UCLA's Drew Has Difficult Challenge Ahead

        Last time we checked in with him, Larry Drew was the starting point guard for the North Carolina Tar Heels. In his only full season as the full-time starting point guard back in 2009, Drew had the responsibility of leading an extremely young UNC team (sophomores Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller, and freshmen John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald). Drew responded with the best play of his three-year college career on that team- penetrating into the lane and dumping the ball off to a bevy of talented post players or kicking the ball out to wings for the open look. While his 8.5 points per game were not anything spectacular, his 6.0 assists per game ranked sixth in the country that season. His assist rate (percentage of possessions used that ends in an assist) was one of the nation's best, by far and away better than his freshman and junior seasons, but he managed to turn the ball over quite often as well and resulted in a sub 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

        Now, Drew is expected to the starting floor general for another talented team in the UCLA Bruins, in a potential career resurgence. This UCLA team features three of the top incoming freshmen, one being the top scoring wing, one being the top play-making wing and another that can score in the low blocks. Add these to rising-junior forward/center that has the potential to be dominant in limited minutes and the Bruins have Sweet 16 hopes, if not further. But all of this hinges on Drew's ability to get the ball to his wings in scoring position, dropping the ball into the post and letting his bigs operate. Just as important to team success and his individual future will be his ability to finish shots in the paint (career 39.1 percent shooter), from the perimeter (30.6 percent) and be able to make better decisions with the ball in his hands (3.9 assists vs. 2.1 turnovers).

        As a former high school All-American with blazing speed and good size at 6'2", the ability is there, now can Drew tap into it?

By President - Corey Ruff - 4-27-12