Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can North Carolina Recapture The Spotlight?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Chris Keane/Getty Images
The North Carolina Tar Heels grasped an unacceptable season last year. They commenced the season ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll and No. 4 according to the ESPN/USA Today Coaching Poll.

By the tenth week of College Basketball, the Tar Heels were No. 23 and 24 in the polls.

By the eleventh week they were dropped out of the top 25 and the Tar Heels continued to dissatisfy their fan base. Then when you figure things couldn't get any worse, Ed Davis breaks his hand.

The Tar Heels finally ended their forgetful season with a loss in the NIT Championship.

Although, they were the first team to reach the NCAA Final Four the year before; then turn around and make the NIT Final Four.

Last season, their disguise as contenders wore off pretty fast. However, next season, thing will be a lot different.

First off, Roy Williams delivered this roster a makeover. Three McDonald's All-Americans determined they wanted to attend the University of North Carolina. Now, with that, the Tar Heels are on their way to redemption.

That doesn't necessarily imply they will be procured right back into the nations spotlight either. 

They'll have to reclaim their spot as a National contender.

First, the Tar Heels need to play Harrison Barnes to his full ability.

Bringing in the No. 1 rated player in the nation was certainly tough on the Tar Heels. However, they were able to do it. Barnes is a one-and-done caliber player. He does just about anything he wants on the court.

The only thing I would say he needs to embellish, is his jump-shot range and add bulk to his frame.

Other than that, Barnes should be facilitated for almost everything. You can put him in the post, on the wing or in the backcourt.

Utilizing a player of his caliber is beneficial. Because, at the end of the season, he will be NBA bait.

Secondly, the 'Heels need to stay healthy in the frontcourt.

The Tar Heels frontcourt wouldn't be a problem if the Wear Twins didn't transferred. Now they're stuck in a situation that isn't favoring them.

They'll have John Henson and Tyler Zeller in the frontcourt. Who will be behind them? That's a question the Tar Heels will have to ignore for most of the season. They'll have to depend on Zeller and Henson to stay dominant in the frontcourt.

However, since acquiring Zeller back in 08' he has yet to close a season without injuring himself. So staying healthy in the frontcourt is imperative for the Tar Heels.

Thirdly, the 'Heels need John Henson to step up.

Last season, John Henson was considered to be one of the best frontier players in the 2009 recruiting class. However, you wouldn't be able to tell, because for most of the season, he was implemented very lightly.

Now, with Ed Davis and Deon Thompson gone, Henson will have his chance to be a dominant frontier force.

He has shown great promise in the NC Pro Am this past week but should use that as motivation to get on the court and prove to the fans that he is dominant down-low.

Lastly, the 'Heels will need Larry Drew III to lead the team.

So, I know you're probably wondering why the Tar Heels would need Drew to lead the team with three McDonald's All Americans. Not to mention, a guard like Kendall Marshall that could overtake his responsibilities in the backcourt.

However, Drew, a junior-to-be at UNC, had been there when the Tar Heels won the National Championship.

As a freshman on the title team, he contributed about ten minutes a game. While embracing a great learning experience behind the Tar Heel great Ty Lawson.

Last season, his assist total went up and he started to serve as an all-around guard.

That's exactly what the Tar Heels expect in the backcourt. Drew will have to use his experience and leadership skills to enlighten this young team.

Overall, I assume they can recapture the spotlight as a National contender. With such a young but talented squad, they'll demand extensive contributions from their experienced players.

I think the deed will be granted and the 'Heels will be dancing again in Chapel Hill. Not just dancing, but advancing through the NCAA tournament.


  1. The Heels will be back, but KENTUCKY has the spotlight.

  2. The Kentucky Wildcats will be very good next season. Hopefully, the rumors are true that Kanter is eligible.


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