Thad Mumauâs column runs over at Smartnewsnc.com, and heâs nice enough to let us reprint it on DBR. Thanks Thad!
It is highly likely Ty Lawson will head to the NBA following this, his sophomore, season at North Carolina. It is downright certain the Tar Heels will not find a replacement point guard as fast as the Human Blur.
Nor will any other team match Lawsonâs speed and quickness, giving him the ability to jet past opponents in the open court and in half-court offense.
Carolina, of course, already has Lawsonâs replacement. He will not arrive on campus for a while because he is still in high school, but Larry Drew has signed a letter of intent and is anxious to be a Tar Heel.
If the name Larry Drew sounds familiar, it should. Larry Senior was also a point guard, and he spent 10 years in the NBA, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 assists in more than 700 games. His best season saw him average 20.1 points and 8.1 assists for the Kansas City Kings. Now with the Atlanta Hawks, he is in his 14th year as an NBA assistant coach.
Growing up, Larry Junior heard a lot about how to play basketball, especially how to play point guard. And it shows.
âHe has a great skill level,â said Derrick Taylor, Drewâs coach at Woodland Hills (Cal.) Taft High School, âbut he also has so much intelligence. He knows what to do out there; he knows what a point guard us supposed to do.â
Basically, that is to make passing and playmaking top priorities, while shooting takes a back seat to finding ways to distribute the basketball.
âThatâs what Larry does,â Taylor said. âHe can dominate a game without scoring a lot of points. He understands the game. He has an uncanny feel for it â heâs had that since he was a freshman.
âHe tries to make sure everyone gets the ball, and he is very good at setting up guys for their shots. He can penetrate and he can run the break.â
Although outside shooting is not his strong point, Drew has shown he can score. He tossed in 25 points to go with six assists in a two-point loss to North Hollywood Campbell Hall, which is led by UCLA signee Jrue Holiday.