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Under the Radar, No More: Who to Watch in 2009

7/21/2009

Hey, when I look at the basketball landscape and the upcoming season, several players fill me with intrigue. Down in Chapel Hill, NC, the 2009 National Championship team has a depleted backcourt. With the departure of Ty Lawson (Denver) and Wayne Ellington (Minnesota) to the NBA, a large number of quality minutes will be available to Larry Drew II.

Last year, Drew saw limited time as a backup. This season, the Tar Heels are in need of point guard play to orchestrate Roy Williams' high-powered offense. Drew, whose dad is an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks, will get a terrific opportunity to fulfill his potential.

He must develop a consistent perimeter shot and demonstrate that he can create offensive chances for his teammates. Also, a vital part of his responsibility will be his ability to pressure defensively. Drew is faced with a keen challenge. His dad was certainly special when directing the Missouri attack before heading to the NBA.

Reports are that Drew has been under the tutelage of his dad during the summer as he prepares to take over at the point for the Tar Heels.

Another player who really possesses a load of potential is Rick Pitino's Terrence Jennings. He did not arrive at Louisville with the accolades of a Samardo Samuels, but showed moments of brilliance in the interior. His shot-blocking and scoring talents inside should be more consistent. Expect a solid year from Jennings.

Down in Lexington, Darius Miller is made to order for John Calipari's system. Miller's confidence should be high as he played a vital role in the gold-medal winning USA Under-19 Team. His greatest asset will be his athleticism, especially on the defensive end. He should be able to cause deflections, force turnovers and score in transition.

Yes my friends, just thinking about various players to watch for in the 2009-2010 season.

Let's play some hoops, baby!