CHAPEL HILL — The constant recruiting cycle for college basketball coaches has struck in a strange place for North Carolina's Roy Williams.

"We're still recruiting for this next season," he said Tuesday.

It's the ongoing quest to keep the roster stocked amid roster upheaval that seems to be spreading across the sport.

It becomes more evident for the Tar Heels with this week's NBA Draft. There could be several players selected off this past season's team, with Nassir Little, Coby White and Cameron Johnson potential first-round choices and Luke Maye and Kenny Williams among the other hopefuls.

So that means Coach Williams has been trying to put together the right combinations for the upcoming season. Since March, two graduate transfers have joined the program.

For Williams, this means adjustments, not to mention an additional deviation from his comfort zone.

"In a perfect world, which it's not, we'd have four or five freshmen every year," Williams said.

Instead, there are regular doses of change.

"There's what, 48 million kids in the transfer portal?" he said on the topic.

Williams had quite a bit to say about several other subjects:

• North Carolina has added graduate transfers Christian Keeling (from Charleston Southern) and Justin Pierce (from William & Mary) for next season's team.

It's a path seldom taken by Williams. But Johnson, who joined the team via that route from Pittsburgh, finished his college career in March with the Tar Heels.

"I had such a great experience with Cam, why wouldn't you want to try that again?" Williams said.

• White's entry into the NBA Draft after his freshman season made sense even for a point guard who wasn't on some mock drafts at the beginning of the season.

Williams said White rose into a position where he could be slotted as a lottery pick this week.

"He was ready for it," Williams said. "Could he become more ready if he stayed? Yeah. But why?"

• Williams said he opposed the new rules this year that allowed players to make arrangements with agents for the pre-draft process and then retain their college eligibility if they choose.

He said that the federal case that has involved four assistant coaches in court was largely connected to wayward agents. So he said the NCAA granting more access to agents is puzzling.

"I'm not in favor of any of that kind of crap," he said. "... I can't figure that one out."

• North Carolina released its non-conference schedule last week, with few surprises given the increase to a 20-game Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season schedule, an ACC / Big Ten Challenge matchup with Ohio State, a CBS Sports Classic date with UCLA and several games already set as part of previous contracts (Elon, Gonzaga, Wofford, UNC Wilmington) plus the participation in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Williams said in coming seasons he expects one or none home-and-home non-league series, largely based on the increased ACC commitments.

"I think those kind of series are going to slip, slide their way out of college basketball," he said.

• On Gary Woodland winning the U.S. Open. He's a former Kansas golfer.

Williams was the Kansas basketball coach when Woodland was in high school. Woodland wanted to play college basketball, but wasn't good enough for Kansas' team. He went to Washburn and played an exhibition game at Kansas.

By the next season, he transferred to Kansas and joined the golf team (and Williams had departed for the North Carolina job).

Still, of course, Williams has met Woodland and has been rooting for him.

"I was really nervous to watch (on Sunday)," Williams said.

• Earlier this month, Williams was the spokesman for a Coaches vs. Cancer golf tournament in Pinehurst. He said $1.5 million was raised.

(c)2019 Times-News (Burlington, N.C.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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