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North Carolina Basketball: One Thing Each Tar Heel Must Work on This Offseason

Kyle SkovCorrespondent IIJune 8, 2011

North Carolina Basketball: One Thing Each Tar Heel Must Work on This Offseason

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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels points to the court during the first half of the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    North Carolina is one of the best teams in the history of the ACC. In the offseason, to allow themselves to have a chance of running deep into the tournament, many Tar Heel players will need to step their game up.

    With only three players graduating and with only one player potentially entering the draft the Tar Heels can improve on their 29-8 record. They had the best record in the ACC, beating Duke by one game.

    With hard work in the offseason and Roy William’s guidance the Tar Heels can do what they did in 2009 and win the National Championship.

    Chapel Hill will be rocking if the players get committed now and do everything in their power to improve on their weaknesses.


    Statistics provided by ESPN at: 



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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 27:  Dexter Strickland #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels passes the ball against Josh Harrellson #55 and Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of the east regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tou
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Right now the Tar Heels have six guards on the roster and one recruit who is ranked as the No. 1 point guard.

    The key to the Tar Heels success in the backcourt is depending on the development of Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald and Kendall Marshall.

    This three-guard rotation was the most prominent for the Tar Heels in 2011.

    Strickland is a feisty quick player that on defense can make opposing guards make mistakes. He needs to work on creating space for himself.

    If he can create space for himself he will give the Tar Heels an option for easy buckets besides going down into the post. Strickland will be a Junior and is going to continue to grow in this upcoming season.

    Leslie McDonald needs to work on his court vision. He did not even average an assist per game last season.

    McDonald needs to be finding the open man and realizing where he can get the ball to get his team points.

    Marshall is a huge bright spot for the Tar Heels he needs to progress like he has. Going into his second season if he can create similar numbers or, as predicted, improve on all his statistics, he will be giving Roy Williams a leader on the court.

    Just behind the three main guards falls Reggie Bullock.

    Bullock has proven he can score in his limited opportunities. He needs to try to push to get minutes.

    If he can improve on the defensive end of the court and get more assists in his time on the court he would make more of an impression on Roy Williams.

    If the verbally committed Marcus Paige is at the Tar Heels in the fall semester, Bullock will most likely be saying bye to the few minutes that he gets.

    Justin Watts and Patrick Crouch need to improve on everything. At this point they may be a bit too far out of the picture to be gaining any minutes over what they had in 2011.

    The Tar Heels backcourt is very strong.


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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 27:  Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in action against Josh Harrellson #55 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the east regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Prudential Center on March 27, 2011 in N
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Tar Heels may have a good backcourt, but the frontcourt is what makes the Tar Heels a power in the ACC and in men’s NCAA basketball.

    Roy Williams is looking at a season with between six or seven forwards.

    Williams is the fifth best small forward in the nation verbally committed to play at North Carolina.

    The best news Williams has gotten in a year was that Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson were returning for the 2012 season instead of going into the NBA draft.

    Tyler Zeller is a 7-foot center with NBA size. He also puts up about 15 points a game and draws fouls.

    His real impact is on the defensive end. He puts off shots due to the fact of how high players have to put the ball just to get it out of his grasp.

    With a bit better of defensive positioning he could lead the league in blocks in 2012.

    Barnes is another player that can put the ball in on the offensive end, but he needs to improve defensively.

    As a 6’8” forward weighing 210 pounds he needs to use his size and strength and improve on his rebounding. He should be helping get the Tar Heels more second chance opportunities and preventing ones for the other team.

    He will probably only be with the Tar Heels for one more season after turning down the draft this year. He has to make the most of it and help Roy Williams men make a deep run in the tournament.

    This will in turn also help his draft stock rise.

    Henson is a great rebounded. He led the Tar Heels in 2010 and should certainly repeat this season.

    He needs to find a way to score a little more. If he could be getting four points a game more and be on par with Barnes and Zeller the boys of Chapel Hill will be very hard to stop.

    The rest of the forwards need to just really capitalize on the opportunity that the coaches give them.


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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 27:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in action against Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the east regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Prudential Center on March 27, 2011 in
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    If the Tar Heels can boost their offensive numbers and rebounds they will run away in the ACC.

    They will also be able to improve on the elite eight finish of 2010.

    Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes are going to be the most important players for the Tar Heels. If they have great seasons and showcase their talents more in 2011 then the Tar Heels of next season will be writing themselves into Chapel Hill history.

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