Blog Entry

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

Posted on: October 5, 2011 1:36 pm
By Jeff Goodman

Sean May doesn't even think there's a debate.

North Carolina's national title team in 2005 or this year's Tar Heels group?

Take your pick.

My colleague, Gary Parrish, wrote about that notion in a column recently -- and we continued the conversation on our weekly podcast.

"It's not even close," said May, reached Wednesday morning in Croatia. "Overall, talent-wise, I think we were better."

I'd tend to agree with May, although it's hardly a no-brainer.

For a full perspective, here's the comparison between the two teams:


SG - Jackie Manuel
PG - Raymond Felton
SF - Rashad McCants
PF - Jawad Williams
C - Sean May

F - Marvin Williams
F - David Noel
G - Melvin Scott
G - Quentin Thomas


SG - Dexter Strickland
PG - Kendall Marshall
SF - Harrison Barnes
PF - Tyler Zeller
C - John Henson

F - James McAdoo
G - P.J. Hairston
G - Reggie Bullock

Williams (2), Felton (5), May (13) and McCants (14) were all taken in the lottery after winning the national title in 2005. Noel was selected in the second round the following season. This year's Tar Heels team could well have four players taken in the lottery as well: Barnes, Henson, Zeller and McAdoo. Marshall could also find his way into the first round, according to multiple NBA executives.

Hairston and Bullock -- with their size and ability to shoot the ball -- both have a chance to play in the league as well.

"Obviously, Harrison is really good," May said. "John is still a little raw. He's a great player, though. We had more talent on our team. Our most talented player, Marvin, was coming off the bench."

"Rashad would give Harrison a run for his money," added May. "And while Kendall is great, you can't even bring that conversation to me between him and Ray. I played with Ray and he made me the player I was in college."

However, what may have separated that 2005 team was the "role guys." Jaward Williams was a veteran who came to understand his place on the team and Manuel was a terrific defender who could have cared less about scoring.

Can McAdoo accept his this season as a supporting guy, an energy guy coming off the bench. Will Strickland continue to develop into that Manuel-esque role and be able to run the team when Marshall is out of the lineup?

"They've got a lot of talent," May said. "But we had more."

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 4:32 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

Take a young, unproven team over a national champion? That seems silly, but of course, silly sells. Silly gets page visits and advertising revenue. Even so, this one is more silly than most. Sean May is, of course going to defend his team. But why not match up teams that have actually achieved? There is always going to be speculation and this years' speculation about unproven players is more public than most years for UNC. Just curious? When was the last time a preseason #1 ranked team actually won the championship?

It is ironic that the best NBA player from that 04-05 team might be Raymond Felton, the point guard that was the third point guard taken in the draft. Of course you remember Deron Williams and Chris Paul. They were #3 and #4. Felton has not achieved the level of success that those two attained but he remains a starter and a very difficult player to defend. Denver traded Carmelo for 1,000 players from New York including Felton and then decided to sit him and play Ty Lawson. Denver then traded him to Portland for the 25th pick in the 2011 draft (acquired for Rudy Fernandez)  and Andre Miller plus a 2nd round pick in a three team swap with Dallas. Is Felton better than Marshall? So far no comparison. Let the young guys achieve something and then compare them. This round goes to Sean May.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 10:27 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

The '05 team basically had May & Felton; McCants was a jerk
& did as much harm as good. The '11-'12 team I think is much
more talented & that talent is very deep.   

Since: Nov 27, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 8:51 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

me, personally, I would go with the 1982 team.  Jordan, Worthy and Perkins.  No bench, no shot clock or 3 point line, but would be fun to see

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 7:38 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

11' - 12' is gonna be UNC's year

Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: October 5, 2011 6:18 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

I would agree. Out of the three teams, '09 is the superior team. I think it all boils down to Ty Lawson. Kendall Marshall is just simply no match for him and Felton would have been embarresed. May would have been tough to cover due to his size, but Hansbrough would have been equally difficult to stop. '09 all the way.

Since: Jun 9, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 3:13 pm

Sean May takes his '05 team over '11-12 Heels

It's really hard to compare, but if you do I'd take the 09 team over the 05 team.  The 05 team was led by May in the postseason.  May was unstoppable on the block.  McCants and Felton were solid as well.  The 09 team had Hansbrough who socred at will on the block and Lawson who couldn't be matched by any other PG in the country.

The jury is still out on 2011/2012.  When it's all said and done they could very well take the cake, but improvement has to be made.

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