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Friday, February 17, 2012
Williams: Clemson streak no factor

By Robbi Pickeral

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he doesn’t think about Clemson’s 0-for-forever streak in Chapel Hill, doesn’t talk about it, and knows it won't be a factor when the Tigers play the seventh-ranked Tar Heels at the Smith Center on Saturday.

Why?

“Because they don’t even know who the crap Tree Rollins is,” Williams said of his players Friday.”I like Tree, I enjoyed seeing him on the road later on, in the pros and everything else. [The players] now -- they used to think Michael Jordan invented the game. Now Michael’s getting so old they’ve got to find somebody else.”

Williams' point is this: Clemson’s 0-for-55 streak in Chapel Hill -- the longest in a series in NCAA history -- dates back to 1926, well before (and after) Rollins played for the Tigers in the mid-1970s. Few, if any, current Tar Heels know of Rollins (star forward Harrison Barnes confirmed that he didn’t), so such history doesn’t matter as much as the here and now.

“It doesn’t mean a whole lot to us,’’ Barnes said. “We were on a 31-game winning streak [at home] before Duke came in, and we thought we’d keep that going, too. Streaks are meant to be broken, and we need to go out there and play as hard as we can.”

Indeed, Clemson is coming off an upset win over Virginia, and brings both a strong defense (which allows only 59.8 points per game) and point guard Andre Young (who is second only to UNC's Kendall Marshall in assist-to-turnover ratio in the ACC, at 2.96-to-1) to the Smith Center.

As for the streak: “It has nothing to do with this game. It has absolutely nothing to do [with it],’’ Williams said. “So I don’t talk about it … I don’t think it’s a factor, I think it’s just something for you guys to write about. When I was at Kansas, we won 15 games in a row at Kansas State. Winning that first one didn’t win the last one. Sometimes things just happen like that.”