CHAPEL HILL Rarely has a basketball coach seemed so unhappy about a successful gambit than Roy Williams and his small starting lineup.
When he first made the change, in the close-fought loss at Duke, he spent most of his time lambasting critics who had previously encouraged him to make a change without knowing “the dickens” about his team. Even now, two wins later, he admits he’s still out of his coaching comfort zone.
Yet there’s no denying since inserting P.J. Hairston into the North Carolina lineup before the Duke game and going with what is essentially a four-guard offense and against Williams’ usual practice, the Tar Heels have played some of their best basketball of the season, and Williams said he’s sticking with it against N.C. State on Saturday.
“I’d like to get the basketball inside and score inside more and have better balance, but the fact of the matter is we don’t have that kind of player now,” Williams said Friday. “Whether I’m comfortable or not, you’ve got to put guys out there that give you the best chance to win.”