this time last year that UNC would not have 3 of their Top 6 players in a game that sends the winner to the Final Four, I'd be shocked. But it happened. I truly admire the Tar Heels for playing the entire game, especially the reserve players that had to take big minutes on a bigger stage with all of the injuries. Here's my quick thoughts... 1) Can we give the bench players a huge shout out for rising to the challenge? 3rd string PG, 2nd String SG, lost sixth man, gimpy PF who is this year's ACC Defensive POY and they fought hard. 2) Kendall Marshall, thank you for being a leader on the court, on the bench, and in a suit. Please come back to earn the NCAA assist record in 3 years when everyone else takes 4. 3) To Tyler Zeller, thanks for four great years and the first 20/20 game in the NCAA tourney since Tim Duncan in '97. You have a great future in the NBA. 4) To John Henson, I wonder what your game would have been like if Thomas Robinson didn't step on your ankle today, not to mention the sore wrist. Please return to finish the journey and work on that outside shot. 5) Roy Williams, I honestly believe you did a dadgum good coaching job based on White/Watts performance and Kansas Jayhawks everywhere need to read "Hard Work" so they can truly understand that you didn't bail on them. Last but not least, 6) Harrison Barnes... Everyone has bad games, but I want to know what legacy HE wants to leave on Chapel Hill. The NBA will be there next year and if you can create your OWN shot as a Junior for the Tarheels, I'm confident you'll get UNC Title #6 and go Top 3 in the 2013 NBA Draft. Don't let this tournament be your final audition. Every Jayhawks fan I have as a friend KNOWS that UNC wins today & beyond with Marshall. Prove it in 2013. Become Legendary.
@KIH Matt Zeller SHOULD be a lottery pick. I'm biased, but how many 7 Footers run that smooth and can drop 20/15 all day long? He's got the conditioning. He's brilliant in the transition game. Who shouldn't take a chance on him in the lottery picks?
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball: Doomsday Scenario, We've Seen The Last Of Marshall In A Carolina Uniform
This Just In... Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky is going to go Pro at the end of this season. Looks like another guy to go Top 5, possibly pushing The Black Falcon, Henson, Zeller and Marshall down another slot in June.
@KIH Matt Absolutely. But I don't see how Henson & Barnes can't dig in for another year too. They got snubbed on a few Accolades and there are parts of their game that another year would enhance. I keep thinking about Brandan Wright. He could have waited and he'd have a championship.
Matt: I was hoping that you wouldn't start this discussion this early, but oh well. Here goes:
1) If Kendall goes pro, chances are that he'll go 1st Round, but depending upon the needs of an NBA team, he's probably just outside lottery pick status (I.e. after Pick #13). According to the NBA Rookie Pay Scale, he'll stand to make $1.5 million for the first 2 years, then the team can decide to pick up options. Let Uncle Sam get his, and he's probably clearing $750K a year for the first 2 years. I think if he stays, he's a lottery pick the following draft. Lottery pick = more money.
2) FACT: Harrison Barnes has done absolutely NOTHING to change his draft status from last year to this year. He's not leap frogging Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson, so his best pick is 3rd, same as last year. Take note, Kendall. The Black Falcon is in the same spot as he was this time last year.
3) If he keeps his 10 assist per game pace and returns, he will place no lower than 4th on the All-Time assist leader board at the end of next season. Keep in mind that Bobby Hurley, Chris Corchiani and Ed Cota will be ahead of him, but that's after 4 seasons. Kendall will have 3. If he gets the record, #5 gets retired. Not by McInnis, Cota, Lawson etc... KButter5 gets the nod, and rightly so.
4). Assuming Barnes & Henson go Pro, Kendall will play with Bullock, McDonald, Hairston, McAdoo, Strickland, Takoto and have Paige back him up. The UNC backcourt is SET. A title run is highly possible.
5) UNC gets 13 scholarships and 4 walk ons. I could be wrong, but based on who's graduating (5) and Stillman White going on a mission, Barnes and Henson could return WITH Kendall and you still have 1 scholarship open for anyone else that comes along in the next couple of months, figuring Paige, James and Takoto get scholarships. That team could be in the conversation for "Greatest Ever Assembled" and they wouldn't lose to Duke in the Final Four like UNLV did in 1991. The only thing Roy needs to preach is unselfishness and who's the leader? KButter5. It doesn't get more unselfish than that.
