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December 01, 2009

Delvon and Roy

The Chapel Hill News has a review today of the new book by and about North Carolina coach Roy Williams. It sounds like an interesting read. There's one passage of special interest for Michigan State.

    As detailed here by SI's Seth Davis (it's the sixth item), it appears Williams used a section on recruiting to take a shot at MSU sophomore forward Delvon Roe. Roe, of course, picked MSU over North Carolina after a lengthy recruiting battle in the spring of 2007. Williams tells the story of a recruit who "lied" to him by committing, then six weeks later, picking Michigan State. There's no one else it could be.
    Roe was showered and gone from the locker room before media arrived after both games of the Legends Classic, but I called his father, Delvon Blanton. He said he hasn't seen the book or heard about it -- but he's in Chapel Hill and plans to buy it now. You owe me, Roy.
    Anyway, Blanton said he and Roe visited North Carolina together once, then Roe went by himself on a visit for the UNC-Duke game. Blanton said Williams wanted Roe to commit before the game to get the team hyped. Roe called Blanton. Blanton strictly forbid him from committing.
    "I said, 'You're not down there to commit, you're there to watch a game,'" Blanton recalled. "I don't know if he was scared to say no because Roy was pressuring him or what. I don't know exactly what happened after that. He might have committed, Roy might be telling the truth. But he wasn't ready to commit and he shouldn't have been pressured like that.
    "Delvon still loved Michigan State and a few weeks later, when he was home and he could think about the decision without someone in his face, he realized that's where he wanted to go."
    Roe had a hard time summoning the courage to tell Williams, Blanton said. Blanton told him he had to make the call. He did, and Blanton said Williams started yelling on the other end.
    "I don't know exactly the words he was saying, but he was upset," Blanton said of Williams. "He started going off on Delvon. I mean, Delvon's an 11th-grader, he's shook up. So I grabbed the phone and said, 'Let me tell you something, you never disrespect my son like that.'"
    That's how it ended. Before last year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge game in Detroit, Williams and Roe chatted amiably for a few minutes and things were fine. Blanton said he sees Williams at AAU events from time to time and they are friendly. But this whole thing obviously bothered Williams enough to make his book.
    It seems that in recruiting, kids change their mind all the time. It's not often, though, that you see coaches calling them out publicly for it. Especially coaches who can go snag an Ed Davis five minutes later and basically get 99 percent of the players they want.
    On to the game itself. Even without the Roe thing, incentive abounds for MSU. You're fearless (clueless?) predictor likes the Heels in a close one. But it is interesting, isn't it, that this is the 10-year anniversary of the "Mo Pete" game in Chapel Hill? MSU needs similar perimeter heroics tonight to offset UNC's interior advantage. Also, this is a huge week for the Big Ten after last week's series of gaffes.
    One more link today, an update on the Rather situation. Dunnings received new info from MSU police on Monday and now expects to be involved. That was no sure thing as of Sunday evening. He isn't saying anything else yet, and it looks like this investigation will go into next week at the least.
    So in the meantime, gear up for what should be a great game tonight at the Dean Dome. I have a feeling this one will be DVR-worthy.

   

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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