When you hear their names you cringe, thinking of missed potential and failure. They are the lost boys of Roy Williams' coaching career at North Carolina; players that could not or would not live up to the hype they received when they entered the Dean Dome.
The question becomes, who has disappointed the most?
1. Harrison Barnes, SF
He's perhaps the most obvious choice given his preseason All-American status as a freshman, the first freshman to receive that honor since the award was voted on. Safe to say, expectations were incredibly high and nearly impossible to live up to.
And he didn't.
Anyone with a knee-jerk reaction will point to dozens of big games where he just refused to step up, fading into the shadows when the team needed him most. He's the opposite of a high-impact player; you look at his stat line at the end of the game and are shocked to learn he scored 20, not eight.
Even so, he was still the 2011 ACC Rookie of the Year and made the 2012 All-ACC team. He averaged 15.7 points his freshman year, and 17.3 points his sophomore year while significantly improving his shooting percentage. He also helped the Tar Heels into the Elite Eight both years with the program.
2. Marvin Williams, PF
Most probably remember him fondly because he was with the team one year, and in that one year the Tar Heels won the national championship. However, the hope for Marvin was to be a role player during that championship run, then come back and be the leader of the team.
Instead, he decided to leave the program and enter the NBA draft. Great for him, terrible for the program. You have to wonder what UNC could have done with Williams leading the way in the 2006 season that saw them lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
3. Bobby Fraser, SG
To be honest, I'm not sure expectations were that high for Fraser, but he was a McDonald's All-American entering the program, and his highest point average in a given season was 6.4 (his freshman year). He only once had a field-goal percentage over 40 percent. Still, he always seemed to play hard and accepted his job as a role player
4. Brandan Wright, PF
Similar to Marvin Williams in that he only stayed the one year, though his one year was a much better one statistically. Still, you have to wonder what a front line of Tyler Hansbrough, Wright and eventually Ed Davis could have done.
5/6. David/Travis Wear, PF
It's probably for the best both transferred after their one season. Can you imagine the Wears and Plumlees battling it out down low these past few seasons? Every Duke-UNC matchup on ESPN would have 10-20 feature pieces just about David, Travis, Miles and Mason. Plus Marshall Plumlee would feel left out.
7. Larry Drew II, PG
Talk about a player that failed to live up to expectations.
I have yet to meet a UNC fan that thinks Drew wasn't a complete and utter disaster. Personally, I cringed every time he took the floor, knowing he would find some way to blow any remotely big game, whether it would be by turning the ball over or shooting contested jumpers.
He had plenty of hype entering the program who was just not a good player. Thankfully Kendall Marshall came along, and eventually Roy saw the light and benched Drew. To make things even worse, Drew then sulked his way through the rest of the season and immediately transferred after the year.
Had he not, he could have possibly filled in for Marshall during this year's tourney run. Not that he would have done any better than Stillman "Wacko" White.
Larry Drew II. In my mind it's no question. He was the most frustrating player I have ever seen, and it was a happy day when he left the program. He clearly did not understand the system Roy Williams wanted to run, or if he did he chose just to ignore it and do his own thing.
I'm sure I've missed at least one player that was a disappointment, or maybe I've been too harsh on one of the guys on this list. Let me know what you think in the comments.