For "Rebuilding" Tar Heels, Future (and Present) Looks Bright

Alex GuyCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on against the Syracuse Orange during the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic on November 20, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

When you lose four starters from a National Championship team, you're not supposed to be at the top level again for a few years.

It's taken Bill Self and Kansas two seasons to cultivate young talent and regain a championship swagger. It even took Roy Williams several years to have the right group of players to win again after May, Felton, and McCants moved on.

But for anyone watching the Heels in this young season, it's almost impossible to deny they will be a top five team again when the season draws to a close. They have played the toughest schedule in basketball, continuing their dominance over then No. 2 Michigan State and losing a heart breaker to Kentucky.

The fact is that after losing four of the more accomplished players in recent years, Roy Williams has his young and inexperienced team barely missing a beat. Ed Davis is a future lottery pick, Deon Thompson is providing great leadership, and Larry Drew II is starting to pick it up. Throw in a plethora of freshman talent and a seven-footer, Tyler Zeller, and you've got a contender.

Though a difficult loss to Syracuse early knocked the Heels out of the top five, never doubt Roy Williams and his squad. They play great defense and have the players to get it done. If they start to gel in the same fashion that last year's team did, Williams could have another Final Four appearance to look forward to.

Oh and if he doesn't get there in 2009-2010, there's always next year. Have you seen their recruiting class?