Roy Williams

Assigned Reading: ‘[Roy Williams] is absolutely exhausted’

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North Carolina needed overtime to defeat in-state rival Davidson, 97-85, on Saturday evening. It was the Tar Heels first game since the debacle surround last season’s leading scorer, P.J. Hairston had come to an end.

The university decided to not send in a reinstatement request on Hairston’s behalf, as it had done for guard Leslie McDonald, who was reinstated on Wednesday afternoon before the Tar Heels hosted Texas. Last week answered questions that had been surrounding the program since the summer, when Hairston continued to make off the court news. Those issues extended into the first portion of the season, as he and McDonald sat for the first nine games of the season due to eligibility issues.

The last few months have taken its toll on the Hall of Fame coach, and as his son Scott told Jason King of Bleacher Report, Williams is “absolutely exhausted.”

From King:

During a 30-minute interview last week, Williams told Bleacher Report that the past six months has been the most difficult stretch of his Hall of Fame career.

“I never in my life thought I’d have these kind of things happen,” said Williams, 63. “It’s cast a light on our program that I don’t like, and it’s cast a light on me that I don’t like at all.”

During his 25 years as a head coach, Williams’ reputation has been defined by integrity and character. Rare are the times his players have encountered trouble with the law, and NCAA improprieties have almost been unheard of on a Williams-coached team.

Until now.

“We’ve always done things the right way,” Williams said. “We’ve always stayed away from negative things. Yet for the last six months, I feel like that’s all that I’ve dealt with.”

Scott told King that he and his mother have tried to get Williams to retire for five years, but to no avail. During the short holiday break, Williams is continuing to battle flu-like symptoms, though, when he returns to the floor on Friday, he hopes the sickness and stress will be behind him. Read the full article here

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.