In the ramp up to the 2008-09 basketball season, I will be profiling key Tar Heels who will likely be major contributors this season. Today's profile looks at senior SG/SF Marcus Ginyard.
Weight: 220 lbs
Career Stats: 107 gms, 5.7 ppg, 1.6 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 spg
2007-08 Stats: 39 gms, 6.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg
What Happened Last Season
Marcus Ginyard was the best defender on the team, period. What he lacked in a tour de force on the stat sheet he more than made up for in shutting down opposing players. What he did do on the stat sheet usually involved a key offensive rebound or putback. I was surpised to see that Ginyard shot 40% from thee point range, the same as Wayne Ellington, but Ginyard was limited in his opportunities to shoot three given the other weapons on the court. Overall Ginyard filled his role nicely as the team leader/garbage man there expressly to do the little things which almost never get recognized when it is happening.
Outlook For This Season
Ginyard will start the season injured having had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. The prognosis given at the time of surgery was eight weeks. If things go according to schedule, Ginyard might return for the Heels' trip to Detroit to face Michigan State. I tend to think unless he is ahead of schedule, the staff will be very careful how and when they bring him back. Players who rush back from an injury to the foot sometimes end up with it nagging them thus killing their ability to play productively. In terms of the big picture there is no rush. As long as Ginyard can get back in December at some point he should be able to get his legs and rhthym by the time the ACC schedule is in full swing. Other than that, we have no idea what to expect from Ginyard since the effect of the injury on his play is presently unknown.
Same as last year. Questions will abound over whether Danny Green should start in place on Ginyard when the latter returns. Obviously Green will fill the slot while Ginyard is out but what about later? My guess is Roy will look to keep the team roughly in the same setup as last season since that team went 36-3. Ginyard still stands to be the best defender on the team and also the guy more than willing to be the glue. Something tells me Roy would like him in the starting lineup doing those things reserving Green as the offensive hammer off the bench. If Ginyard returns healthy look for him to do exactly what he did last season.
One really, what if he cannot recapture last season's form after the injury? The worst case scenario is Ginyard never gets his legs back, the injury still nags him and he is unable to do what he does best which is shutting the opposing team's best guard/small forward down. Losing Ginyard is also a blow to UNC's general depth, takes a key experienced player off the floor and also a natural leader. This is why I am more than content to see Ginyard taking as much as time as needed to get his foot healed even if it makes for a rough ride early on.
That Marcus Ginyard becomes the perfect hybrid of Jackie Manuel and George Lynch. I think we see some of both in him but if he can take his offense up a notch and improve his defense from being really good to "holy crap this guy is 1-12 with Ginyard on him" so much the better.
Get well soon, Marcus.