UNC hoops APR falls to sixth in league

North Carolina’s basketball program scored a 963 in the latest APR rankings, released Wednesday. Ranked sixth in the ACC, the number exceeded the national men's basketball average of 950, but it was the lowest score for Tar Heels basketball in the seven years of the of the multi-season number.

The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I team, and a score below 925 can lead to sanctions, including scholarship reductions and eventually postseason bans. This year's data calculated the rates from 2007-08 through 2010-11, and UNC coach Roy Williams said last week that the lower-than-usual score stemmed from the high number the transfers late in that time period.

After 2009-10, twin forwards David and Travis Wear left UNC for UCLA. Just before 2010-11, Williams dismissed senior wing Will Graves from the team. Then in February 2011, point guard Larry Drew II left the team in the middle of the season and eventually transferred to UCLA.

“We’re concerned about it, but everybody’s concerned about it. There’s no magic potion that you’re going to be able to put out there that’s going to have kids stay at the same school,’’ Williams said last week. “We’re going to have record numbers of transfers this year; I wouldn't be surprised if we had a record number of transfers next year.

"… The culture of college basketball is kids expect instant gratification and to play immediately, and if it doesn’t happen, either their or mom or dad or somebody is going to decide they want to go play somewhere else. It’s a shame, but that’s what we’re faced with. … Those numbers are not going to go down by any rules we make."

Williams noted that APR scores are not going to keep athletes from transferring: "Kids are going to leave because they, and their families, thought it would be better for them to be somewhere else. I cannot convince a kid to stay. In today’s world, sometimes you don’t even have the opportunity to talk to find out why they’re leaving."

Williams said the APR has some great points, “but it is severely lacking in some of the understanding of what’s going on in today’s world.”

In a prepared statement, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said the school -- which had 21 teams exceed the national average -- had room for improvement in some sports, including basketball.

“The APR for several men’s sports was lower in 2010-11, and those are areas where we will focus our efforts in the future,’’ Cunningham said in the statement. “The NCAA had honored men’s basketball in the six previous seasons for having one of the top APRs in the country, but the number for 2010-11 was lower because one player was dismissed from the team right before the season started and another left the squad in the middle of conference play.”

Nationally, a record 10 basketball teams will be banned from next year's NCAA tournament because of sub-par APR scores.

Here are the latest APR basketball scores in the ACC, from the 2007-08 to 2010-11 time period:

  • Duke 995

  • Miami 980

  • Virginia Tech 976

  • NC State 974

  • Maryland 970

  • North Carolina 963

  • Boston College 958

  • Clemson 953

  • Florida State 946

  • Virginia 939

  • Wake Forest 939

  • Georgia Tech 935

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.