So, we heard my sources tell me that it was a collaborative effort, a collaborative decision between the coaching staff and the players at North Carolina to not play in the NIT. But I have read now in multiple places that it was not, that it was simply the decision of Hubert Davis, even though I've been told by people I trust totally that it was collaborative.
I don't know. I'm not sure it matters other than there is conflicting, there are conflicting thoughts about it. Ross Martin inside Carolina joins us on the Adam Gold show. I don't know who to believe, but I will believe you if you tell me. What's going on there?
Hey Adam, yeah, I think you have it right. I mean, I think it was a collaborative decision. I actually spoke to Bubba Cunningham on Monday a little bit. I think all these decisions, big decisions like this are made between the coaching staff, administration, but the players did have a vote. I think a lot is being made of that vote because it's kind of like you let the players decide what they want, but apparently the players voted and many voted to play. And I think the majority voted not to play, but you know, this is a lot of sourced Intel, but definitely some players voted to play. But ultimately decision was that UNC was going to refuse an IT bid.
And here we are, he's not playing more games. They're done and whatever it is. I know there are a lot of people who go, let's just end this season. I am not of that mind. I am not emotionally invested in it. It's easy for me to say that.
And I fully, fully understand that. I know there are fans who wanted this to be over. It's clear that there are players in that locker room who also wanted it to be over. I'm reading this in USA Today today and Puff Johnson said that he had no idea that there was a player vote. His dad said it shouldn't. I mean, he's one of the players, although there were some issues with Puff this year, if I'm not mistaken. So maybe they voted without him.
I'm not sure. But his dad and remember Cam Johnson, his brother was a great player at UNC. His dad, Gilbert, said it shouldn't have been a player vote. It should have been up to the coach. And he said they should have played. And I think Puff wanted to play.
So these things don't reflect well on the entire situation, no? Yeah, I mean, the parents coming out, especially Mr. Johnson, they're kind of coming out and you know, speaking his mind, which he has the right to do, is a little concerning about the dynamics. You know how parents are. I think the Johnson you read that had no knowledge of vote was his dad.
His dad had no knowledge of a vote. I'm sure Puff did. I'm kind of read the article here. Yes, that's right. You're right. It is about Gilbert Johnson, not Puff Johnson. My fault.
Yeah, I mean, it's a bizarre scene. I mean, my opinion, I see both sides. And we've talked about this. We have podcasts almost every day at Inside Carolina. We talked about this last night.
And a bunch of guys talked about this Sunday night on kind of our breaking podcast. I see both sides. I see the advantage of getting your young players to play. But would he would play his young players? He would see was one of the use the bench one of the fewest of any team in the country. If they would play in IT. Are we going to see Dontre Stiles, Demarco Dunn, Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington and Tyler Nichol? Who knows it might have been the same group, the same group of some of the most veteran players in college basketball yet to fifth year seniors. You had a senior in Baycott, and you had Caleb Love and RG Davis who have played who've been starters for three years. Like do they need to play in the IT?
Do they need the experience? The season was over. The goal was to get back to the final four.
They fell far short of that. So I don't know if there was any advantage in playing in the IT unless you're going to play young players. And now Tyler Nichol is already in the transfer portal. We're waiting to hear more. There's a couple other guys that could enter. So the whole team could kind of be flipped around by the time we're talking in a week or two now. And UNC wanted to get ahead of the transfer portal, want to start getting the names, figure it out who they need, want to figure out what their roster was.
And that was kind of the that's kind of the message by Hubert Davis and crew. Like let's figure out what we need for next season. Let's get our roster set. Let's move forward and focus on next year.
That's kind of what they did. Yeah, I think we have to probably address and this is not you and I, but the sport needs to address the timeline here. Probably shouldn't have an active free agency period while the seasons are still going on, whether it's because if you're in the NIT, you're occupied there.
If you're in the NCAA tournament, you're occupied there. Meanwhile, was it JJ Starling went from Notre Dame to Syracuse before the ink is dry anywhere. You mentioned Tyler Nichol. I read that he was already in the portal. Justin McCoy already in the portal. I'm reading now that Dontress Styles is thinking about entering the transfer portal.
Again, about the how the calendar impacts this. But if they if Hubert says, look, we're playing in the NIT because this is who we are. We play.
We have Juwan Howard, the head coach at Michigan. I don't know if you heard those comments after their win last night. Like it's a tournament. It's a credible tournament. We're going to play because this is what we do.
We want to respect this this event as well. And and so they put their team out there. They were supposed to be much better than they turned out to be different situations.
I'm not even arguing that it's identical. But if North Carolina puts a team on the floor and they say who wants to come? So if they got wants to beg off, he can beg off. We can pretend it's just about the ankle and let those guys make their decision.
