Now that three of the best players from last year's UNC Men's Basketball team have decided to return to Chapel Hill, I will preview what the starting lineup will look like. After a 36-3 season and a trip to the Final Four, the Tar Heels are the favorites to start the year number one in the polls. Here we go!
PG: Ty Lawson
Lawson, when healthy, is arguably the fastest guard in college basketball. He has great court vision, and can really get after it on the defensive end. His main issue is patenting a consistent outside jumper. If he can put together an outside game that rivals his dribble-drive game, I think he compares well with San Antonio Spurs' All-Star guard Tony Parker.
SG: Wayne Ellington
The 6'4" guard shot over 46% from the field, including over 40% from beyond the arc. He also was a nice second option to National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough, scoring 16.4 ppg. If Ellington can assert himself on every play and not be lazy at points, he should be a First Team All-ACC selection.
SF: Danny Green
This guy is a scoring machine! Green was the sixth man for the Tar Heels, but saw starter-esque minutes in every game. At 11.5 ppg, Green was UNC's fourth leading scorer last season, in addition to almost five rebounds per contest. Green will be looking for his shot more this year, as he will be averaging closer to thirty minutes per game rather than the twenty-two per game he saw in 2007-2008. Another plus about Green is that he is strong enough to defend larger opponents.
PF: Deon Thompson
As a sophomore, Thompson started all but one of the 39 Tar Heel contests. He averaged a shade over eight points, but was more valuable on the defensive end. Thompson can really body up with taller competition, as he stands just 6'8", but weighs about 250 pounds. One area that Deon could certainly improve on is his rebounding. He averaged 4.8 rpg, which was less than the small forward Green.
C: Tyler Hansbrough
It's pretty self-explanatory when you mention Hansbrough's name. As the National POY, Hansbrough dominated the ACC competition all year putting up some gaudy numbers. He is the most fearless and tenacious player in college basketball. "Psycho T" averaged over 22 ppg and 10 rpg, while being given several accolades. Because he doesn't project too well as a pro prospect, Hansbrough should make some noise in his senior season in Chapel Hill.
This is easily the best starting five in college basketball. It will be very interesting to see how they do, because the expectations will be quite high in Dean Smith country.