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Parrish: Davis Returning Could Mean Back-to-Back Titles

There you go. The first of many of these no doubt and if John Wall ends up in Chapel Hill then you will read one of these a least.

Parrish loves him some Ed Davis:

Note to the rest of the ACC: Watch out!

Sure, Davis averaged just 6.7 points and 6.6 rebounds as a freshman, but he did it in a supporting role while playing only 18.8 minutes per game in what should be an indication of how good North Carolina was this season. I mean, Roy Williams couldn't even find 19 minutes a game for a lottery pick, leading cynics to whisper that Williams was "holding Davis back" to try to ensure a sophomore season, a theory that might get more attention if NBA scouts were too stupid to recognize Davis' potential in 18.8 minutes per game. As it is, they are not (at least most of them aren't). So Williams could've played Davis 18.8 minutes per game or 30.3 minutes per game, and either way the guy would've been a lottery pick if he entered June's NBA Draft.

In other words, Williams didn't hold Davis back.

Davis is holding Davis back.

And I didn't just pull that 30.3-minutes-per-game number out of nowhere.

That's how many minutes Tyler Hansbrough averaged this season, so it's a good gauge to show what's possible if Davis simply gets a similar opportunity. For instance, if he executes at the exact same rate next season and averages the 30.3 minutes as Hansbrough, Davis will have 10.6 rebounds (compared to Hansbrough's 8.1) and 2.8 blocks (compared to Hansbrough's 0.4). Also worth noting is that Davis had a better field goal percentage than Hansbrough this season (.518 compared to .514), meaning Davis should score big points if he gets enough touches, which is a roundabout way for me to tell you to get ready for Davis to have a Cole Aldrich-like breakout next season.

Extrapolating Davis' numbers out using Hansbrough's minutes is interesting.  The point totals may not work because we have no idea how the offense will work with different personnel.  As for the rebounds and block, I absolutely expect Davis will average 9-10 boards and block at least two shots per game. With Davis and Deon Thompson you have a good one-two punch in the interior.  Add Tyler Zeller to the mix who can take defenders outside, we will see a lot of quality play around the basket from the UNC big men.

Parrish does think, as do I, that there are legitimate questions about Larry Drew at point guard. There is also the fact that no one knows for sure where the perimeter shooting is going to come from if Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington join Danny Green in the NBA Draft. Will Marcus Ginyard find his shot? Can any combination of Dexter Strickland/John Henson/Leslie McDonald effectively make up for the loss of Green/Ellington/Lawson? On one hand, Drew does not have to be Lawson and since he will not be Lawson that is a good thing for him.  What Drew does have to be is at least Derrick Phelps i.e. a good perimeter defender who distributes the basketball and takes care of it. If he can do that and UNC can get perimeter shooting from any of the aforementioned players then it should be enough to create balance with a monster interior game.

Parrish says if UNC can get John Wall it solves a lot of their perimeter problems.  Parrish also does not think UNC will get Wall citing his AAU coach and the fact said coach is a former agent who wields too much influence. Even without Wall, Parrish believes that UNC interior scoring alone, with Davis returning, will carry them and at the very least puts them in contention for a 3rd straight Final Four.