Drew II gets the call at point for North Carolina
Larry Drew II never had to show off much of a jumpshot or take ownership of North Carolina's high-powered offense as a freshman playing behind future pro Ty Lawson.
Those pressure-free days are over.
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Now Lawson is in the NBA and the unproven Drew looks likely to inherit the starting point guard job for the defending national champion Tar Heels. It's one of the biggest question marks facing North Carolina as it begins preseason practice with a loaded frontcourt and a lot of inexperience along the perimeter.
"Me and Ty are two different players completely," Drew said Thursday during the team's annual media day. "Coach (Roy Williams) knows that. He told me he didn't want me to be a good player, he needed me to be a good player. When I hear that, all that means to me is just go out and try not to worry about distractions or anything else. I just need to focus on the task at hand."
One thing is certain: The Tar Heels will look a lot different.
Four-year star Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green graduated and Lawson and Wayne Ellington left early for the NBA. And Drew could be the face of that change as the player charged with directing the fast-paced transition offense that has helped the Tar Heels win two NCAA titles in five seasons.
The point guard position has been critical to the Tar Heels' title runs. The 2005 and 2009 squads each boasted players - Lawson and Raymond Felton - who won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard before heading to the NBA after their junior seasons.
That alone puts Drew in the spotlight even though he hasn't had much chance to show what he can do.
He averaged 1.4 points and 1.9 assists in about 10 minutes per game behind Lawson, and he shared those point guard duties with departed senior Bobby Frasor when Lawson was out with an injured toe in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the Tar Heels' NCAA opener.