Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wears leaving for UCLA a reminder of risk

Roy Williams had success recruiting in California as the head coach at Kansas, and he has continued to mine that state since coming to North Carolina. In fact, Williams had four Californians on his roster last season.

But the transfer of the Wear twins is a reminder that bringing kids from across the country can be risky, especially in an era where players are less loyal than before. The Wears are transferring to UCLA, they announced Tuesday, to be back in their home state. Williams also had another Californian return home when Alex Stepheson left for Southern Cal after the 2008 season.

Stepheson and the Wears weren’t great players at UNC, but the moves are a reminder that it can be tough for kids to adjust to being 2,500 miles from home. And Carolina has had to scramble for bodies with the Wears leaving, a move Williams said caught him totally off-guard.

UNC had rarely signed Californians before Williams arrived, with center Scott Williams of Hacienda Heights being one of the few exceptions.

Duke, too, had Los Angeles product Jamal Boykin depart for California.

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