Friday, February 4, 2011

Strange timing for Larry Drew

The news that UNC point guard Larry Drew is leaving the team and planning on transferring to another school comes as quite a shock. The No.23 Tar Heels are playing their best sustained basketball in the past two years -- their 32-point win over Boston College this week was the sort of whipping UNC really hasn't laid on people since the Hansbrough-Ellington-Lawson-Green quartet left with a national title in 2009.

The timing for this seems very strange to me. Yes, Drew had finally lost his starting job -- and rightfully so -- to Kendall Marshall. But he was still playing a lot as a reserve, and seemingly playing better without the pressure of starting (he had won the Tar Heels' "Defensive Player of the Game" award in two of the past four games). Drew was becoming a fine relief pitcher for the Tar Heels and still was a valuable part of the team.

Was Drew that upset? Does he -- and his NBA alum father -- have an inflated sense of his own skills (I'd vote yes on this one)? Did he not see the film from the Tar Heels' 17-loss season of 2009-10, when they so frequently struggled as he led the offense? Reading the official press release doesn't really answer those questions.

And why not stick around with the Tar Heels until this season ends? This really sticks it to his teammates, for Drew will get to another program no faster if he went ahead and played these last 6-8 weeks with UNC than if he simply left now. He could transfer in the summer of 2010 or now and he's still not playing at any Division I-A school until the fall of 2012.

I was talking to a couple of pretty well-known former UNC basketball players not long ago whose names I won't mention. They thought that the Tar Heels' biggest problem for most of the past year-and-a-half was Drew -- that he was such a big step down from point guards Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton. They blamed both Drew for his play and also coach Roy Williams for wanting Drew that much in the recruiting process and entrusting him with such a big role (rather than finding a point guard who could run his system better).

Drew has his limitations and Williams stuck with him too long as a starter. He was no Felton or Lawson. Then again, he was no Adam Boone, either. The guy can pass and he can drive -- he just wasn't much of a finisher or a shooter. The Tar Heels will miss him the rest of this season -- Marshall will now have to shoulder a huge load. (The media will miss him, too -- Drew was known as one of the best "quotes" in the UNC locker room).

-- One unrelated note: for those of you who have asked about my Super Bowl pick, I made it the day after the NFC and AFC title games and won't change it now... Pittsburgh, 20-16.

26 comments:

GK said...

Carolina will miss his depth, and he was playing an improved role coming off the bench, but like those unnamed former players, I also blame their play last year largely on Drew.

He's nowhere near the level of the Lawson/Felton mold and, frankly, just not that good (in my opinion).

Strange timing indeed - makes me think it had less to do with basketball and more to do with something else (grades, personal problems, violations, etc). Will certainly be interesting to see what else comes out.

Anonymous said...

I am no larry drew fan but this team will miss his depth if nothing else... If marshall gets in foul trouble or hurt Strickland is the only thing left even resembling a point guard (and he's more of a 2 guard anyways)

What a shame... he had by far played his best basketball since losing his starting job. He seemed more comfortable coming off the bench.

There must be more to the story...

JoeMamma said...

Drew II is a coward. He could not stand the heat, so he left the kitchen. Enjoy Division II, matches your name. BTW, you are not your dad. Never will be.

ZB said...

Strickland will move back to PG and now Roy can rotate MacDonald or others into the SG mix behind Bullock. Will we miss his depth? Not as much as you think! Sounds like he's going to go cry to daddy!!!

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Anonymous said...

Very bad timing, makes him and his family (his Dad) look bad. He must be having problems with his grades or something else. It makes no sense to quit on your team at this time. Wherever he goes he will be known as a quitter. I guess we have to remember these kids are still young and a more mature person would have stuck it out unless he needs to quit to hide bad grades or some other personal problem. His Dad would have surely encouraged him to finish the year as he should know how poorly this will look.

Anonymous said...

Scott,

Larry Drew isn't half the player Adam Boone was. You're clueless. Larry Drew never touched 28 points in an ACC game, or 23 and 10 at Littlejohn. Adam was second in the conference in A-to-TO ratio his sophomore year and was second in scoring on that team. That was an ACC with Juan Dixon, Roger Mason Jr., and Jay Williams - far better guards than the clowns Drew played against night-in and night-out for 2.5 years.

