The Immediate and Near Future Of UNC Basketball

Justin CrawfordCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

After winning a National Championship and losing six players (four to the NBA), you would expect UNC to have a down year this season. It should be a year to rebuild, but that is not the case with this completely new basketball team that Roy Williams has put together.

The 2009-2010 Tar Heels have a chance to finish first or second in the ACC again this season. Of course, some will disagree with this assumption, but if you take a look at the North Carolina roster, you can see much talent.

It is unreal what Roy Williams is doing at Chapel Hill. He is bringing in top-quality players every year.

He will be a little short on guards this year, so what does Roy do? He gets the No. 2 shooting guard, and the No. 5 point guard according to to commit for 2010. Already loaded with big men, he decides he will load up the guard positions.

He has already received a commitment from P.J. Hairston, a 6’5”, 215 lb. shooting guard from Greensboro, N.C. Hairston is ranked the No. 3 shooting guard in the country by

That is enough with the future—what about this year?

Larry Drew will be a solid, but not spectacular, starting point guard. He will score a few points coupled with several assists every game.

A starter for shooting guard is hard to predict right now, but freshmen Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald are sure to receive some playing time.

At small forward, Marcus Ginyard will return for his fourth year of basketball afterNi red-shirting last season due to injury. He will provide the team leadership and defense to teach these young guys how to play. Expect him to play shooting guard when Roy goes with a big lineup: possibly putting John Henson at small forward.

The big men will include David and Travis Wear, John Henson, Deon Thompson, and Ed Davis. Thompson and Davis will start, but expect John Henson and the Wear twins to receive quality time off the bench.

It is still several months until tip-off, but this is an early look at this year’s team. Any of the talented freshmen could start once Coach Williams sees what they have in practice.

At any rate, the next few year years look bright in Chapel Hill, and I do not expect this season to be any different. If Roy Williams continues this trend, look for a few more championships in Chapel Hill before he retires.