2007 North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball Preview
Last season, the North Carolina Tar Hells (31- 7 overall, 11- 5 ACC) took the ACC tournament and went deep into March Madness, losing to Georgetown (96- 84) in the Elite Eight. By any measure, the Tar Heels has a successful season, but they were disappointed. Despite losing three key players from last season, including dominant forward Brandan Wright (14.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG), North Carolina looks poised to have an even better year than they did in 2006- 2007.
The club was first in scoring in the ACC and second nationally and was reflected in the NCAA basketball odds. They were also first in rebounding margin and third in the NCAA and first in assists and third in the nation. Last season they out-rebounded opponents by 40.8 RPG to 32.3 RPG and out-scored them by 85.7 PPG to 68.6 PPG. The Heels held opponents to a .436 shooting percentage, while hitting the basket at a rate of .499.
The frontcourt features junior forward and all ACC-pick Tyler Hansbrough (18.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG)—a team leader with plenty of experience. Junior small forward Danny Green (5.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG), who’s one of the toughest players on the court, is excellent off the transition. Junior swingman Marcus Ginyard (4.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG) and sophomore forward Alex Stepheson (2.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG) look ready to become major contributors. Forward Will Graves, who was red shirted last year, looks ready for his rookie season. Graves, at 6’ 6” and 260 pounds, has a wide body that can block out and a solid shot.
Point guard Ty Lawson (10.2 PPG, 5.6 APG), a starter as a freshman, returns with a full season of experience. He can push the ball up the court with speed and purpose. Shooting guard Wayne Ellington (11.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG) needs to become more accurate with his downtown shot that hit only 37% of the time last season.
Coach Roy Williams (106- 30 in 4 years at NC; overall 524- 131 in 19 years) knows how to win. Williams has created a team with the talent and experience to take the conference and this years NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels also have enough depth to travel to the Final Four and to be National Champions. It will be tough for anyone to derail them.