Freshman center Joel James didn’t necessarily make a big splash with the North Carolina Tar Heels last season. He saw limited time in games, and when Roy Williams went to a smaller lineup, he was even more limited. However, the 6-foot-10-inch out of West Palm Beach, Fla. could be one of the keys to success for the Tar Heels in the future.
James is currently the tallest player on the Tar Heels squad, but will be tied for that honor when 2013 recruit Kennedy Meeks joins the team next season. Both young post players are looking to make their mark on the Tar Heels future.
When Carolina went to a smaller lineup last season, it left James Michael McAdoo playing center in the lineup rather than power forward. It worked for to an extent for the Tar Heels, but they were left undersized down low at times. Especially against teams with centers who are physical.
This is were James can play a huge role for the Tar Heels next season. With Dexter Strickland graduating, the Tar Heels can move a few players around in the lineup. This opens up a spot at center, where Joel James can strive.
James will obviously need to work on some things this off-season. Including his offensive and defensive post game, but the big man gives Carolina a big physical body down low to clog the lane. James is also a very solid rebounder and should improve over the years.
A big center like James would create plenty of mismatches, and give Carolina a solid rebounder to match-up with opposing teams centers.
As Williams looks to get Carolina back to glory, a few reloading years are bound to happen. When James was recruited by Williams, the envision of James being the next dominating center for Carolina popped up in plenty of fans minds.
Now with a fresh recruit in Meeks coming in next season, he could be a perfect compliment to James and the remaining of the post players on the team.
Don’t be too surprised if James becomes a key for any future Tar Heels making a deep run in the tournament.