TOC: Ellington Q&A

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--Wayne Ellington will be at UNC to begin summer school on June 17, but he is in town this weekend to support his AAU team, the Tim Thomas Playaz. He took time out of his schedule to talk to Inside Carolina.

What brings you to Chapel Hill?

The Playaz are playing [in the Tournament of Champions], so I had to come down and support my guys. And, you know, I can't stay away from this place. I'll be down here in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd come down and get a little visit in before I come down for the summer.

When do you arrive for the summer to start classes?

I come June 17.

All six of the freshmen will be here then?


how big are you now?

I'm about 6-5, 193 pounds.

Is there anything you are looking forward to when it comes to pick-up games this summer?

It's going to be fun. There will be a lot of guys here. All the guys are coming back for the summer, Coach Williams was telling me. There will be some intense games, some great competition, so I'm looking forward to it.

Any early predictions on a starting five at UNC this season?

I have no clue. That is Coach's decision. If anyone can make the team go, he can make it go.

I realize that ultimately what matters is the coach and the players, but there seems to be a concern among Carolina fans that there is "too much talent" on the team and that not everyone can be happy with playing time. What do you think about that?

I don't think that's true at all. Coach Williams has this way of making things work. They had a lot of talent on the national championship team, so I think he will make things work. He will keep everybody happy and do what is best for the team in terms of playing time. And as long as we are winning I think everybody should be happy.

A lot of this issue depends on the mentality of the players. If you are a team player first and foremost you are going to want to win. And then if you are a competitor you want to play. You know the guys on the team better than I do. Tell about the personalities on the team and what you expect.

I don't think there will be any chemistry problems at all. I think when we come in I think--at Carolina all the guys are team players and competitors and want to win. As long as we are winning everyone should be happy. I don't see any conflicts. As long as we win we'll be fine.

There will be a lot of expectations--again from the fans. The team exceeded expectations last year. Most of those guys return, and you are part of the #1 recruiting class. Add that together and there are fans who are talking about a national championship. Is it unfair at this point for them to talk about a national championship?

I don't think it's unfair at all. We have a great class coming in and they did well last year. What else is there to expect as a Carolina fan? But for us, we just have to work hard. Hard work will pay off for us. We have to go in and continue to work hard. Hopefully, it will pay off.

What do you think about the Ohio State game and getting to play them here in the Dean Dome?

It's going to be great. Coach Williams is a competitor. Everybody wants that on the schedule. It will be a great game, and [we can] come out and show who is the #1 recruiting class in the country.

Have you talked to any of the other freshmen about playing pick-up games this summer, especially about the six of you playing the returnees?

It's going to be fun. We are all competitive. We have a great group of guys coming in, and we have a great group of guys here already. I'm interested to see what happens too. We will be really competitive and have fun.

It seems like everyone has a good Tyler Hansbrough story. Do you have one?

Tyler is psycho. They call him Psycho-T. That fits him perfectly. That dude's crazy. He's a competitor. When he gets on that court he just blocks everything out and goes hard.

I spoke to Gerald [Henderson] earlier. He said he was at Duke last night. Did you go over there with him?

I was with him for a little bit. I didn't feel real comfortable (laughs). I was eager to get over here to Chapel Hill, [but] our AAU team was playing over at Duke. I was over there rooting for those guys. I got a look at Cameron. I was joking with him telling how we are going to come in there and beat them next year. I'm happy to be here now.

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