It’s eight months away until these two basketball giants square off but they just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines.
Roy Williams held his summer press conference Tuesday to discuss next year’s team and the NBA draft. Meanwhile, Duke loses another guard, which should make the ACC much more interesting league next season.
A few quick thoughts follow below:
- With the loss of Elliot Williams, who decided to transfer because of family reasons, Duke is down to only two scholarship guards — Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer. It now becomes obvious Duke could have really used Seth Curry a year earlier or even a commitment from John Wall. Either would have kept Duke among the likely preseason contenders, instead the Blue Devils are likely headed in a very familiar direction: 25 or more wins and a disappointing March due to exhaustion and lack of depth.
- Now, the two teams expected to compete for the ACC title — UNC and Duke — will be extremely thin at the point guard position and will lack truly explosive players, especially with Duke losing Gerald Henderson to the draft. UNC will enlist Larry Drew II to play major minutes as the only true point guard on the team; Duke will need Smith and Scheyer to be able to handle close to 40 minutes of playing time per game.
- Here’s an idea floating around: Mike Krzyzewski replacing Phil Jackson. According to reports, Jackson will decide his fate as the Lakers coach in early July. There is probably a less than 1 percent change Coach K leaves for the NBA, but hey, it’s still fun to think about Kobe and Coach K reunited. Who’s to say Coach K wouldn’t give the Lakers a long look if they offer, especially with Duke’s stock falling?
- Roy Williams floated around the idea that Will Graves, who was suspended during his sophomore campaign for undisclosed reasons, is doing all the right things to earn his place back on the team — but no discussion has taken place between the two. Graves could be an important role player for the Tar Heels next season, especially with the wealth of 3-point shooting UNC is losing to the draft.
- While the idea that Marcus Ginyard could play a David Noel-esque role is attractive to the UNC faithful and even helped Ginyard decide to redshirt last season, the senior’s offensive game would have to take quantum leaps forward to be an efficient scorer in the ACC. Much more likely is a Wes Miller-esque role for Graves if he earns his way back on the team. Graves has a smooth shooting stroke that could provide a spark off the bench for the young backcourt.