But then you give these other guys a chance to actually play because as you pointed out, they needed to play. Yeah, I mean, fans are not happy with a lot of fans. Maybe the most vocal fans are unhappy with the fact that UNC turned down the NIT. It's kind of given up. He's kind of quitting. It's thrown in the towel. Hubert Davis said when he was hired that UNC would show up. Right. This is not showing up.
This is you're invited. Like you said, it's an IT. Look, it's not really a tournament, but it is kind of the secondary tournament. There's a lot of good teams playing there. Not everybody makes the tournament every year. So there is this kind of situation where you're like, look, you're playing the game. Go out and compete.
Get some more experience. Go win an IT championship and build towards next year. Roy Williams did that in 0910 with the team. But they had young players. They had John Henson was a freshman. Dexter Strickland was a freshman. Todd Zeller was a sophomore. So that was a young team. Davis was on that team, too, I think. Yeah, that was Davis' last year, though. He was a sophomore. Seniors on that team were Marcus Ginyard and Deion Thompson.
But, yeah, I mean, like I said, I see both sides. There is a little bit of arrogance, kind of UNC elitism in not playing, saying maybe we're too good for this tournament. That's one way that I think a lot of opposing fans, NC State fans, people on Twitter are going to say about Carolina. I'm hearing it from my NC State buddies. UNC is getting dragged on social media.
But look, if UNC went out there and lost in the first or second round, you get dragged that way, too. There's a lot of a lose-lose situation here. But, I mean, we're moving on. We're not writing much about IT anymore and those decisions.
And we're looking to see the transfer portal and who's leaving, who's staying, because that's kind of what's real right now. Two more things for Ross Martin from Inside Carolina. Appreciate your time at Ross Martin underscore. I see the scoop pod and all the other pods that they've got at Inside Carolina. When you spoke to Bubba Cunningham, did he offer an opinion as to whether or not he thought they should have played or not?
A little off record situation here, but I think the company line over there is kind of what I said. Like, this is a veteran group. Like, what was the benefit for this veteran team that was, I mean, everything was built towards a Final Four run.
You know, how much could they really gain? Yeah, I'm going to the NCAA tournament or going to the NIT tournament. Those players, nothing. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Like, look, I don't think I don't think Baycott wanted to play with it based on what he said after the loss to Virginia and AC tournament. Caleb Love said he did want to play.
But how much how much would they have been kind of motivated to play and win? Right. You know, I totally understand. Very interesting. It's good sports radio talk. I'll tell you that. Oh, it is tremendous. It got it.
It certainly gave me a lot of different angles to this story. And then finally, how many of the we know Leaky Black is gone. Armando can come back. Caleb and RJ can both come back.
How many of those three players are going to come back? We pretty much think it is pretty public. We think Caleb Love's going to move on, whether that's transfer portal.
I'm not I'm not trying to break news here. I think that's a general sentiment. I'm not I'm not trying to give away any paywall information, but that's a general sentiment about Caleb Love that he'll either look to transfer or go the pro route in some in some fashion. And I think RJ Davis, I think he's going to come back.
You know, that's kind of realistic. You know, he's a junior. I don't think the NBA is the option right now. And, you know, I think he loves Carolina has been a good player for UNC.
And I think they caught I mean, that's kind of the question mark. I think at this point there's a lean towards him coming back. I think mid-season he would have would have liked to go pro or check something else out. But look, he's making a lot of money in IL. He's making more money in IL than he can in the G League. G League salaries are what, like 30, 40, 50 K?
It's not a lot. He's making he's making close to a million in IL in like legitimate deals with legitimate companies, including like a horse breeding company, which I think is hilarious. But he's got row back. He's got local restaurants. He's got Crocs. I mean, he's got to deal with Crocs.
It's crazy. So I think you could there's a good expectation that the big guy come back and look, you have RJ and Baycott. And then, you know, some other guys come back, you bring in some freshmen, you add three or four transfers.
You know, UNC is in a decent spot. They need to add shooters, perimeter scores, athletes. That's what they need. They need perimeter shooters.
So that's what they target is in the transfer portal. Ross Martin, I did not realize he was a horse breeding deal. That's phenomenal. That's phenomenal.
I'm never going to write. Yeah, I wrote an article about it. I talked to the guy. He's like a UNC fan.
And he just signed it. And I dealt with some and I'll deal with a horse breeding company. I didn't get the connection. Next time. Next time I talk about Armando Baycott being a stud down low.
Just I'll just dot, dot, dot Ross Martin from Inside Carolina at Ross Martin underscore. I see. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Appreciate it. You got it. Holy cow. That's funny.
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