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ESPN’s Dave Telep: Roy Williams Recruits Relentlessly Because He Did Not Play Basketball In College

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NCAA Basketball Tournament - Practice Round - Omaha

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The Drive Thursday 3-22-12- Dave Telep joins Marc and Taylor to break down the recruiting classes of all of the area teams; Duke, UNC, State, even Wake Forest, and previews how the teams will look in seasons to come.


After Duke’s early exit from the NCAA tourney, there is a lot riding on the future of Duke Basketball with this recruiting class.  Telep believes the players Duke is recruiting have the potential to be huge power players for the future of the Blue Devils.

 “It would have to be some chemistry to overcome the loss of a guy like Austin Rivers…let’s not forget that Duke is still on the board…Duke has some lines in the water that can change th[e future of Duke basketball]…”

An area team with the best potential to be great is NC State.  Telep believes State is doing the smartest thing with its recruiting class, going after a strong foundation and not necessarily the strongest players, but players with great potential.

“The beauty of State’s recruiting class [is they understand how to lay a foundation]…when Skip Prosser [the late Wake Forest coach] was alive, he knew he wasn’t necessarily going to beat UNC’s recruiting class, but he would get in the mix with the second and third players…”

 The ACC basketball powerhouse to beat with recruiting classes is UNC, and this year is no exception.  Telep credits the strength of William’s recruiting on his lack of experience as a college basketball player.

“Somewhere between 2005 and 2006, North Carolina and Kentucky have consistently been the one and two…Roy Williams, the chip that is on his shoulder since he was not a college basketball player, is really relentless…this recruiting class is more of a foundation group than it is laced with star powers.  So I think what you are going to see is guys come in and be contributors…the rest of the guys are going to fill in their roles…”

 Many teams hope that filling their rosters with the best in the country will automatically equal wins, but the “Calipari Effect” does not work for all teams.

“Everybody in the country can go after the best of the best [when it comes to recruiting, but that doesn’t mean your team will be the best]…I can tell you, [the Calipari method] it won’t work.  Look at the history of the NBA draft picks [Calipari has]…there isn’t a program in the country with more guys in the lottery, more guys in the draft, more guys in elite positions…no one has that kind of resume.  He has created a revolving door at point guard…what a bar that has been raised there.  Nobody else has that particular [style of recruiting]…I don’t think it is viable for most college teams.”

 Telep didn’t seem too phased by the poor performance of late from Wake Forest University, saying their recruiting class was actually one of the stronger ACC classes, and he believed it was a sign the program is turning around.

“It is still going to be an uphill battle…I don’t know how this is going to come together in terms of having to rely on [freshman]…it is a class that is above average in terms of where you want to be in the ACC, but it is a class that is going to need time to develop and then need another one stacked right on top of it…this is a time to rebuild and not a reload.”

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