Monday, April 7, 2008

Call a TO on criticizing Williams

There’s been much consternation on the part of North Carolina fans over coach Roy Williams’ failure to call timeout earlier as Kansas’ first-half lead grew at a startling pace in Saturday’s NCAA semifinals.

Criticizing Williams for that is like whipping your cow because it won’t lay eggs. Like coach Dean Smith before him, Williams doesn’t like to call a bunch of timeouts in the first half.

He likes to save as many as possible for the end of the game, when the Tar Heels might need them. He believes his players get better by figuring out how to get through slumps themselves. And when North Carolina falls behind, the need for those timeouts in a possible comeback situation increases.

North Carolina didn’t lose because Williams didn’t call timeout. It lost because Kansas was by far the superior team. This might shock North Carolina fans because the Tar Heels were the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament.

But Kansas overall was quicker, stronger and deeper. Memphis is, too. It just so happened that North Carolina didn’t play an opponent that good all season.

Kentucky and Ohio State were in rebuilding years. Duke didn’t have a post presence. Clemson was improved, but it was still Clemson.

Davidson might have been the best team North Carolina faced all season.

That is, until Kansas came along. And there wasn’t anything Williams could have told the Tar Heels during a timeout that would have stopped the inevitable.

– Ken Tysiac

16 comments:

Jim Brown said...

Hogwash to say don't blame Roy Williams. Carolina had a lock on a Final Four spot last season, and through it away in the last 6 minutes lofting three pointers, and Williams just sat there and called no timeouts. Same thing this year. He has a strong bench. Why didn't he substitute and shake thing sup? He's the Coach for gosh sakes. Don't just sit there. This loss was embarrassing and Williams chocked. Is this his legacy?

tom said...

UNC was not getting out-schemed in the first 15 minutes of the game, they were being out-hustled. THAT, my friend is fixable via chewing said a*** out in a timeout. Just like when UNC had final four scoring droughts under dean against arkansas and arizona and against utah under guthridge, pure stubborness is the reason williams allowed it to spiral out of control. like a dad who is teaching his kid to swim and throws him in the deep in and refuses to come to the rescue "on principle". Look, if this "casual" attitude and lack of hustle was against Garner webb in a november game, fine...let them drown. You have more games. But as an alum I am sick and tired of our coaches pulling this stunt when there is no tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I am an UNC alum and I wish Roy would have used a timeout in the first half. Isn't each team allowed four time-outs per half? So using one in the 1st half would not affect the number of timeouts available to him in the 2nd half, right? It would not have changed the outcome of the game because KU was the dominant team, but why let the timeouts go unused in that situation?

Anonymous said...

To agree with Jim Brown, wasn't it against Boston College when Roy, disgusted with the starters' defensive effort, pulled them all?
The result was a regrouping and a comeback victory.
To agree with Tom, sometimes the
dogged inflexibility of both Dean and Roy can be hard to understand and frustrating.
Coach Roy needs to examine critically some of his decisions that didn't work and file his findings for future usage.
Basically, I think the Dean-and-Roy way of doing things works best in the long run. But there are certain times, as with all coaches, that they make calls that turn on them.
Still, if the players had not failed to execute, we'd have stood a much better chance Saturday night, whatever goofs Roy made.

Anonymous said...

Roy took a timeout from coaching. Few fouls were being called even when his players were getting roughed up.. So at least work the officials. Ok, so you don't want to call timeouts, but at least leave Danny Green in the game since he led the comeback. It was a poor coaching decision to take Green out out the game.

Anonymous said...

Coaches feel pressure and lose their good judgement just as players do. Roy felt incredible pressure and mixed feelings in this game due to his devotion to Kansas. I think Bill Self had fewer distractions and a much clearer brain during the game. Also, Kansas had played "not to lose" in the Davidson game and had much to prove. UNC, on the other hand, heard nothing but praise based on their relatively easy road to the Final Four.

Also, the defensive weaknesses of UNC were clearly exposed by Kansas.

