- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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North Carolina coach Roy Williams said during his radio show Monday night that he will be contacting NBA personnel to gather information about the pro prospects of his players, as usual. But at this point, he’s not sure whether any Tar Heels will be leaving early for the NBA.
“We’ll look into it and see,’’ he said. “I don’t feel the sense of urgency right now with it that as I have in years' past. We were an 8-seed [in the NCAA tournament]. We finished third in the league. We had 11 losses. The NBA usually likes to find those guys that come off teams that won 30 games and go to the Final Four. And our guys understand that. That’s not saying anything negative.
“But with P.J. [Hairston] and Reggie [Bullock] and James [McAdoo], those three for example, they’re going to be NBA players; there’s no doubt in my mind. Is it going to be next year? I think that is a big question. And I think each one of those kids can gain a great deal from coming back and improve their game.
“John Henson’s dad said it better than anybody: It’s not how quickly you get to the NBA, it’s how ready you are to play when you get there. And I think all three of those kids, I’ll have discussions with them and I’ll have discussions with the NBA people about them, but I don’t think there’s any cut-and-dried guy that’s going to be leaving for sure.”
None of the Tar Heels’ three leading scorers currently are currently listed in the top 20 of ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford’s draft prospects. McAdoo, a sophomore, was considered a lottery pick last season, but opted to return.
The Tar Heels, which lost in the NCAA Round of 32 to Kansas on Sunday, lose only one scholarship senior, starting shooting guard Dexter Strickland. Williams noted that the Tar Heels posted 106 victories during Strickland’s tenure.
“Dexter had a fine, fine career, and he’s a youngster that has a chance to continue playing basketball,’’ Williams said. “It might have to be one of those routes where he goes to Europe or somewhere like that. But if he works at it and gets lucky and stays lucky, he has a chance.”