North Carolina coach Roy Williams reiterated on his Monday night radio show that he planned to start meeting individually with his players this week -- including those who might be pondering an early jump to the NBA.
“I’ll bring those guys in and just see what they’re thinking, and I’ll start my calls around to the NBA teams to get as much information as I can, and try to at least get the process started this week,” Williams said.
Junior John Henson, sophomores Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, and freshman James Michael McAdoo are all considered first-round draft picks. Underclassmen have until April 10 to decide this season, as per NCAA rules.
“I would think some decisions would come quicker than others,’’ Williams said. “… It all depends on what those kids say to me, and what their parents feel, and going from there.
“But I don’t think it’ll be long and drawn out or anything, because it’s only two or three weeks before they have to make up their mind anyway."
Some other notes from Williams’ final radio show of the season:
Williams called freshman Stilman White’s 13-assist, zero-turnover performance during two NCAA games in place of the injured Marshall “one of the great stories in North Carolina basketball. What that kid did, I hope he’ll remember the rest of his life.” White is still planning to go on his two-year Mormon mission after this semester, Williams said.
Henson, who missed three games with a sprained left wrist before returning for UNC’s final three NCAA games, was only about 60 percent of what he was before he got hurt, Williams said. The forward was also hobbled by a sprained ankle during Sunday’s loss to Kansas. … Shooting guard Reggie Bullock was also at less than 100 percent Sunday after hyperextending his left knee in Friday’s win over Ohio. Bullock ended up wearing a sleeve on his knee.
The Tar Heels only have a couple of slots open on next year’s schedule, which includes a trip to the Maui Invitational, and games at Texas and Long Beach State.
Williams was talking about his four-man incoming freshman class when he told a funny story about forward Joel James: “First time I saw him … I’m sitting under the basket, and the ref calls a foul. And he looks at me -- and we hadn’t even started recruiting him yet --and he says, ‘Coach, I didn’t touch him; I swear I didn’t.” And I said, ‘Big fella, I agree. Ref, you screwed that one up.’ I made a friend that day, and we decided to recruit him. [He was] 310, now he’s down to 260, and has a chance to be one of those great success stories.”
All four of those incoming freshmen will arrive at UNC for the second session of summer school.
As a member of the NABC, Williams does plan to attend the Final Four in New Orleans. But it’s not a lot of fun, he said, when his team is not there with him. “When will I be able to put this game behind me?” he said of the loss to Kansas. “October 15 or something like that. I’ve got a memory like an elephant; it lasts a long time.”
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.