Naturally, those who don't follow the North Carolina Tar Heels see four superb starters leave for the NBA and decide there is no hope for the folks in Chapel Hill. That is understandable, however inaccurate it may be.
What one must understand is the constant influx of talent at UNC—as much as any program in the country from year to year. That didn't even stop during the lull between Dean Smith's retirement and Roy Williams' hiring.
And it's not stopping now.
That isn't to say that they are instantly contenders every season. The Heels are only a couple of years removed from losing the NIT championship to Dayton (2010). But that was just a minor blip in the prestigious career of Roy Williams.
As a matter of fact, that was his first and only NIT as a head coach.
During his nine-year reign at Carolina, Williams has tallied six Elite Eight appearances, three Final Fours and two championships—both, of course, ending with the Heels cutting down the net.
Not too shabby for a man I feel doesn't get his due respect.
So what is Carolina left with after the departure of Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall? Just five McDonald's All-Americans and four four-stars (Scout.com).
It would be irresponsible of me not to mention the obvious loss of a strong inside game; Henson and Zeller were monsters of the double post.
James Michael McAdoo, Desmond Hubert, Jackson Simmons, Brice Johnson (freshman) and Joel James (freshman) haven't proven themselves as a true presence in the post at the collegiate level.
That doesn't mean they won't—it just can't be relied upon.
While the Tar Heels lost post presence, they gained athleticism, positional versatility and range. These are the attributes that could actually make this squad as good or better than the last.
I've listed five areas of the game those particular attributes will affect. And Carolina's success in 2012-13 will be reliant upon their improvement in these areas.