October 20, 2007

Lawson holds key for UNC

Tywon Lawson is the key.

It is as simple as that. No matter how strong or effective All-America center Tyler Hansbrough is capable of performing, if he doesn't get the ball he cannot score.

No matter how quick or determined Marcus Ginyard is on defense, unless he is assigned the opposing point guard on a permanent basis and plays an equal number of minutes to Lawson, he cannot ultimately decide the outcome on that end of the floor.

College basketball is a guard's game, and there is no guard more important than the one who handles the ball primarily on offense and guards it as it travels up the other end of the court.

In 2005, UNC won the national championship, but the Tar Heels came agonizingly close to not even making the Final Four when point guard Raymond Felton fouled out against Villanova. In the championship game against Illinois a little more than a week later, the Illini came surging from behind in the second half only to have Felton gun them down.

For anyone who understands the true nature of this game, Felton could just as easily have been named the most outstanding player at the Final Four as Sean May, and that is no slam on May, who was superb.

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