KJ’s  Basketball Journal                                                   July 8, 2000

ROY STAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who knows, maybe Roy Williams will still get to be the Tarheels coach someday, but not anytime soon. It had to be a tough choice……..everybody really wants to go back to the womb.  And clearly, the Williams-Carolina attraction was strongly mutual.

But, there is a time for everything, and, for my money, this just wasn’t the time for Coach Williams to go east. First, the summer recruiting season starts this weekend. If Williams went to UNC now he would not only get a late start in recruiting there but would put KU’s recruiting efforts behind as well. (Personally, I’m very disappointed with North Carolina for ousting Guthridge at this time of season.  If they really wanted Roy, they should have arranged for Guthridge’s dismissal at a more appropriate time in the basketball calendar.) 

Next, Roy would be in Dean’s shadow if he went now.  Perhaps in a few years it might be possible to take over the Tarheels on a peer basis with Smith.  By contrast, at Kansas, Roy stands side by side with KU icons Phog Allen, Larry Brown, and Dr. Naismith

Also, everyone wants to go out a winner.  Notwithstanding the fact that Roy has compiled an incomparable winning record at KU, he still hasn’t captured that elusive NCAA crown, and this recruiting season was, shall we say, unfruitful?  Timing wise, you leave, ala Larry Brown, AFTER you’ve won the big one.

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Now fast forward to April, 2006.  Led by 7-footer and four-time All-American Clyde “the Dipper” LaFrentz, KU has just captured its third NCAA crown, going undefeated for the season, including romps over Duke and Kentucky in the Final Four.  Missouri has just been given the “death penalty” for flagrant recruiting violations.  Matt Doherty is named AP Coach of the Year, leading the Irish to the Big Ten (plus 2) title. The North Carolina Tarheels, under Coach Eddie Foglar, have just completed their first losing season in decades.  Hungry for success, they offer Roy a $50 million lifetime contract.  He takes about 10 seconds…… next day, Bob Fredericks welcomes Matt Doherty back as the eighth coach in KU Basketball history.  On the last day of the signing period, McDonald’s All-American and lottery-pick Darnell “JoJo” Manning announces he will bypass the NBA  to play for his beloved Jayhawks.

Timing is everything.

p.s. I hadn’t planned on another newsletter this season, but couldn’t pass by the opportunity to comment on this recent turn of events.  Join me in giving thanks to the basketball gods.