Little not shy about taking what's hers

Updated: March 16, 2005, 7:16 PM ET
By Beth Mowins | Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Before the games tip off, ESPN's Beth Mowins takes a look at one player to watch from each of the No. 1 seeds. Here, she focuses on North Carolina's Camille Little.

Camille Little
North Carolina
F, 6-1, Jr.
Mowins' North Carolina breakdown
2004-05 SEASON STATISTICS
(Entering NCAA Tournament)
G MIN FG REB STL PTS
30 29.1 45.3 5.9 2.2 12.0
Camille Little does not like it when someone tries to take something from her. Just ask the pickpockets who tried to steal from North Carolina's traveling party during a team trip to Italy last summer. Little and some of her teammates chased down the perpetrators and got their goods back.

That's just what the Tar Heels did here in the states this winter, reclaiming the ACC championship for the first time in seven years. Little was instrumental in locking up the title with a 23-point performance against Duke in the championship game. She hit four 3-pointers, including a clutch triple in the second half when the Blue Devils were threatening to make a run.

Little's game has grown up a lot this year. It has also grown out, as in away from the basket. After being named the ACC Rookie of the Year last season due to her dominance on the low block and her ability to play with her back to the basket, Little was asked to move to a new position this season with the the arrival of center Erlana Larkins.

It took some time to adjust, with Little going through a particularly rough patch in December and early January when even layups were a challenge. But Little didn't hang her head, she just worked harder. She was always the first one into the gym.

She put in extra time with assistant coach Charlotte Smith-Taylor, who led the Tar Heels to a national championship in 1994 with a game very similar to Little's. Now, Little can play inside or out and runs the floor as well as any forward in the country.

Those pickpockets in Italy picked on the wrong girl. They must not have known that Little was wise to the ways of the world, having been raised by a Harlem Globetrotter (her dad, Robert). Now, Little is chasing after a national championship to bring back home to Chapel Hill.

Beth Mowins is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage.

Beth Mowins

Women's Basketball
Beth Mowins is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage.

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