Will Roy Williams' North Carolina Tar Heels rebound?
Coming off of a title just two years ago, the North Carolina Tar Heels dramatically fell from their pre-season Top 25 ranking during the course of the 2009-10 season, finishing with a 20-17 record and missing the 2010 NCAA Tournament. However, the team did make it all the way to the NIT finals, helping young players like John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald develop. The team has lost its two bet players from 2009-10 in Ed Davis and Deon Thompson, as well as two other key forwards in David and Travis Wear who have transferred to UCLA, so will the frontcourt spell UNC's disaster this season? Although the team is short on big men, they do have sophomore John Henson returning, a lengthy inside-outside combo forward to play alongside the nation's top recruit, wing Harrison Barnes and center Tyler Zeller. The team also brings back oft-injured wing Will Graves, a stocky wing that can shoot from the perimeter as well as rebound with the big guys inside. Two freshmen, aside from Barnes, should impact the rotation next season- wing Reggie Bullock and guard Kendall Marshall. Marshall will give the Tar Heels a true point guard, likely pushing Larry Drew II to the bench in a lesser role. Also new on campus, is a transfer senior, Justin Knox, a 6'9" forward, formerly of Alabama. He should be able to fill some minutes left behind by the Wear twins off the bench. And then there is the development of Strickland and McDonald, which will aide Roy Williams' backcourt improvement in 2010-11.