Williams went home.... big deal. He did a good job for us and we made the transition with Self with flying colors... it certainly didn't slow us down.
I worked with his son. Though a bit cocky he was a good guy and quite a fan of my work. Now here's a confession of a die hard Duke fan. I often end up cheering for Carolina when they are in and Duke is out. I remember being the only fan in Cambridge Ma cheering for the Michael Jordon team that beat Patrick Ewing's Georgetown. Maybe it has something to do with me having met MJ, Sam Perkins and James Worthy when I took my college's basketball team out in Chapel Hill while they were doing a tour of the south.
The fact is Duke and Carolina are joined at the hip in more ways then just basketball. It started out as a football rivalry until that sport went professional. (Watch ESPN pony express and you'll know what I mean.) I remember my first Duke Carolina football game where they stuffed 50,000 into Duke's stadium which only seats 35 thousand. They still exchange a liberty bell but it is kind of pathetic since Duke has only held it one year in the past 20 or 30. I really don't want to see either program go down the tubes. I'm glad Carolina got their act together. They will be the kind of not so high seed that you don't want to draw come tournament time.
I agree that you guys made the transition a hell of a lot better than Carolina did after Dean. In fact I think your program is in better shape given how much younger your coach is.