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 the four freshman joining the program this season.
11-Larry Drew: PG, 6-1, 180
24-Justin Watts: SG, 6-4, 205
32-Ed Davis: PF, 6-10, 215
44-Tyler Zeller: PF, 7-0, 220
Outlook For This Season
If you are these four guys you have to be thinking this is a great time to be joining the Tar Heel basketball team. Four freshmen who have the opportunity to contribute right away to a potential national title team. They also have the chance to play with and learn from some of the most talented players in the country. This is particularly great for Tyler Zeller who will spend one year practicing with one of the greatest Tar Heel players of all time in Tyler Hansbrough. In terms of where these guys will fit in, Zeller actually stands the best chance of being a major contributor from day one. Zeller is very versatile, can run the court like a gazelle and generally is catching on the quickest. It would be unfair to compare him to Marvin Williams from a perspective of talent/skills but Zeller could make some plays.
Ed Davis comes in with plenty of raw skills which includes being a fairly decent shot blocker. Given what UNC has across the board and what they missed last season after Brandan Wright left, Davis might find a niche on the defensive end protecting the rim. Larry Drew will be behind both Ty Lawson and Bobby Frasor at PG but could see time if Frasor shifts to the other guard slot. Justin Watts will likely not see time but someone who could be crucial in the future.
As with all freshman there concerns about their adjustment to the college level, familiarity with a new system and conditioning. In mind these concerns are minimized by being a part of an experienced team.
If these freshman can find a role on the team and contribute when called upon that is really all we can ask. Based on what happens with Tyler Hansbrough, Zeller could be leaned on more than the others. Regardless of how they play, it is still a great time to be freshmen at UNC.