Last season Roy Williams had to play around with his starting lineup after the departures of Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall. One decision he made was to move James Michael McAdoo to the forward position and start Desmond Hubert at center. That was a decision that drew some criticism from fans after the Tar Heels didn’t seem to pick up any steam during the first half of the season.
I admit that I was a critique of having Hubert starting and staying in for such a decent amount of time. I feel Joel James should have been starting at times myself. When Coach Williams finally switched to a four guard lineup my attitude changed and I began to like the new “playbook.”
Pushing a year later now, I look back at my criticism of Hubert. He’s a great kid with a good attitude that fits the Carolina Way! While he may not have been as stellar on the court as everyone would wish, he has been a big contribute and had been a big reason North Carolina came away with a victory. With his size, defense is Hubert’s specialty and his contributions defending the ball have been countless.
Don’t think Hubert got much attention? How about Bill Self from the Kansas Jayhawks was one of the first coaches to give him any attention! Self is known for attracting the top talent in the nation just as Roy Williams is. Here’s what ESPN had to say about Hubert in 2009:
The 60th ranked player in the ESPNU Super 60, Desmond Hubert, is one of the top rising juniors in the 2011 class. At 6-9½, Hubert has quickly gained a reputation for being a tough defender and shot-blocker. Throughout the summer many college coaches noticed the big man from Cream Ridge, N. J. One coach, in particular, took notice, Kansas head man Bill Self. Self didn’t wait long before letting Hubert know the Jayhawks are interested in him joining their program.
But maybe his doubters need to see just how talented Hubert is and how many other top basketball programs had taken notice of him. This off-season he has worked on both offense and defense and I truly believe you will see a stronger and more balanced Desmond Hubert than we’ve seen! If you doubt him…give him a chance! He’s a talented player with a big heart for the game!