The North Carolina Tar Heels are coming off of a disappointing 20-17 season in 2009-2010, but they have high hopes to return to glory this season with a young, talented roster. At the point guard position, the Tar Heels return junior Larry Drew, who had an inconsistent sophomore season as the starter, averaging nearly 29 minutes per game. He'll have some competition this season if he plays poorly though, with freshman Kendall Marshall and sophomore combo guard Dexter Strickland both capable of picking up the slack.
Drew is a pass-first point guard who should be helped tremendously this season with the arrivals of freshmen Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock on the wings, as well as the development of big men John Henson and Tyler Zeller, all of whom should make Drew's job as a distributor much easier. Drew's ability to run the team and get his teammates involved was highlighted by the fact that he led all players in our database in assists per forty minutes last season, averaging an impressive 8.3. Though he had his fair share of turnovers and lapses in decision-making as well, he still managed to have a solid 1.83 to 1 assist to turnover ratio and 2.37 pure point rating. With the new additions likely giving the Tar Heels a more potent offense, Drew has the opportunity to really shine this season and demonstrate his court vision and abilities as floor general. He has good speed with the ball in his hands in the open court, and he does a nice job changing speeds and directions as a ball-handler.
As a shooter, Drew improved quite a bit from his freshman to sophomore season, but he still has quite a bit of work to do. He increased his free throw percentage from a miserable 41% as a freshman to 61% as a sophomore, which is still very poor for a point guard. The strides he made as a 3 point shooter were encouraging though, going from 23% as a freshman to 35% last season, while also increasing his attempts.
At this stage though, Drew doesn't appear to have much of a mid-range game at all, and his lack of elevation, size, and strength prevents him finishing at the rim with much effectiveness, as shown by the fact that he connected on only 43% of his field goal attempts in the basket area. Becoming more reliable on mid-range jumpers off the dribble and establishing a teardrop shot in the lane would really enhance Drew's game on the offensive end, as he was pretty inefficient last season for the most part.
Physically, Drew is fairly limited, as he's a bit on the small side at 6'0 with a slender build. He has good lateral quickness on the defensive end though, allowing him to pressure the ball keep his man in front of him, but his lack of size and strength prevents him from effectively challenging some jumpers and hurts him in the paint on dribble penetration against bigger guards.
Drew has shown that he can distribute the basketball and run a team, but with his physical limitations, he'll likely need to improve as a shooter and become more of a scoring threat in order to boost his draft stock. He has two more seasons at Chapel Hill, and running the point with the talent he has surrounding him should give him every opportunity to showcase his game for NBA scouts.