Just like with its ridiculous coverage of the Julius Peppers situation, the Observer has once again revealed that it's sportswriting department is full of total hacks.

Trace Smith

Anonymous said...

Scott,

Larry Drew isn't half the player Adam Boone was. You're clueless. Larry Drew never touched 28 points in an ACC game, or 23 and 10 at Littlejohn. Adam was second in the conference in A-to-TO ratio his sophomore year and was second in scoring on that team. That was an ACC with Juan Dixon, Roger Mason Jr., and Jay Williams - far better guards than the clowns Drew played against night-in and night-out for 2.5 years.

Just like with its ridiculous coverage of the Julius Peppers situation, the Observer has once again revealed that its sportswriting department is full of total hacks.

Trace Smith

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Damien Wilkins situation at State a few years ago. Player and father both had exaggerated opinions of the players' game. Did not end well either.

Anonymous said...

FSU's defense will suffocate the freshman Marshall on Sunday. He will be looking for the oxygen tank with no back up PG in sight.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Another defection from the sinking ship that is UNC-CHeat. Was this tutor related?

Anonymous said...

Good Riddance... he was the problem the last year and a half and as soon as he gets sent to the pine, he cries & leaves his teammates in a bind. Be gone, loser!

Anonymous said...

There is a sinking ship basketball program in North Carolina, but it isn't in Chapel Hill. Carolina is going to be OK. We might have a few bumps on the road as we make our adjustments to this development. But we are going to be OK.

NC
UNC '87

Anonymous said...

So now UNC's new football defensive coach is quitting to go to the cowboys? Right after signing day? Sorry about that UNC recruits! How could Cheat Davis have known! LOL!

calvinista said...

It's the parents, evidently. His younger brother ended up off the Taft HS bball team last season. Same hs Larry played for, of course. The coach said,"He's a great kid, but the circumstances are too unbearable," Taylor (the coach) said of a dispute involving Drew's mother, Sharon.

Anonymous said...

More details on ESPN: http://bz9.com/larrydrew

Anonymous said...

What an idiotic, senseless decision. Sounds like too much free advice from his Dad, and I hear his Mom is no 'Roy' fan either. But good grief, to leave a top tier NCAA basketball program early? Must be more to the story. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Anonymous said...

what an idiot. good riddance.

fing quitter said...

he might as well go play for queens.....rumor has it he's going to be the new starting point guard for the hawks. you know how that works, father lets son take the reins.....doubtful dude. have fun smoking crack on the streets of durham in ten years

Anonymous said...

Maybe he still thinks he can make it to the NBA. He would be lucky to earn a spot overseas or in the NBDL. Pretty obvious when you have former UNC players talking about the reason Carolina has struggled the past couple seasons...the PG and now you leave. Especially when the team is playing better, can't be more selfish than that. Unless there is a family situation or something along those lines, doesn't look good. Guess we are still dealing with young kids and pampered kids in this situation. If you can't play, it will show.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Dad realized his son was not as good as they thought and they decided to exit now so they could go pro in Europe (or Phillipines, or Israel, or wherever).
If your dream of being a first round pick vaporizes take the big bucks from overseas now.

Anonymous said...

Why would Drew leave UNC in the middle of the season?; inflated value of his talent by friends and family.not getting to start regardless of his play.thinking he is a NBA talent.Reason not to leave till the end of the season. Loyalty to teammates and coaches.Being labeled as a quitter.Leaving a great progam and supportive coach for the unknown. Finally as a father I would want my son or daughter to finish the year and leave the program with some class and respect which is lacking when you don't make the child take responsibilty of their decisons.i.e. the player call the coach instead of the parent , they need to mature.

Anonymous said...

Srickland needs to learn to play point guard because he will be no 2 guard at the next level.

Anonymous said...

YEA FSU DEFENSE REALLY SUFFOCATED MARSHALL HUH... GET REAL PEOPLE..MARSHALL IS THE REAL DEAL