North Carolina Basketball 2012-13: Tar Heels' Front Line Is Shaping Up
North Carolina Tar Heels' head coach Roy Williams knew he was facing an enormous challenge in rebuilding his entire front line following the 2012 NBA draft departures of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson.
Because of a consistently high level of recruiting over the last few years, Williams has multiple options to consider.
James Michael McAdoo most certainly will be starting at power forward.
In the early part of last season, JMM looked tentative and seemed to hesitate in making decisions on the block.
Later in the year, McAdoo demonstrated that he is more than capable of taking care of business down low.
He has the footwork, instincts and moves to be as good as any CBB post player in the country.
Look for him to be a double-double player who can also be an interior defensive stopper.
Williams may consider moving Reggie Bullock exclusively to SF.
Even though Bullock logged most of his minutes during the 2011-12 season at SG, the 6'7" rising junior has the size and skills to play up front.
Bullock helps spread the court with his ability to knock down threes (38.2 percent last year from beyond the arc—best on the team). He also can battle on the boards, pulling down 5.1 rpg on CBB's best rebounding team.
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So that he can be ready for whatever lineup Williams decides to go with, Bullock has spent the offseason preparing for multiple roles.
By far, the Heels' center position is the most up-in-the-air.
Williams has no experienced post players with which to clog the middle.
Desmond Hubert saw action in 25 games last year. However, the 6'10" rising sophomore only logged 123 total minutes.
Because Hubert has been working extensively to add strength and bulk to his lean frame, he has put on 27 pounds since last season, now weighing in between 220-225 lbs.
Incoming freshman Joel James is trying to go in the complete opposite direction.
Adam Lucas of Goheels.com reports the 6'11" center has lost 60 pounds and improved his conditioning significantly.
Because of his mass and mindset ("You have to get a stop before you can score, and that's the way I like to play"), James may have a slight edge going into the fall.
Brice Johnson, another incoming freshman post, is more of a Stretch 4 and, as a result, is likely to see more action as McAdoo's back up at PF.
No one other than John Calipari at Kentucky had more work to do than Williams in re-creating his front line.
But, life is good when you are Roy!
Even though he and his staff have work to do, Williams will take this group and, by the end of the season, mold them into one of the best front courts in the country.
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