UCLA Transfer Trio Laments Their Time At UNC

(CBSSports.com — Posted by Matt Norlander)

The Wear twins and Larry Drew II aren’t shying away from discussing their troubles and time in Chapel Hill. Since they believe their worst college days are behind them, UCLA’s transfer triumvirate by way of North Carolina spoke to the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch recently. They reflected on their time as Tar Heels under Roy Williams, a time, they say, that wasn’t that great.

The UNC Way, the atmosphere around the campus and the team and the program — it wasn’t what they were led to believe. Things never got going in the good for these California natives who trekked East to play for one of the most storied programs in the sport. (Though, on the verge of a 2011 Final Four, I certainly saw a group that was relaxed and as light-hearted as any I’ve covered.) All three players — David and Travis Wear (above, left) and Drew (right) — are singing a similar tune.

“The energy just wasn’t there as in the years prior, it seemed like,” said Travis Wear, a 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 3.5 points in 10.1 minutes a game. “It just wasn’t that fun of a year.”

The Wears also endured what David described as the “shock” of a different culture in Chapel Hill, and they missed being around family and friends who had supported them since childhood. They couldn’t always count on encouragement from Tar Heels fans, especially when the team struggled.

“When you’re winning, everything’s good. When you’re losing, it’s opposite,” Drew said. “Going to a school like that, I was aware of the potential for how things could be. I wasn’t aware to the extent.”

Lack of fan support and a disconnect with the coaching staff. That, more than playing time, seems to be the common thread with these three players who will unite in 2012 with the Bruins. (The Wears will play this upcoming season; Drew has to wait a full year before playing his final season in 2012-13.)

Drew’s dad, Larry Drew, the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, is quoted in the story saying he wasn’t informed of lineup changes, and the coaching by Williams was “unsalvageable.” North Carolina hasn’t suffered with these players leaving, so on that level, this isn’t such a sad story. Williams prides himself on keeping players over the majority of his career, so there’s a bit of an ego hit there, I’m sure. But transfers at high-major programs can be inevitable when you pack too many top-50 recruits (or recruits who think they’re of that caliber) in a locker room.

Maybe that’s why John Calipari’s able to roll in elite player after elite player: He gets them in, shows them off, them ships them out to the NBA, making room for the next batch.

  • Chris

    Gotta quit the team before my day begins, before my mama starts %^&*$ing about my mins – Larry “Nancy” Drew

  • Tommy Jarrett

    I hope UCLA is better with them. I now UNC is better without them.

  • Tyler

    The lack of fan support line makes me smile. UNC has arguably the deepest basketball support of any program in the country. Basketball at UNC has a rich history, and the whole state of North Carolina revels in college basketball for four months a year. What a farce. UNC is in the top three every year for ticket sales – UNC will sell out any venue anywhere in the country.

    Simple fact is that Larry Drew and the Wear twins QUIT on a team when times got tough. I wish them all the best, but I’m happy they’re playing for UCLA. Seeing UNC resurrect itself last year was exciting and was something to be proud of. There’s still something to be said for putting your head down and working for what you earn.

  • Tyler

    And why is there a picture of Ed Davis? Didn’t he win a championship at Carolina? I bet he was happy with his decision…

  • Nick

    It is widely known that the lack of “fun” of the 2010 season started and ended with Drew and Ed Davis. They were locker room cancers who divided the team with me first attitudes. What happens when both guys are off the squad (Ed to the NBA and Drew scurrying back home to his crazy mama)? The Heels reeled off win after win, clinch the ACC regular season and make it to the Elite 8. This article is very premature in highlighting what is wrong with Carolina Hoops and Roy Williams. Once UCLA has had a taste of Larry Drew and mama (Team Drew, follow the insanity on Twitter, its a laugh a minute) I fully expect to see either an apology article to Carolina Hoops or a letter highlighting how Howland can’t keep his players happy.

  • Larry can't rap

    Pretty cowardly act to call out everything they thought was wrong with UNC, when they are on the other side of the country… I love how Larry Drew just expects to be shown love no matter how poorly he played. I don’t care what your Dad did, you are entitled to nothing. You have to earn respect. So as Pauly D would say, don’t come to Chapel Hill with a big banana and expect everything to be peaches.

  • Joe Hall

    Wow…what a trio of CA pansies. So the Wear All-Americans-who-has-no-values-to-MAN-up and “my daddy is an NBA coach” Drew (mamma’s boy) couldn’t hack it in a down year at UNC or when the going got tough. Hummm, lets see…after watching your former (and loyal) Tarheels succeed last year and then be the perrenial choice for #1 and Champs for 2011-2012 season, how do you feel now?
    UNC doesn’t need you…we don’t need you. Your laughing stock of a daddy Drew saying Williams coaching was “unsalvageable?” Really? And what have YOU accomplished to even HAVE an opinion? Right…NOTHING. So all the other players that Williams has coached would agree too right? Unslavageable? Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington, Wright, Felton, May, Davis, Collinson, and all the other former Jayhawks and current UNC players… please. And you Wear sisters are a joke. GIVEN the All American label but you get a little competition and taste of what its like outside of your little High School world and you FOLD! Plus you don’t have the b@lls to go to Williams in person and talk it over and tell him your decision? What an immoral and classless move. You lost any and ALL credibility there. The right move would have been go to coach, expressed you missed home, that you would like to transfer, and then leave it at that and keep your mouth shut. Then at least your integrity would still be intact.
    As for you Drew…Williams certainly made mistake there…probably the first I have ever really known him to make. Simply put, he NEVER should have recruited your “entitled NBA bred no skilled” rear end. Period. Cry a little and look down at your naked fingers after they cut down the nets in 2012. Good riddance.

  • Lloyd Steven Lee Brookshire

    Ha Ha Good to see the Tarheels fans on here. I agree totally on the comments on the Wear Twins, and if they had come to talk with Roy he would have helped them get back to UCLA or back home with Papa and Mama Wear , why do I say that because he did the same thign a few years ago with Stephenson who was from Cali. As for Drew its sad you got a NCAA titiel ring, as you cowardly move this season deserves a beatdown. But youll pull through, you will stink it up and be average at UCLA, and then your daddy will somehow get an NBA owner to sign you to an NBA contract, even though you dont deserve it. As for me Ill take the Carolina way, earn what you get, not expect to be given it, live ever other California person. Aggh, glad I moved from out there. Funny I can cheer against one team, for these three juviniles

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