Saturday, July 3, 2010

North Carolina Tar Heels 2010-11 Season Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels

2009-10: 20-17
2009-10 ACC Record: 5-11

Well all had to witness the brutal season the Tar Heels had this season. They had a season nobody seen coming.

They had one of the worst records in the ACC, and the rivalry between Duke wasn't as great this year because of the lack of competition--lost by ten the first game, then 32 the second.

But it wasn't because the Tar Heels were terrible. Their star player Ed Davis faced a severe injury that sidelined him for most of the season.

If he was out there I doubt their record would have been the way it was. I also doubt the Heels would have gotten blown out by the Blue Devils.

It wasn't that disappointing. The Heels are the first team to make the NIT and NCAA tournament Final Fours in back-to-back years. 

Key Returnees

The Heels returned six players from their NIT runner-up team a year ago.

Those most important players are Tyler Zeller and John Henson. They are going to strengthen the frontcourt like no other.

Also, Larry Drew III is back on campus. He was the complete floor-general last season and will look to do the same this year. 

They also returned Will Graves, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald.

With this group of role players, mixed with game-changers, the Heels are in a good position to improve its overall performance this season.

Key Departures

The Heels lost five total players from last season’s team. One to the NBA draft, two graduated and transferred. 

The NBA draft took away Ed Davis from the Heels. He was Mr. Versatile; A big-time defensive and offensive presence down on the low-block. 

Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson both reached their final years of eligibility. Ginyard was the all-around threat on the wing. He got into the defense and snatched down rebounds, shared the ball and scored.

Thompson led the team when Davis was out with injury. He was the leading scorer and snatched down almost seven boards a game.

Travis Wear and David Wear decided their Heels' career was over after one year. This is a huge blow to the frontcourt.

They were used lightly last year but were expected to be a big part during the upcoming season.

Each one of these players made strives to keep the program dominant in their stay at North Carolina. It will be tough without the post presence of Davis, the Wear Twins and Thompson.

Key Additions

The Heels have the best recruit in the 2010 class heading to North Carolina to play in the 2010-11 season. 

McDonald's All-American Harrison Barnes is 6-foot-8 versatile player. He can play any position on the court if he wanted to. He is long and athletic.

Everybody is prepping for a Carmelo Anthony like season from Barnes. Yes, he is that good.

Another McDonald's All-American is going to be wearing the powder blue next season. Reggie Bullock is a big-time scoring threat out of the backcourt.

He will most likely play on the wing, but he can do it all from wherever he plays.

The last McDonalds All-American is Kendall Marshall. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard. He has the ability to be a full-time starter for the Heels.

Do not be surprised if Marshall is starting over Drew next season.


The Heels lost very good players last season. However, I still think they will be better than they were last year.

With the No. 1 overall player in the 2010 recruiting class, followed by two more McDonald's All-Americans, the Heels have a great chance to compete with Duke in the ACC.

They have a decent starting-five and a few key bench players. 

The x-factor of this team will no doubt be health. 

If the Heels can stay healthy all season, they will be able to compete at a high level. With the transfer of the Wear twins they lack depth.

But keep this in mind; Zeller has yet to play a full season. He has been injured over the past two seasons and the Heels will need him to stay healthy all year.

The closest forward they have to play in the post is Barnes.

Written by DeAnte Mitchell

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