Roy Williams and Coach K: two names seemingly at the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. The ironic thing is they represent schools separated by only eight miles, yet almost everybody either hates one or the other.
They are seen so differently because they coach at schools that are at odds (maybe I should just say hate) with each other.
The Duke-UNC rivalry is the biggest rivalry in college basketball, and these two coaches have made the rivalry even more heated.
Everybody wants to watch winners play each other, and now that Ol’ Roy is in town, the rivalry is as intense as ever. Although the Heels have won three straight games (something Roy can brag about to Coach K, that is, if they ever talk) the UNC vs. Duke Game is still the most watched game of the season.
The question begs to be asked: Why is this rivalry so intense? Of course, it does not help that the schools are only eight miles apart, but a big part of the answer is that both teams and both coaches are nothing but winners.
It is human nature to hate a winner unless it is your team that is the winner. That is why when you ask non-UNC or Duke fans whether or not they like either team; most will say that they hate both teams.
I am a Tar Heel fan, and I do not like Coach K or the Blue Devils. But I also have to say, I would not hate Duke near as much if they did not win so many games. After all, it is hard to hate a loser.
Coach K has accumulated 833 wins and three national titles coupled with an Olympic gold medal. There is no doubt he knows how to win.
Eight miles down the road, Coach Williams has 589 career wins (171 at UNC), and two national championships in the last five years. The Tar Heel faithful love Roy Williams because he has put Carolina on the top of the basketball world once again.
The question I am sure many coaches ask is how does Coach K and Coach Williams win so many games?
For one, it is their style of play. Both have mastered the style they want to play, and they execute their game plan to perfection.
In Durham, Coach K lives and dies by the three, and he recruits for players who will fit into that system. Do players such as Jason Williams, J.J. Redick, and Mike Dunleavy ring a bell? If it does not, let me tell you that I know very well what these players could do. They could flat out shoot the three.
Roy Williams, on the other hand, likes to push the ball up the court and score easy points. At Carolina he has let point guards Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson, both speed demons, be the generals of the fast break. Coach Williams knew what talent he had in these two, and he utilized that talent to the sound of two national championships.
Secondly and equally as important, both men recruit well. Granted, nearly all of the best players in the country will list either UNC or Duke, sometimes both, as their top choices.
At any rate, they both know how to recruit the absolute best players.
The funny thing is they battle each other for the best players, yet they both come out with McDonald’s All-Americans every year. The well of talent they find these players in never runs dry. In the end, a team can only be consistently good if they have talent, and these two geniuses recruit talent.
Everybody has differences, and Coach K and Roy Williams definitely have those; after all, they coach at two schools that hate each other.
Just do not forget, the main thing these two have in common is their remarkable ability to win.