OK, guess when I wrote this:
"[Ty Lawson's] ability remains, but it is shrouded in mystery as the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels prepare for an NCAA tournament they have a real chance to win....
Lawson has shown that he does at least one thing slowly - come back from an injury.
"In some ways, I think he's getting closer," [Coach Roy] Williams said... "But he's got to get a lot better for us to reach the dreams that we have."
Lawson's game depends so much on speed. Right now, it's obvious that his quick cuts sometimes also bring pain.
So the key question with Lawson is this: Is he tough enough? Can he play through pain the way Raymond Felton has done so many times in his career?
Give up? That's an excerpt from a story was written EXACTLY one year ago for The Observer -- March 18, 2008. Back then, Lawson was fighting through an ankle injury. Now, it's a toe injury. There's some serious deja vu going on right now with Lawson. But I would say the same question remains:
Is Lawson tough enough?
We know he's good enough. Oh, gracious, he's good -- ACC MVP this season over Tyler Hansbrough, the guy people have called the "one-man fast break" since his freshman season, the player so important to Williams that he went to go recruit him within hours of winning the 2005 national title (which is partly why Lawson came to UNC -- he was very impressed with that).
But is Lawson tough enough? Will he play in this NCAA tournament -- it doesn't matter in the first round (when apparently he won't), because the Tar Heels could beat Radford with their second string. But after that, it will matter a lot.
And assuming Lawson plays, will he play as well as he did in the regular season? Because without Lawson at full strength, there's no way UNC wins the national title (even though President Obama has picked them to do so).
Benjamin expected to return Saturday
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