If you watched the game tonight, then you already know what happened. It’s the elephant in the room, so I’m going to address it. If we’re going to keep blowing teams out, we’re going to need our bench to step up. No, not our 6th man. No, not our 7th. I’m talking about the last squad that hit the floor tonight. The walk-ons. Here’s the deal. I know these guys personally. I talk to some of them frequently. One of them—Kanler Coker—lives next door to me, in a room that I used to live in. This is not me talking behind his back. I’ll talk to him tonight after this comes out. I’ll read him these very words. Honestly, this is really just more of just an outline for our discussion later. And just like I will tell him then: We’ve got to do better, and we’ve got to do it fast.
Here’s my real problem. The guys who put on the subpar performance at the end of the game tonight don’t suck. If they sucked, I would leave it alone and be happy we won by 20. But they don’t. To the contrary. When Kanler and I hooped over the summer he only lost to me by a few points. Anyone who has seen what I’m capable of from beyond the arc knows that this by itself proves Kanler as more than a capable athlete. I’m a bad bad man with a basketball in my hands and backboard touching my head.
But back to Kanler. Guy’s a certified baller. I know him through football because he was quarterback with me when I played. He was Coach Fedora’s first ever quarterback recruit at UNC. The only reason he’s not on scholarship in basketball is some NCAA stuff that doesn’t let you do both sports. Point being he’s a freak athlete. Now, tonight Kanler wasn’t guilty of taking any of shots you saw…
However, he was on the court and thereby I hold him guilty by association as well as personally accountable and responsible for everything bad that happened. I know he had a rebound, but I’m not focusing on the positives here. What I really need is for a guy like Kanler Coker to step up and be the kind of fearless leader that those other guys need. If we don’t call for it publicly then all we’re doing is saying that we don’t expect better, and that’s just not true. This is Carolina Basketball. I not only expect better, I expect best. And I need Kanler to step up because now that I have exposed our friendship, I could somehow become entangled in some sort of weird third-party guilty by association rule.
So this is what I want to tell the guys tomorrow via Kanler. Or, if they read this first then they will get it directly. I know y’all aren’t warmed up at the end of the game if you haven’t gotten to play a ton. But as my old quarterback coach used to tell me when I was gracing the sidelines, “It’s not my job to get you loose.” Here’s a pro tip. The get-up-off-your-feet double arm wave to the fans goes a long ways in the world of shoulder and abdomen circulation. Never feel bad about doing what you gotta do to get warm. Take it from a vet. Lastly and most importantly, if you don’t want to make the shot, pass the ball. It’s as simple as that. Everyone knows that the only thing that goes into wetting rogue jumpers is want-to. If you don’t have want-to, we don’t want you. That’s a saying I just made up. Alright. This has went on a little long because I was trying to figure out another way to incorporate how good I am at basketball but I’m drawing a blank. I promise I’m real though.