Dexter Strickland drives in for a lay-up against Texas
After what has to be one of the most disappointing seasons in men's basketball history, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels followed the season up by having a terrible off-season as well.
Rising sophomores Travis and David Wear were headed back home to California after one season with the team, Ed Davis jumped to the pros, and the graduation of Deon Thompson left the Heels' front court depleted.
Senior guard/forward Will Graves couldn't get his act together and broke team rules and had to be dismissed from his final year of eligibility.
With all the turmoil surrounding the football program in Chapel Hill, the basketball team hasn't helped matters too much lately either, and it continues to be frustrating to be a Tar Heels fan...but it only takes one event to make it all better.
Basketball season has dawned upon us and the emergence of excitement grows as Late Night with Roy approaches. The event will take place Friday, Oct. 15th at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill. This will be the first chance to see the freshmen class in Carolina blue.
The roster for the Tar Heels is slim, with only 10 scholarship players. The front court depth is even worse. UNC has 4 players on the roster who are 6'8" or taller. Don't be too surprised if freshman guard Reggie Bullock gets some minutes in the front court, especially if the health of Tyler Zeller continues to be an issue.
The Tar Heels' front court players know that the pressure is mounting on them to pick up the slack. "You can't have a bad game," Tyler Zeller said. "You can't be in foul trouble, but at the same you have to play. I wouldn't say I'm worried about it, but it's definitely something that we're going to have problems with at some point in time. It's definitely something we think about."
Coach Williams displayed his disappointment for Graves, yet hoped for the best for him. "I hate this for Will," Williams said in a statement. "He worked extremely hard this summer to get himself physically in the best shape he's been in years, but he did not do everything he needed to do to be a part of our basketball program."
The season is right around the corner, and the pressure is on the young players in Chapel Hill to carry the load and contend for the league leading 28th ACC Regular Season Championship.