Thursday, May 06, 2010

Wear Twins Leaving UNC

David and Travis Wear surprised a lot of people today by announcing that they're going to transfer out of North Carolina. While I don't think anybody saw this coming, it's a move that kind of makes sense if you think about it. They were both highly recruited out of high school, but they're not superstars. They'll get big minutes at North Carolina, but it's hard to see them ever starting. Even as players like Deon Thompson and Ed Davis leave, North Carolina is always going to be bringing in players like Harrison Barnes (projected by many to be the #1 overall recruit in the 2010 class), meaning that neither of the Wear brothers is ever going to break through that rotation without a bunch of injuries. With those two going as a pair you have to figure that they'll get plenty of offers from elite BCS conference schools where they'll have a real shot of making the starting lineup together at some point.

But while neither of the Wear twins was likely to play more than about 15 minutes per game this coming season, their departure leaves North Carolina suddenly scrambling for depth. Between John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes the Tar Heels have three outstanding big men that all have All-American type talent. But after that? The only other player returning from last season over 6'4" is Will Graves, who is a 6'6" swing man, and who is incredibly inconsistent and constantly playing out of control. I'm not high on Graves at all, and if he's playing big minutes then it's going to be a problem for the Tar Heels. Incoming freshman Reggie Bullock is listed at 6'6", but he is 185 pounds and played shooting guard in high school, so I wouldn't expect him to see him play anything other than the 2 or the 3 next season. They can ride their three stars, particularly with how insanely deep they are at the guard position, but what if they have injuries? Zeller has had a major injury in each of his two seasons at North Carolina, so it's not a stretch to see him getting injured again. Even with a three guard lineup they will still have zero big man depth. North Carolina is now one injury away from a major, major problem.

There's no question that Roy Williams is going to try to find somebody to fill that void. There are still some quality high school recruits and Juco transfers left out there, although not at the elite blue chip level that North Carolina usually gets. I wouldn't expect him to spend both scholarships on random players just to fill bodies. More likely he'll get one player for emergency depth, and then bank the other scholarship for the 2011 class. But I'll be very surprised if he doesn't get at least one more player. You can't risk trying to win the ACC with Will Graves playing big minutes at power forward. That would be a recipe for disaster.

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