With the announcement that the Carolina threesome of Tywon Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green are all returning to Chapel Hill next season, we can already hear the incoherent rantings of one Richard Vitale bouncing around in our heads.
Vitale Already Wearing His Favorite Color for 08-09
- Let me tell you something… I wasn’t supposed to say this, but let me tell you a little secret, Mike… Roy Williams told me this morning that he thinks this North Carolina team could be his best team yet! He thinks that their inside-outside play with Lawson and Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington on the wing, super sixth man Danny Green off the bench and the arrival of diaper dandies Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller, this team could be SPECIAL. Ohhh… what a wealth of talent Roy Williams has at his disposal!
- In all my years of doing games for ESPN, I have never seen as much talent on one team as I see out here right now! This North Carolina team could be one of the best teams EVER, Mike. EVER. And we know what kind of talent has walked around this campus before us – the Jordans, the Vince Carters, the James Worthys… ohhhhhhhhhhhh…
- Let me tell you something Dan… This North Carolina team has a chance… now, I’m only saying a chance, but Roy Williams’ team has a shot to go undefeated and become the first team since The General did it at Indiana back in 1976 to cut the nets down without a blemish on their record. This team is that good!
- Ohhhhh… all the Tylers! Hansbrough, Lawson and Zeller – the three Ts on their way to another ACC championship and the Final Four, baby!!!
- Look at this place; LOOK at this place! The Carolina fans are going wacky cheering for their Tar Heels, the #1 team in America, baby! They love their Tar Heels!!!
Prepare yourselves. ESPN will put UNC on the tube for approximately 98% of their games next year, and Dickie V. will call approximately 98% of those. (ed. note – he will likely miss the annual clash between UNC and Pembroke St.) We must ready ourselves for the hyperbole and the incessant gushing, because there is nobody on the 2008-09 horizon who can pretend to match up with the Heels on paper.
Looking at the final AP Top 25 poll (pre-NCAA Tourney), who else could rise up to challenge the Heels next year? The two finalists, Memphis (CDR and Rose) and Kansas (Arthur, Chalmers, Rush), have completely imploded with defections. Ben Howland’s UCLA squad has a sick incoming class, but the losses of Russell Westbrook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and especially Kevin Love will be difficult to replace (even with Darren Collison returning). Tennessee, Louisville, UConn, Davidson, Purdue and Gonzaga should all be pretty good, but none of them should even be mentioned in the same breath with Carolina in returning talent and experience. UNC should be the #1 team in everyone’s preseason poll, and probably the unanimous choice in the AP poll. We’re not 100% sure of this, but we don’t think a team has ever been a unanimous preseason #1 in the history of the AP poll (in 2003-04, UConn got all but three #1 votes, and the 1993-94 UNC squad got all but four). That should change next season unless Hansbrough and company break their necks in one of those frat house pool dives they enjoy.