Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UNC Fans See a Familiar Trend



In case you didn't know, Harrison Barnes is coming back for his sophomore year.

That has placed the North Carolina Tar Heels as many people's top team for the 2011-2012 season. Carolina fans are understandably thrilled about their (should I say, our) team next year.

The reasoning isn't just what this team is bringing back ... which is a big deal. Returning are pretty much everyone from last year's team. The entire starting lineup (Barnes, Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland) is coming back as well as key reserves Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock and Justin Watts. The only player in their top nine rotation that is gone is senior Justin Knox.

He will be replaced with super frosh James McAdoo. McAdoo has been tearing up the High School All Star game circuit and will fit right in to that Heels' front line. He'd start for 99% of college teams next season ... but will suit up for the 1% that he won't. They also get long range bomber P.J. Hairston, giving the Heels SEVEN McDonald's All Americans on their roster. They'll also gain role players Desmond Hubert, Jackson Simmons and Stilman White.

Not a bad roster at all. It could house five first round draft picks in the 2012 draft (Barnes, McAdoo, Zeller, Henson, Marshall) and rival both of Roy Williams title teams (2005, 2009) in terms of talent.

Ah, those 2005 and 2009 teams! The 2012 team wants to join them in the rafter of the Dean Dome. There are some similarities to this upcoming team and some of those title teams in the past which makes Heels fans drool.

Obviously the amount of talent on the team. The 1982 team housed Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and James Worthy. Two Hall of Famers and three very good NBA careers. The 2005 team was made up of Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants and Marvin Williams. All four would be selected in the 2005 NBA Draft lottery. The 2009 team had Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ed Davis. The 1993 team had talent (led by Eric Montross and George Lynch) but it really wasn't overly stocked with NBA talent like the others were.

How about some other weird facts?

Like having a center from Indiana? The 2012 team will be "centered" by Tyler Zeller from Washington, Ind. The 1993 team was "centered" by Eric Montross ... a high school legend in Indiana. The 2005 team was "centered" by May ... an Indiana lad who's dad was an All American for the Hoosiers. The 2009 team, well, Tyler Hansbrough was from Missouri ... but Zeller was a freshman reserve on that team.

How about impactful freshmen? Many feel James McAdoo will do for Carolina what Michael Jordan, Marvin Williams and Ed Davis did for their title teams as freshmen.

None of that in reality means anything. The 1984 Tar Heel team had Jordan, Perkins, Kenny Smith and Brad Daugherty and they couldn't get past the Sweet 16. The 1994 team brought everybody not named Lynch back from a title team, added Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Jeff McInnis, and couldn't get out of the 2nd round of the NCAAs.

1 comment:

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