Roy Williams Deserves Some Credit

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By: Streeter Lecka

By: Streeter Lecka

I know. I criticized Roy last week for keeping P.J. Hairston buried on the bench for far too long. I stand by that. But I also wanted  P.J. Hairston to start instead of Dexter Strickland. And that would have been the wrong call. Starting him alongside Strickland has been the spark the Tar Heels desperately needed. Since going “small,” they’ve won three out of four and played their best basketball of the year. For that, I give Roy credit.

He gives himself credit, too.

I’ll allow it.

While I’m at it, I’ll also give him credit for making a bizarre a substitution late in the second half against NC State on Saturday. In the midst of a 13-2 NC State run, Roy pulled all five players off the court and replaced them with five guys off the bench. There was 13:24 remaining and the Wolfpack led 43-42. UNC’s lineup consisted of Marcus Paige, Luke Davis, J.P. Tokoto, Jackson Simmons and Desmond Hubert. Twitter nearly exploded due to criticism. And I was among the masses calling for Roy to get it together. While that lineup was outscored 6-3, Roy used that time to get his message across.

What happened when he plugged the starting unit back into the game with 11:36 remaining?

Yup, the Heels went on a tear, eventually winning 76-65.

Ole Roy knows a thing or two about coaching, it turns out.

~Lewis Woodard, WFNZ Sports Radio The Fan 610 AM

Follow on Twitter @LewWoodard

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