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UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Posted on: May 31, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 2:10 pm
 



Posted by Matt Norlander


The Wear twins and Larry Drew II aren't shying away from discussing their troubles and time in Chapel Hill. Since they believe their worst college days are behind them, UCLA's transfer triumvirate by way of North Carolina spoke to the Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch recently. They reflected on their time as Tar Heels under Roy Williams, a time, they say, that wasn't that great.

The UNC Way, the atmosphere around the campus and the team and the program -- it wasn't what they were led to believe. Things never got going in the good for these California natives who trekked East to play for one of the most storied programs in the sport. (Though, on the verge of a 2011 Final Four, I certainly saw a group that was relaxed and as light-hearted as any I've covered.) All three players -- David and Travis Wear (above, left) and Drew (right) -- are singing a similar tune.
"The energy just wasn't there as in the years prior, it seemed like," said Travis Wear, a 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 3.5 points in 10.1 minutes a game. "It just wasn't that fun of a year."

The Wears also endured what David described as the "shock" of a different culture in Chapel Hill, and they missed being around family and friends who had supported them since childhood. They couldn't always count on encouragement from Tar Heels fans, especially when the team struggled.

"When you're winning, everything's good. When you're losing, it's opposite," Drew said. "Going to a school like that, I was aware of the potential for how things could be. I wasn't aware to the extent."
Lack of fan support and a disconnect with the coaching staff. That, more than playing time, seems to be the common thread with these three players who will unite in 2012 with the Bruins. (The Wears will play this upcoming season; Drew has to wait a full year before playing his final season in 2012-13.)

Drew's dad, Larry Drew, the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, is quoted in the story saying he wasn't informed of lineup changes, and the coaching by Williams was "unsalvageable." North Carolina hasn't suffered with these players leaving, so on that level, this isn't such a sad story. Williams prides himself on keeping players over the majority of his career, so there's a bit of an ego hit there, I'm sure. But transfers at high-major programs can be inevitable when you pack too many top-50 recruits (or recruits who think they're of that caliber) in a locker room.

Maybe that's why John Calipari's able to roll in elite player after elite player: He gets them in, shows them off, them ships them out to the NBA, making room for the next batch.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:45 pm
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Uh, what PR problems does North Carolina have? Every school has bad press. Every one of them. Typical NC State spin - making more of something than it is. Yes, North Carolina football is under investigation by the NCAA - an investigation with which the UNC administration has been fully cooperative and an active participant.
NC State spin?  Thank you so much for THAT.  Truly the most humorous thing I've read in months.  Bad press?  Bad press is when your QB gets caught cheating on an exam or your DL gets arrested for smacking his girlfriend.  Widespread and systematic cheating; the steering of players to certain agents by runners with unobstructed access to the program; and finally, the coup de gras, actually having an agent/runner employed and on your coaching staff.

This isn't bad press.  This is a complete clusterf**k and yes....that invariably results in bad PR.  Y'all better hope that Elaine Marshall and the state revenue offices (not to mention the IRS) don't decide to trace where the money coming from Wichard and going to Blake went AFTER it left Blake's hands.  My guess is that not all of it went to pay Blake's kid's tuition, as has been claimed thus far.

In all seriousness, I'm not trying to spin anything, nor am I trying to pick a fight.  Believe it or not, as an NCSU fan I really do not want to see Carolina's football program get hammered with sanctions.  It's bad for the area (ie big four) and the conference as a whole.

And yes, every school does have bad press from time to time.  But if you truly believe that the UNC admin has been fully cooperative, I've got a bridge to sell you.

I do have to agree that the admin has been an active participant, however.  They've actively obstructed both the investigation (AND the ability of the press to report on it) at every turn and in every way imaginable.

I bet you believe that Butch really didn't know anything about anything too, huh?  Problem there is that if he truly didn't know any of this was happening on his watch, that's pretty much the definition of LOIC.  But I guess you can't lose what you never had (I'm saying Butch never had it, not UNC as a whole).



Since: Jun 1, 2011
Posted on: June 1, 2011 4:05 pm
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

This sounds like sour grapes to me. If it was such a bad environment at Chapel Hill, would they have all of their NBA calibre players coming back for another year? Harrison Barnes, Travis Zeller, and John Henson could have bolted, but they stuck around to win UNC another championship. I think that these are the kinds of student-athletes that the program would rather have around. Not a whiny PG who gets discouraged at the first sign of adversity in his basket ball career and has his daddy phone and say that is leavingthe program. Like I said sour grapes.


Bravesman
Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 2:15 pm
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Y'all have enough PR problems right now without Roy having a(nother) psychotic episode and bringing even more negative press.

Uh, what PR problems does North Carolina have? Every school has bad press. Every one of them. Typical NC State spin - making more of something than it is. Yes, North Carolina football is under investigation by the NCAA - an investigation with which the UNC administration has been fully cooperative and an active participant. Additionally, I guarantee you are one of the very few people who would cite Roy's 'instability' in defense of the claim that you wouldn't want him leading your basketball program. Most schools, administrations, and fans would love the opportunity to have Williams at the helm of their respective institutions. I know State fans desperately need to believe UNC is on the brink but the reality is it isn't, it'll accept any punishment handed down, and it'll move forward as one of the best academic and athletic institutions in the country.



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 2:05 pm
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

As a North Carolina fan, I can easily accept that UNC doesn't do everything perfectly and Chapel Hill is not the place for everyone. That's life. But I do take issue with the broad generalization "UNC ain't all it's cracked up to be" based on the grumblings of three players who entered and exited UNC in a short span of time. 

Every student-athlete has the right to be where they are happy and if UNC didn't provide what these guys were looking for - cool, so be it. But despite the views of these three players, there are many, many North Carolina players over generations who praise the Carolina Way and its familial, closeknit environment. These are three kids who relied on their parents to make last-minute (or mid-season) phone calls to their coach. So, before we completely question the North Carolina Experience, we should take a look at those complaining, too. 



Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:58 am
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Have fun Ben Howland - make sure you bring enough diapers to practice.  Also, have fun with Larry Drew's mom - she's a lot of fun.  Maybe you can bring Larry Drew Sr. in for a coach's talk on how to let your 20 year old son have their daddy call up the coach to tell them they are quitting mid-season. Classy!



Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:08 am
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

"When you're winning, everything's good. When you're losing, it's opposite," Drew said. "Going to a school like that, I was aware of the potential for how things could be. I wasn't aware to the extent."

Doesn't he think that's true for any major program? Hell, there were people calling for Roy's head, too! Of course that was before he made the change in his starting point guard. Once that change was made, Carolina was once again considered as a contender for the NCAA championship. Maybe these three should invest in a mirror.



Since: Aug 24, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:13 am
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Oh my what will North Carolina Basketball do without them. To lose 3 young men of this calibar, I just don't know how the program will bounce back. I guess we will have to wait and see and hopefully UNC won't completely go to shambles in their absence.



Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:39 am
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Truly have no idea what you are talking about.



Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:08 am
 

UCLA transfer trio laments their time at UNC

Well, it didn't take long for Larry to manifest his ill-content in Cali.  Bruin fans will soon learn where the real problem lies.


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