How Each Newcomer to UNC Basketball Can Make an Immediate Impact
The North Carolina Tar Heels will be welcoming three new players to their basketball roster next season. After losing team MVP Reggie Bullock and starting guard Dexter Strickland to the NBA draft, the five-time national champions have to replace two of their biggest leaders on the court.
Roy Williams has done a masterful job at recruiting this offseason. He has brought in two recruits that can stabilize the inside and can give help to James Michael McAdoo down low. The addition of another guard also gives Williams a nice backup to sophomore Marcus Paige.
While the new guys won't see a whole lot of playing time this season because of all the returning players, it doesn't mean they can't impact the team's season in a positive way.
Here is how each incoming freshman can help the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2013-14.
Britt first committed to be a part of the Tar Heels two years ago when he was a standout player at Gonzaga College High School. Since then he transferred to Oak Hill Academy before his senior season and suffered a knee injury during the year, but Britt still remains loyal to Roy Williams and North Carolina.
Britt is just what Williams likes in a point guard; he's quick, can change speeds and has the vision and ability to make the toughest of passes. He's an excellent floor general and is the point guard of the future of the Tar Heels program once Marcus Paige is gone.
With his quickness, Britt can come in off of the bench and be able to run the offense without breaking stride for North Carolina. Williams can continue to run his high octane offense even with Paige on the sideline.
If Britt's talent translates to the court, then the Tar Heels' second unit can be just as fast and dangerous as their starting lineup next year.
Isaiah Hicks is the next star for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The 6' 8", 210-pound power forward from J.F. Webb High School in Oxford, North Carolina is good based off of pure talent alone. His athleticism allows him to grab rebounds and score at an alarming rate.
Hicks had a senior year for the ages. He was named a McDonald's All-American and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in the state of North Carolina, all while averaging 23 points, 13 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game.
When he gets time to play this upcoming season, Hicks won't shy away from any moment he may face. He saved his best performance of the year for when it mattered most: In the state championship game. His level of play had many saying it was one of the greatest championship performances in high school basketball history.
Hicks uses his athleticism to run the floor as well. He will fit in nicely with Roy Williams' offensive game plan. But while he does so many things well, there are a couple aspects of his game that Hicks will need to improve on before reaching his full potential.
Hicks relies on his athleticism too much. Like James Michael McAdoo, he plays well when facing the hoop, but doesn't have the skills in the low post to score with his back to the basket.
Those skills will come in time. For now, Hicks will see little minutes while McAdoo starts, and he can learn and develop his talent into something special.
If the Tar Heels want to get back to winning championships, they need a low-post threat to dominate the inside. When Sean May played in 2005, he crashed the boards and snagged rebounds while he did the dirty work inside for North Carolina.
That is why Roy Williams brought Meeks to Chapel Hill: To be the next Sean May.
Like May, Meeks is undersized at 6' 9", but makes up for it in girth. ESPN has him weighing in at 275 pounds. Even though he is large, he has the vision of a point guard and can pass extremely well for a big man.
The biggest attraction with Meeks is that he can rebound the ball at a high rate. He has huge hands which allow him to grab more boards than usual. Because he can pass the ball so well, he can snag the ball off the glass and throw an outlet pass to start the fast break.
However, Meeks' size is a hindrance to Williams' game plan as well. Roy wants to get down the court quickly in an uptempo offense. The biggest knock on Meeks is that he doesn't run the floor very well and he lacks athleticism. He is going to have to shed around 25 to 30 pounds if he wants to showcase his talents his freshman year.