I don't want to prematurely write this season off as "the season that could have been," but if UNC doesn't hoist Title #6 in 12 days, everyone should make a pact to come back and TAKE what is rightfully theirs in 2013. Henson, Strickland and McDonald will be seniors. Everyone else is a junior or younger. Title, Dynasty, Legend.
Harrison Barnes' draft prediction is all you need to know. The NBA will be there. Injuries can't get any worse. Plus, everyone gets a step closer to something they can use AFTER basketball: A College Degree.
Did I miss anything? Again, the NBA is tempting, but I remember Chapel Hill Titles just as much as Chicago Bulls NBA titles. They should get theirs. Be Historic.
Wow... You might get some mixed opinions on this one. But in principle, you're right. It's about putting yourself in the absolute BEST CHANCE TO WIN. UNC's best chance to win, with or without KButter5, is their true stars playing like STARS. They won't cut down the nets in New Orleans any other way.
With White or Watts at Point Guard, sure... you get someone that can a) run Roy's offense and b)defend the guards that you will go up against. The biggest thing to me is 1) find a way to create opportunities for the Front Court to score early without relying on KButter5's passing ability and 2) defend the guards that they will go up against in the tournament.
The beauty about Kendall Marshall the last few weeks is that not only was he lightning quick with the offense (and an assist magician), he went from scoring 7-8 pts a game to 15-23 pts a game. As far as the points go, I figure that at a minimum, Barnes, Bullock and Hairston need to pick up those extra 8-10 points that Kendall was bringing to the table. Now on the defensive end, stick Bullock on their best guard (PG or SG) and let Watts, Hairston or White take on the other guard. Everyone else? Play THEIR part and look to get 2-3 more shots MADE per position. That's how we'll beat anyone... not just Ohio, but Kansas, NC State, Ohio State, Syracuse, or anyone else in the tournament.
More importantly, let's not kid ourselves...it's MAN UP time. That's what we loved about the first 2 games of the tournament... we saw the "Mission" begin. I watched the whole Press Conference yesterday and although I would love for Henson, Barnes and Marshall to return next year, it's a pipe dream based on their twitter bios, the look on their faces, the general lure of the NBA, and the fact that Barnes & Henson are GUARANTEED Lottery Picks. If that's the case and you KNOW you're declaring in less than a month, to quote Jay-Z and Kanye West, it's time to "Ball So Hard." Harrison Barnes, even though he has done NOTHING to change his NBA draft position from 2011 to 2012, needs to play like a 1st Team All-American. Henson, with an improving wrist, needs to display that not only is he the ACC Defensive POY, but he's 1st Team All American on Defense.
Many Tar Heels have performed well over the years, but few can say they've hoisted a Championship Banner. This year's team has sustained SO MANY injuries this year, yet we still have a chance. If it was me (and I know I'm not going to be the #1 Pick in the Draft), I'm doing my best to put a banner in the Dean Dome. The past few years have taught me that the NBA will ALWAYS be there for kids with this type of talent. THIS chance, to become legendary in the name of Chapel Hill, has a limited window. It'sTHEIR time. Game On.
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball: The Point Forward System
LOVE This!!! Gotta make sure my "Together We Are Carolina" shirt is washed for BOTH days. I'm with you! I'm in Chicago, but with you & Tarheel Nation!!
1 year, 8 months ago on Campus Life: What Now?
Matt & Co: I'm glad to see that surgery went well for Kendall. He's such a good kid and I truly wish him all the best in his career in basketball, UNC and beyond.
More importantly, I LOVED the snippets of the press conference that I saw today. I love that they are mad. I love the fact that they are playing with a stronger chip on their shoulder. And we still have the best front court in College Hoops. I want to see Harrison pissed and drop 30. The last time I felt like this was Duke on March 3rd. The offense will be different, but we can still make it to New Orleans.
1 year, 8 months ago on UNC Basketball Game Review: NCAA Tournament 3rd Round Tar Heels vs Creighton
Now that the news is 14+ hours old, here are my thoughts on the situation:
1) I think that we can get past Ohio without Kendall. I expect to see more of Justin Watts & Stillman White at PG, but it can be done. Our front court is still outstanding. But more importantly, Barnes is the key. Zeller & Henson will be fine. McAdoo continues to get better, Hairston is finding his shot again, but Barnes has to take over. I would argue that in UNC's dominance, Kendall's POINTS were key.
2) Regarding the injury, I guess today we'll find out how bad the break is. A sprain is one thing, a fracture is another and although the season will be completely over in 15 days, Roy is not going to jeopardize Kendall's career for two weeks. Now, the talk about Kendall, Barnes, Henson and Zeller going Pro this year is in full force (thanks, ESPN First Take), but if the break is bad, I don't risk him on Sunday. We saw what Creighton tried to do to Henson & Zeller.
