Just as Moore'sLaw states that computer chips double in speed every two years, Ol' Roy's Lawdoes more or less the same for the Tar Heels. At the end of last season coachRoy Williams gathered his troops and issued a challenge: The 2006--07 teamwould play faster than any of the 18 he has coached. "I really think weshould," says Williams, who adds the country's best recruiting class to aroster headlined by national player of the year candidate Tyler Hansbrough."We have the ingredients to do that, so the only thing left is the will.And I have the will, so they've got to have the will."
TurbochargingNorth Carolina's already relentless attack will 1) let the players do what theylove to do, which is run; 2) increase the number of possessions to maximize theTar Heels' talent advantage; and 3) allow Williams to use what he calls"potentially the best depth I've ever had," a lineup that could go (nolie) 12 deep. Like a Michelin-starred chef who flies in lobster from Maine andgrass-fed beef from Kansas, Williams has scoured the land for players who fithis vision and "can run like crazy," none more so than his top threefreshmen: 5'11" point-guard blur Ty Lawson, 6'9" forward Brandan Wrightand 6'4" guard Wayne Ellington, a dead-eye shooter. "No one will wantto leave Wayne open," Hansbrough says. "I already learned that over thesummer."
Of courseWilliams's strategy could have its pitfalls, not least because 12 men can'tplay at the same time. "Guys' minutes will go down," says sophomoreBobby Frasor, who started every game at point guard last season and will keephis spot (for now) while Lawson comes off the bench, "but Coach wants usplaying at such a fast pace that hopefully everyone's [scoring] numbers will bethe same or more than last year."
Williams won'thesitate to start three freshmen, as he did at Kansas in 1999--00 with NickCollison, Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich. Yet the tasks facing a rookie pointguard in Williams's system can be monumental. Can Lawson handle the burden?"Ty's really gifted," says Williams, "but can he get out of hiscomfort mode and push, push, push--10 out of 10 possessions--in addition tocalling the sets, deciding which plays we'll run on the break and calling thedefenses?"
Still, NorthCarolina won't try to match the hyperpace of the '80s Loyola Marymount teamscoached by Paul Westhead. "I have a great deal of respect for Paul, but healways wanted a shot within seven seconds," Williams says. "I want thefirst really good shot, and it's up to me to make sure we understand what areally good shot is." After all, if someone's going to enforce Ol' Roy'sLaw, it might as well be the man himself.
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|SF||Reyshawn TERRY -- RETURNING STARTER||6'8"||Sr.||14.3 ppg||6.2 rpg|
|PF||Tyler HANSBROUGH -- RETURNING STARTER||6'9"||Soph.||18.9 ppg||7.8 rpg|
|PF||Brandan WRIGHT*||6'9"||Fr.||22.4 ppg||5.1 bpg|
|SG||Wayne ELLINGTON*||6'4"||Fr.||21.9 ppg||8.3 rpg|
|PG||Bobby FRASOR -- RETURNING STARTER||6'3"||Soph.||6.4 ppg||4.4 apg|
|G-F||Ty LAWSON* -- KEY RESERVE||5'11"||Fr.||23.8 ppg||9.1 apg|
Will the battlefor playing time disrupt team chemistry? ... Can they develop enough threats toprevent Hansbrough from being double- and triple-teamed? ... Will Lawson beable to avoid turnovers while running at Williams's breakneck pace?
SCHEDULE *NITSeason Tip-Off, Charlotte
Nov. 14 SacredHeart*
Nov. 29 OhioState
Dec. 9 HighPoint
Dec. 19 FloridaAtlantic
Dec. 22 at SaintLouis
Jan. 3 Penn
Jan. 7 FloridaState
Jan. 13 atVirginia Tech
Jan. 17 atClemson
Jan. 20 GeorgiaTech
Jan. 24 at WakeForest
Jan. 27 atArizona
Jan. 31 Miami
Feb. 3 at N.C.State
Feb. 7 atDuke
Feb. 10 WakeForest
Feb. 13 VirginiaTech
Feb. 17 at BostonCollege
Feb. 21 N.C.State
Feb. 25 atMaryland
March 1 atGeorgia Tech
March 4 Duke
COACH: RoyWilliams (4th year)
ACC record: 12--4(second)
NCAA tournament:second round