The following is an opinion and not necessarily the opinion of anyone here at Rivalshoops.com/Insiders Report or at Alliance Sports.
You can hear the cries up here in New York when the North Carolina basketball team slips past a foe they normally hammer on an annual basis. The internet posts become emotionally tense on all of the North Carolina websites after each loss or close call. The sky is falling!
Well is it? Being an objective voice with no emotional attachment nor rooting interest in this North Carolina debate, I decided to extend some words of wisdom so many of my elders had correctly tossed at me when I was so young -- have patience.
While many of you were sitting comfortably in your homes with a cup of coffee or tea and watching some below silly network television show this past week, I noticed a bald-headed man racing around New York City near the 23rd street Piers. It was UNC assistant coach Fred Quartlebaum.
Quartlebaum is so New York. You have to love him. You can tell he has such a warm personality by just observing him work the parking attendant on a cold, dreary day. Quartlebaum was in town to watch such players like Luol Deng, Charlie Villanueva, Steve Hailey, and Nick Stafford. These are players in the class of 2003.
But what Quartlebaum and the UNC staff are telling Tar Heel fans right now is they won't quit -- quit working that is. It's easy to fall to pieces when the season doesn't go your way. It's easy to climb into a corner and become defensive. But it appears that the North Carolina coaches just continue to work -- you know, like the energizer bunny.
After Quartlebaum left basketball city on Friday, he hopped into his car and headed to Queens to watch Christ The King play Xavierian High School (Chris Taft). The next day, he heads to the airport. His next stop? Watching senior Damion Grant up in New Hampshire. It's not a pleasant trip for any coach this time of the year. Don't get me wrong. New Hampshire is a beautiful state. It just gets so cold and you always risk of getting snowed in up there.
Now, Quartlebaum's boss, Matt Doherty will take the trip tomorrow up to New Hampshire to watch Damion Grant play. The hard work continues.
There will be plenty of pain this season for Tar Heel fans. Every program has gone through a period like this. But help is on the way in Raymond Felton, Sean May, and Rashad McCants for next season. Next season? Don't want to hear about it? Okay.
But the sky isn't falling. It's a little gray right now for North Carolina fans. But the future is bright because the staff is one of the hardest working in the business. And didn't your mother ever tell you if you worked hard enough, you can achieve anything? It's only a matter of time when these lofty goals UNC has always set in its program is reached again.
**This column is dedicated to the many assistant coaches across the country who give up some family moments and pleasure for the tough roads they must journey in recruiting high school players. Rivalshoops.com appreciates each and every one of you. We will continue to spotlight the top staffs throughout the year.