Roy Williams talked about next season on a Tar Heel Tour stop in Greensboro and among the biggest needs for 2013-14 is a big man, maybe two to step up.
The primary question leading into practice next fall revolves around which post player will emerge as a complimentary option at the 5-spot alongside McAdoo – a probe that went unanswered last season.
"We need one of the big guys, or two of the big guys, to step up and say that they can play," Williams said. "And not only say it, but prove it… Somebody with size has got to step forward. Whether its Joel [James], whether its Desmond, whether its Isaiah [Hicks] or Kennedy Meeks or Brice Johnson. If they do that, then we’ve got a chance.
Williams said(as he has before) UNC would go full traditional lineup next season. That is both out of the need to return to what his system normally does and the fact UNC will be thin on the wings. Unless it is Isaiah Hicks or J.P. Tokoto playing the four with James Michael McAdoo at the five, it will be do or die with one of the traditional centers in the post. As for who that will be, there is an interminable amount of time to debate that this summer. Based on what is known now, Desmond Hubert is highly regarded for his defense but it probably comes down to if Kennedy Meeks can get into shape.
And while Williams admitted that Meeks may not pass the look test, the 6-foot-9, 270-pound center pairs savvy with quality post moves underneath.
"Kennedy Meeks is really an unusual basketball type," Williams said. "Imagine Sean May when he was a senior in high school and that’s what you have. The body type, a little overweight, great hands, probably a better passer in the halfcourt situation than Sean was. Probably not as good of a rebounder.
"If he does what I think he’s going to do, he’ll be the best outlet passer that I’ve ever coached. Kennedy can get the ball off the board and turn and throw it three-quarters length of the court and the guy lays it up on the other end. He does that a lot."
Williams noted Meeks' basketball savvy and skills, especially in terms of starting the break with outlet passes. You could argue, from a skills standpoint, Meeks is already ahead of Hubert, Joel James and Brice Johnson. However if the conditioning and defense are not there none of that matters. One thing is certain, four players vying to be McAdoo's wing-man should create some intense competition in practice.