On balance, I would place blame with Coach Williams for lack of adjustments in this game, and the players for not being prepared mentally for a tough game, and finally major kudos to Kansas for a great game.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they just got beaten by a better team.

Anonymous said...

Once again I disagree with Tysiac. I love Coach Williams, however his job as a coach is to make adjustments during the game and motivate the players.Sometimes his refusal to call timeouts or change defenses has cost the team some games.Perhaps he was caught up in the Kansas hype before the game.There is no excuse for the players or the coaches to be ready to play with a week to prepare.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. A fan since 1950. UNC is the only team in the ACC I have ever pulled for. After the Kansas game I am ashamed to wear my UNC cap. I think I will put my picture of Roy in my bathroom.

Anonymous said...

What pains me is that Roy didn't give his team its best chance to win the game. Yes, KU was definitely the better team. But Roy did little to affect the rout. Aside from calling no time outs, he didn't do any of things he has done in lesser games -- mass substitutions, stern lectures, working the officials, etc. It all started with a lack of preparation the week leading to the game and ended with Roy sitting on his hands during the game. One could draw the conclusion that he didn't really want to beat Kansas.

Born and Bred Ed said...

Carolina got an under-16, an under-12, and an under 8 minute timeout courtesy of CBS. If a timeout was the magic pill so many of you seem to think it is, wouldn't they have made a difference?

Jim Brown said...

It's not as simple as just calling timeouts. It looked like Ole Roy just sat there and was not on his feet orchestrating what was happening on the court. He should have used his time outs to adjust the pace and tempo, and get his players much more focused. He did few substitutions so he missed the chance to go go head to head on the bench with his players who seemed to be so lackadaisical. He showed little energy or fire in his belly that he should have both had, and then transformed such energy to his team. He just sat there and let the Carolina moment slip away

Anonymous said...

Does Roy get the credit for the close games where UNC came back this year. The Tar Heels came out flat, sometimes that happens, it was unfortunate that it happened on the big stage as it has in the past. Few consider how difficult it is to get to the big stage in the first place. The sad reality is that in all the final fours that UNC has lost they have shot poorly from the outside. Utah and Arizona beat UNC in the finals in the 90's because the normally sharp shooting shammond williams couldn't throw it in his back yard if he was sitting on the back poarch. Wayne Ellington short poorly and Will Graves did as well with three poor one-on-one moves. Even on a good day I don't know if the Heels could beat a Kansas team that was playing up to their potential. KU had 4 big men to throw at Tyler which made it critical that the guard shoot well. Deon and Al also played poorly.It wasn't meant to be!

Anonymous said...

This is the most idiotic blog story I have ever read. Its like it was written by one of my kids.

Yes they were beaten by a better team but that doesn't excuse him from not doing his job as a coach. He should have called timeout to stop Kansas' momentum, chew out his players for not hustling and work the refs for not calling obvious fouls on his players.

Maybe a well placed timeout or 2 would not have changed the outcome of the game but it certainly couldn't have hurt anything and it might have turned a blowout into a close game that unc could have stolen in the second half.

I'm normally with Williams on saving timeouts and having his players work through tough situations in order to improve themselves but in this situation against a great team in the final four you can't let a team run up a double digit lead on you and expect to be able to mount a comeback.

Face it Roy blew it this time and its OK to say so. He needs to learn from his mistakes just like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Look, stop your crying and just admit that UNC got beat by a better, stronger, quicker and more talented team. UNC will be back, for sure, but they'll be licking their wounds until next season!

Anonymous said...

Come on now. Kansas was not THAT good. Memphis should have beat them and they squeezed out several close games in the Tournament. Are you telling me Kansas should have been leading 40 to 12? A decent 2A team would have scored 12 points against Kansas. 12 POINTS. Heck, we could have put five guys on this blog who could have scored 12 points. When the rhythm is off and your starting five are in a real slump, a coach just does not sit there and roll his eyes. Enough of this stuff of Kansas being much better then the Tar Heels. T'aint so.