(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Kendall Marshall tweeted what we all thought when we heard Yahoo’s Woj break the news… JP Tokoto of UNC was declaring for the draft.

The question many fans have, is he even ready to leave? With his turnovers and unreliable jumper, how will that translate to the league? While those questions are valid, lets remove Tokoto’s qualifications for the league and ask the better question, how do recruits see Tokoto’s departure and his comments concerning the UNC Basketball program? Tokoto said the following to Woj:

“I feel like there can be a lot more to me as a player, more than just the defensive player who can occasionally dunk the ball,” Tokoto told Yahoo Sports. “I know I can be so much more, but I’m not sure that I’m pushed to be that much more [in college].

“I want to focus on my game, working with trainers and pro coaches over the summer and next year. I think that’ll give me the best chance to grow than staying in school and being that player that fit into the mold of my first three years [at Carolina].”

Now, nothing is HORRIBLY wrong with Tokoto’s statement; he was honest. What did hurt UNC is Tokoto’s statement about what most people know of UNC already; they are a system 1st program. A system first program means that a coach will mold you into how he sees fit with his particular way of playing instead of developing your talent and working his system around you. Tokoto’s statement also reflects Roy Williams as a coach. Do you want to be coached by someone who believes more in his own system then trusting in your ability as a player? A former UNC player had this to say about Tokoto’s comments.

I have no problem with what JP had to say. I will say this though. It’s a 50/50 street. If the player wants to get better in certain areas of his/her game they have to work on it themselves. The coaches are Limited to the time they get on the floor with the players so they mainly create drills that fit the plays they run or where certain players may get the ball in a certain play. In the off-season you have nothing but time. The player can be on the court as much as he or she wants to be. So if you can’t dribble why not get in the gym and work ball handling. If you can’t shoot why not get in the gym and take 1000 shots work on form and mechanics etc. It’s about discipline if you want to get better you will if you commit to it 100 percent. 
Now for the coaches part. I do feel like they can do a better job of helping these players develop. A guy like JP is a freak of an athlete but his jump shot isn’t the greatest. The coaches have to work with him to a point 2 things have to happen. First he becomes more confident in his shot. Break it down change a few things here and there. Second allow him to shot the ball AFTER he has put in the work to get better. I think JP will be a good NBA player if he is able to develop everything he wants to develop. And he as to be willing to put in the work which I think he will. 

If this was a few years ago, this wouldn’t be a big deal, just another kid leaving for the league, but with the age of social media, this hurts UNC. Recruits are watching, even more so Brandon Ingram, the McDonald’s All American player who has been heavily recruited by UNC. And of course, last night was the perfect opportunity to tweet your reaction:


What does this mean for schools in their quest in recruiting athletes? Work harder. With the rise of social media, it’s going to take schools keeping their players happy; even more than normal. With recruits being able to catch news first hand and also seeing the reactions of fans, it can create a negative cloud. UNC is already in hot water which has held Brandon Ingram from committing. UNC is now in the hot seat. How do they move forward? They are already favorites for next year with top 5 placement with their core returning, but Williams is going to have to revamp this program. This year was the first time in 8 years, there were no UNC commits in the McDonald’s All American. Williams has to return to the basics and possibly change his mind on the “one and done” player. UNC’s 2005 team is memorable for most fans, which seemed to be the time when the program was thriving and having a great core of dedicated players, Williams need that. He needs the commitment of his players and the belief that he has their best interest at heart.

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