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Roy Williams scolds fans for chanting 'overrated' at Duke's Harry Giles

Grayson Allen and Harry Giles wait to enter Saturday night’s game (AP).
Grayson Allen and Harry Giles wait to enter Saturday night’s game (AP).

When North Carolina students started chanting “overrated” before Duke’s Harry Giles went to the free throw line Saturday night, Tar Heels coach Roy Williams put an end to it quickly.

Credit Williams for the classy gesture defending an opposing player he ardently recruited only to lose him to his fiercest rival. Giles was considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2016 class, but he has yet to make much impact at Duke because he is still recovering from his third knee surgery in the past three-plus years.

Before the knee problems struck, Giles was the favorite to be taken No. 1 overall in this year’s draft. The 6-foot-10 forward drew comparisons to Chris Webber because of his ability to score multiple ways and dominate the glass.

The Giles who comes off the bench at Duke is nowhere close to the player that he once was or may yet still become again. He lacks the confidence and explosiveness he once had and hasn’t scored more than six points in a game since January as the Blue Devils have lately chosen to go small and use him solely as Amile Jefferson’s primary backup.

Asked about why he defended Giles after the game, Williams explained why he admonished the student section.

“We don’t need to do that,” he told reporters in Chapel Hill. “Every time you yell ‘overrated,’ the [other] team scores the next basket. They yelled ‘overrated,’ he made the dadgum free throw. We’re intelligent. We go to North Carolina. Don’t piss off the other team by being stupid.”

Williams is right, of course. “Overrated” is one of the dumbest chants in sports under any circumstances, and, it’s especially stupid when targeting a kid coming off his third knee surgery.

Good for Williams for speaking up.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!