UNC Vs. Duke: A Match of Each Team’s Current NBA Players

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PG      Kyrie Irving              PPG 18.5       APG 5.2         RPG 3.4

The Blue Devils roster received a big boost when Kyrie Irving entered the NBA last season. During his first year as a pro, Irving has proven that he is more than capable of holding his own in the league. While he has provided the expected ability to drive the ball to the basket, he has also shot the ball better than anyone could have every expected. Whether it is his three point shooting, his free throw percentage, or his overall shooting numbers, Irving has dazzled in every aspect of the game.

SG      J.J. Reddick              PPG 11.2       APG 2.2         RPG 2.2

As Tar Heel fans, we are all unfortunately familiar with Reddick’s abilities as a basketball player. While he has yet to dominate the NBA ranks in the same manner as he did during his collegiate career, his shooting abilities have certainty translated. While there are a few holes in his game, Reddick provides the pure shooting abilities that are necessary for any great team.

SF       Luol Deng                PPG 15.6       APG 3.2         RPG 6.9

At this point in his NBA career, Luol Deng is enjoying the best stretch of play during his tenure in the league. After being voted a 2011 All-Star for his solid scoring ability, and stellar defense, Deng has established himself as a legitimate NBA talent. While his teammate Derrick Rose gets the majority of the credit for the Bulls recent success, there is no denying that Deng has been invaluable in his own right.

PF       Carlos Boozer         PPG 15.4       APG 1.7         RPG 8.2

While Boozer is a solid option at the power forward position, I have felt as though he has underachieved since beginning his recent stretch as a member of the Chicago Bulls. He does provide the Blue Devils team with a legitimate scoring option in the post, but he also a notably poor shot blocker.

C         Elton Brand             PPG 10.3       APG 1.5         RPG 7.1

Elton Brand is certainly a great player in his own right, but the fact that he is force into the center position for this Duke team, due to their lack of a true center, it a notable flaw. However, despite that fact, Brand is a solid scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker for his 76ers team.

BN      Grant Hill                   PPG 10.1       APG 2.2         RPG 3.4

Much like Vince Carter, Grant Hill is a former NBA great who is nearing the end of his illustrious career. However, the overall parody in Hill’s game still make him a solid player at the professional level. Hill was known throughout his career as a player with a phenomenal all-around game that had no perceivable weaknesses. Even at his age, that reputation still holds true. His veteran presents that he brings to any roster is also a notable advantage.

BN      Corey Maggette      PPG 14.4       APG 1.1         RPG 4.6

Through his basketball career, Corey Maggette has made a name for himself as a player who would fearlessly and effectively drive the ball to the basket. While age has caused him to lose a step or two, he still has the ability to produce as a solid scoring option at the professional level.

Now that each roster has been filed out, the question of which team would win in a matchup remains. Unlike the game between UNC’s and Duke’s all-time rosters, this matchup is much more evenly matched. In all honestly, when you look at the players that each school has to offer, the Duke Blue Devils have a noticeable advantage. While Carolina brings a roster full of fan favorites and legendary names to the table, the Devils simply carry a more talented squad of players. However, the Heels do have one distinct advantage over their in-state rivals. UNC has the personnel to properly fill out a traditional NBA roster. That fact, along with the solid players that the Tar Heels bring into this matchup, gives the team enough to tilt the scales in their own direction. I firmly believe that, in the event that this theoretical matchup were to occur, that UNC’s depth would be enough to lead them to victory. When all is said and done, it all comes down to the fact that Roy Williams and the UNC Tar Heels have put a more talented pool of players in the NBA than Coach K and his Duke team.

When you take into consideration the disparity in talent between the actually rosters of both Duke and UNC, it appears as though this trend will continue. When you look at players like Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, John Henson, and Tyler Zeller, who will soon be joining the ranks of great Tar Heels players at the NBA level, the team’s strength is poised to continue. While the Blue Devils have obviously proven that they have a skilled roster in their own right, their talent level simply does not compare.

At this point in the season, the real question is whether or not the Heels will be able to use their superior talent to make a deep run in the ACC, and ultimately the NCAA Tournaments. Fortunately for March Madness fans, the answers are soon to come.