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 SF Danny Green
Weight: 210 lbs
2007-08 Stats: 39 gms, 11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.2 bpg, 37% 3P%
Career: 107 gms, 8.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.96 bpg
What Happened Last Season
Danny Green, besides doing a lot of pregame dancing, was the nation's sixth man. Green made coming off the bench and hitting big shots or being a catalyst for a big run to open the game up an art. The best example of this came against Duke when Green entered the game at Cameron and proceeded to bury three pointers and then humiliated Greg Paulus on a dunk that I have posted so many times I probably owe Zeke Smith royalties. Green played big in almost every game whether it be hitting threes, blocking shots or grabbing key rebounds, he was that versatile player you need to fill the small gaps that inevitably appear during the course of the game.
After the season Green was one of the three players to enter the NBA pre-draft program, apparently without the blessing of Roy Williams. This led to a variety of statements being made in the media by both Green and his father that rubbed several folks the wrong way, myself included. In the end, Green was not ready for the NBA and as best as we can tell those fences have been mended.
Outlook For This Season
What we know right now is Green will start for Marcus Ginyard at least up until the point Ginyard returns from his foot surgery. At that point it is anyone's guess what Roy will do. Given Green's wide range of skills there is no reason he cannot be a huge impact player except that he is on a team with about three other impact players, one of them a consensus national player of the year. The question then becomes one of Green playing his role and contributing in much the same manner as he did last year. At this point he will be called on to do more, especially if Tyler Hansbrough misses any regular season games. Aside from that I would think Green would keep doing what he did last season: Hit big shots and grab huge rebounds. Like everyone else on the team he also should step up his defensive play but that goes without saying for this team.
The concern for Green is two fold:
1. There is a fear he tries to do too much and I do not mean that in terms of Green trying to promote his NBA career but in the general sense of him forcing things rather than letting the game come to him as he did last season.
2. Attitude issues if Roy decides to go with Ginyard as the starter upon his return. Granted there is no evidence this will be an issue but I thought I would toss it out there.
Defense is also a concern but it is one for Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough as well. It is a blanket issue we all hope gets addressed.
Timely three point daggers thrust into the heart of every opponent during a key stretch of the game and the propensity to play lockdown defense on whoever Green is guarding.