It wasn’t enough for Roy Williams to call out Michigan State sophomore Delvon Roe in his recently-published book. Nope, he decided to again go after Roe, a highly-recruited forward who most believed would choose UNC over MSU coming out of high school.
He didn’t, and Williams still feels slighted.
Williams, after indirectly criticizing Roe’s recruitment to MSU in an autobiography released this year, took a more direct tack Tuesday.
“Let’s be honest, he said he was coming (to North Carolina),” Williams said of Roe. “I looked everyday in practice and I didn’t see him there.”
Tom Izzo fired back in a rare bit of candor from a major college coach:
“I was very proud of how he handled it, because I didn’t appreciate it,” Izzo said of Roe. “I wasn’t going to let that be a big thing in the game. But of all the kids in the world that we’re going to pick on, they picked the wrong kid. I can give him a handful that he can pick on who maybe wouldn’t be as honest and up front about things, but him and his family? No, he picked the wrong kid.
“The other thing I thought was wrong was the insinuation like, almost, that Michigan State did something wrong to get him. So he picked the wrong kid, he picked the wrong family and he picked the wrong program. And there’ll be a time. There’ll be a time.”
Later this week, Williams said his comments were misinterpreted by a reporter:
Williams said his issue was with the reporter who asked the question about Roe at the postgame press conference Tuesday, saying the reporter “had his own story made up before I said anything.”
“I have tremendous amount of respect for Tom Izzo and I said ‘This is a great kid.’ And I said ‘Don’t try to make something out of something that is not there,’” Williams said. “And one person tried to make something out of something that is not there. And the bottom line is that’s not right.”
What isn’t up for debate was that it was somewhat petty for Williams to write about Roe, even indirectly, in his book. That shows a lack of respect for Coach Izzo and a lot of faith in the emotions of a teenager (at the time).