Roy Williams knows things aren’t going well this season for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina, which began the season at No. 9 in the Associated Press’ preseason poll, now sits at just 8-6 and has fallen out of the rankings for the first time since 2014. The Tar Heels have suffered several rough losses, too, including a 25-point loss to No. 11 Ohio State and a four-point loss to Wofford.
Williams’ frustration seemed to boil over after their loss on Sunday, when North Carolina fell 96-83 to Georgia Tech after dropping into a 19-2 hole to kick off the game.
The legendary coach even went as far as to call this year’s team “the least gifted team I’ve ever coached in the time that I’ve been back here” on his weekly radio show on Monday.
“We stunk, OK. We were not very good,” Williams said on the show, via ESPN. “The crazy thing about it is, our team — and we’ve had some very gifted teams — this is not a very gifted team. It’s just not.”
In Williams’ defense, he has lost several players to injury already this year — including star guard Cole Anthony, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month. Leaky Black, Andrew Platek and Brandon Robinson have all missed games while injured this season, too, and the Tar Heels lost freshman Anthony Harris for the year to an ACL injury last week.
This team, however, is on pace to be one of the worst Williams’ has ever had at Chapel Hill.
In 17 seasons at the helm, only six of Williams’ teams have finished with double-digit losses — though only one of those six teams finished with more than 12 total losses. The 69-year-old has missed the NCAA tournament just once with the Tar Heels, too, and only twice throughout his decades-long coaching career. If things keep moving like they have been, it will be a tough road for North Carolina to earn a postseason bid at all.
Yet even with the setbacks — and with a team he admits is sub-par — Williams isn’t letting his players give up just yet.
“So, if you’re going to be like that, you gotta bring your A-game,” Williams said, via ESPN. “Even though your A-game may not even be an A-game, you gotta bring your best game to play on game day.”
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