Friday, June 13, 2014
Top 50 coaches: No. 16 Roy Williams
By Eamonn Brennan
Editor's note: Over the next five weeks, we will reveal the top 50 coaches in college basketball as decided by our ESPN Forecast panel. Today we unveil No. 16: North Carolina's Roy Williams. On Monday, we release No. 15.
Exactly seven days after one of his former national title-winning stars accused him of knowing about soft academic policies among athletes at the University of North Carolina, UNC head coach Roy Williams is No. 16 on our list. This is slightly awkward.
It is difficult to look at Roy Williams' current coaching performance and not acknowledge the academic imbroglio Rashad McCants reignited -- and, after loud and widespread denunciation by Williams and his former teammates, reiterated -- last week. Likewise, it is worth noting the timing of the ESPN Forecast panel's voting. We finalized the list almost two weeks ago. Votes were tallied well before the McCants mess, in other words ... but they were also tallied after more than two years of academic self-investigation and the P.J. Hairston mess of a summer ago. None of it shines a particularly positive light on the job Williams has done off the court.
Because on the court, Williams has been excellent, and the 2013-14 team was some of his finest pure coaching work in years.