UNC Basketball will remain affixed atop the NCAA Championship picture for years to come with yet another stellar recruiting class. This 2009 crop of incoming freshman is an absolute boon of four McDonald’s All Americans and the highly touted Leslie McDonald out of Memphis, TN. This McDonald’s High School All-Star Game event has featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James.
New Jersey sky walking guard Dexter Strickland, fundamentally sound Huntington Beach big men twins David and Travis Wear, along with superstar 6’10 power forward John Henson will enroll at Chapel Hill next season to add their own unique interpretations to Carolina Basketball Lore.
Indeed, the youngsters will arrive with gigantic Carolina Blue sized shoes to fill. All-time ACC leading scorer Tyler Hansbrough and his classmate Danny Green would have graduated – whereas speedy floor general Tywon Lawson and the silky smooth Wayne Ellington are likely to answer the next-level call at the NBA Draft.
Still, UNC does not rebuild. We reload.
Deon Thompson and this year’s high profile freshman, Tyler Zeller will step up to integrate these youngsters into Roy Williams’ system. The 2009-2010 UNC roster is stacked with interior weaponry, but perimeter play remains a question mark.
The current 2008-2009 bench of returning players is largely untested at guard and we must grant Strickland, the 6’3 New Jersey sensation the proper time to develop. Dexter Strickland is a naturally athletic off-guard that may facilitate the offense in a pinch at the outset and Strickland could even be converted into a combo-guard with heavy point guard duties, as he matures.
The point guard quarterback is the most difficult position to ascertain and Tywon Lawson’s imminent departure will leave a gaping void. The offense may need to be retooled to accommodate the learning curve of this youthful backcourt.
Recruit John Henson will serve as the perfect wing player to alleviate the pressure. The scouting report upon ESPN’s third ranked prospect evokes visions of Kevin Durant. The versatile scorer is able to shoot from the outside, beat his man off the dribble, create offense for others, and clear space in the post with an array of moves in the paint. John Henson is a stat sheet stuffer extraordinaire that will be lighting it up throughout Tobacco Road during his collegiate career.
Heated rival Duke University has inked two McDonald’s All-Americans. These two prospects do nothing to mitigate the Blue Devil’s blatant lack of dribble drive penetration and interior toughness.
Certainly, UNC Basketball will patrol the pantheon of elite, Final Four NCAA competition while dominating the ACC and terrorizing overrated Duke well into the future.