3) If I'm Kendall Marshall (who I admire greatly by just his dedication to studying the history of UNC Basketball), I would want to be a part of UNC History and hoist up a Championship Banner. So, I'd stay. If he stays, there's no doubt he gets Hurley's assist record and gets his jersey in the Hall of Fame. He might be the first #5 to hang in the rafters. But more importantly, I would get Strickland, McDonald, McAdoo, Bullock, Hairston and the new recruits at a minimum to go at it.
4) If I'm Harrison Barnes / John Henson and I saw that my Superstar PG just went down with an injury like this, there's something in me that makes a '09 type of pact between teammates to win it and stay too. I'm not even greedy about an undefeated season. I would just want to leave Chapel Hill with a Championship Banner and in all seriousness, the injuries can't get any worse NEXT year than they have THIS year, can they? And sure, the NBA has money that families can use. But let's be honest. Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green are having relevant careers in the NBA, weren't drafted Top 15, and Ellington is still on the same team that he was drafted on. Who wants to really fight to play on the Wizards?
5) This is my final point and I appreciate the forum to say this. I LOVE College Basketball. I love the UNC Tar Heels. But most importantly, I love the fact that Roy Williams continues to do a great job of recruiting "great kids" as well as "talented kids." With all the "one and done" crap out there, it's tough to establish true dynasties in college hoops. But, UNC is one of those schools that is ALWAYS in the discussion. I know that winning a Championship is the goal, but I would love to win back-to-back titles too (like Florida in '06-'07, Duke in '91-'92). UNC has the talent NOW, especially if Noel shows up. But the guys in Carolina Blue Jerseys now gotta see this too.
No matter what happens in the next two weeks, TOGETHER WE ARE CAROLINA and I will be rooting hard. But in two weeks, my message will be to STAY and BE Historic.
1 year, 8 months ago on Constantly Updated Kendall Marshall Injury Watch Thread
Kendall Marshall with a broken wrist? You have got to be kidding me. Might be able to sit him and win on Friday, but Sunday vs Kansas potentially? UGH........!!!!
Here are my thoughts:
ACC Tournament Semifinal: People are STILL talking about the foul that was never called at the close of the game. But the way I see it, it could have gone either way and I'm glad that Kendall Marshall had the courage to trust HIS shot. The Semifinal Win helped cement the #1 Seed in the Midwest, since Syracuse, Kansas and Duke would lose at the close of Saturday Night.
ACC Tournament Final: UNC loses by 3 to a Top 20 Team WITHOUT John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald. I didn't see the entire game, but it looks like Hairston is getting his shot (and his confidence) back and I'll take that into the NCAA tournament instead of balling all out for the conference tournament championship. Plus, McAdoo needs Primetime minutes. The fact that we made a decent showing in the ACC championship without Henson, NOT losing by 30 or losing by 11 (like Kansas in their conference semifinal) is a GOOD sign. I'm sure I don't have to remind everyone, but did we win the ACC Tourney in '05? No. How about '09? No.
Moving onto the "Tournament That Really Matters," I'm glad the #1 Seed is earned for the Tar Heels. More importantly, I'm glad that we start the journey IN GREENSBORO. That's what Roy wants, that's what the team needs, and that's the blueprint to start everything. Second, I'm not so happy that we could face Kansas to go to the Final Four, but in '09, we had to face Oklahoma that had virtually the EXACT same buzz and we lit Oklahoma up like a Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. It's kinda fitting that we would have to face a POY Candidate in Robinson (not to mention Roy Williams' former coaching gig) to get there, but eff it. Championships are earned, not gifted. It won't be a cakewalk to get out of the Midwest, but it is possible. Tyshawn Taylor is EXTREMELY turnover prone and if we catch him on a bad night, we got this. Although I would have liked to have Henson back today instead of next week, I trust that Roy is doing the right thing. Remember when Ty Lawson's toe was almost a Good Morning America Topic? That lasted until the Sweet 16. Henson's wrist may not be nearly as bad and we'll be at FULL strength going into the tournament. Another note: THIS UNC Team has only 1 More Loss than '05 and '09.
Time to get Roy Title #3 and UNC Championship #6. I don't like to lose and today stings a little bit, but I'd rather lose now and win the next 6.
1 year, 9 months ago on Selection Sunday: UNC Tar Heels Earn #1 Seed In The NCAA Tournament