In my last feature I looked at North Carolina’s rotation options for head coach Roy Williams. In case you didn’t get the chance to read the article (shame on you) in short, the Tar Heels are deep inside and weak on the perimeter. Like last season when Roy had to tap into his depth on the perimeter to makeup for the rosters shortcomings inside, Roy will essentially do the opposite this season by tapping into the depth inside that we’ll examine in this post.
James Michael McAdoo, Joel James, Brice Johnson, Desmond Hubert, Isaiah Hicks & Kennedy Meeks make up the Tar Heels impressive post options. Roy has been quoted several times this off season that only point guard Marcus Paige and forward McAdoo are penciled in as starters, the rest of the spots are up for grabs.
The two things I’m most interested in seeing? Where McAdoo plays, his usual PF spot or if he slides to small forward while P.J. Hairston is out of the lineup. And who starts at center, early practice reports have James and Meeks neck and neck. While Meeks looked significantly better in the blue vs. white scrimmage at Late Night with Roy, fans should temper their enthusiasm. Meeks used his large frame well to take position and dominate the boards and most of his points came on put backs. Don’t get me wrong, this kid has a ton of talent, I’m just not ready to anoint him as Carolina’s next great big man, at least not yet. And let’s not forget, James has made some significant strides himself.
Whomever ends up starting, I still can’t fathom either player really being able to handle an abundance of minutes in this fast paced offense. Both players have made huge strides in dropping weight and adding muscle tone to their huge frames. The transitions these kids need to make to keep up with this offense are massive and I believe it’s going to take a couple full seasons with the training staff to get them truly in Carolina basketball shape.
Roy is going to have to get creative with his trio of talented power forwards, both in order to get each of them enough minutes and to make up for the teams lack of depth on the perimeter. This is why I believe that although McAdoo hasn’t looked very good at SF based on the small sample size we’ve seen so far, it’s the best option for the lineup right now. James Michael is a face up player with a good mid-range jumper and excellent penetration skills for a big man. As much as UNC fans want him to be, he’s not a post up player.
As it always does with a Roy Williams coached team, starting positions and minutes will go to those who show they can play solid defense and avoid mental mistakes. This is the primary reason why nobody should be surprised if we end up seeing more Desmond Hubert or even Jackson Simmons and less of players like Brice Johnson, Joel James, Kennedy Meeks & Isaiah Hicks than we would like.
Latest posts by Matt Hamm (see all)
- UNC Basketball: Kennedy Meeks Looks Ready to be a Major Contributor - November 10, 2013
- UNC Basketball: Tar Heels Ready to Weather the Storm Without Hairston, McDonald? - November 9, 2013
- UNC Basketball: Tar Heels Out of Position Early - November 5, 2013