Back For More: North Carolina Returns Stellar Starting Five for 2008-09

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer INovember 13, 2008

Chapel Hill is a good place to be a basketball fan right now, because Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels are poised for another championship run. 

Led by the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC returns a starting five that could rival any in college hoops history.

At point guard, the Heels boast one of the nation's most electrifying players: Ty Lawson. 

The 5'11" speedster returns for his junior campaign after declaring for the draft, but pulling his name at the last minute. Lawson is the quarterback of this team, and he could very well be an All-American.

Last season, Lawson averaged nearly 13 points and five assists per game.

Joining Lawson in the backcourt is fellow junior Wayne Ellington. 

Ellington may be the most pure shooter in the nation, and he can stroke it from anywhere on the court.  The 6'4" shooting guard out of Pennsylvania adds a dimension to this UNC offense, and he frees up space in the middle for this team's big men. The Heels will look to number 22 for all of their big time shots.

Perhaps the most underrated player on this team is starting small forward Danny Green, a 6'6" tweener who can defend, shoot, and rebound.

Green has that "it" factor that you look for in a basketball player.  Not only does he have NBA ability, but he has that "team player" mentality. Green was clutch for the Tar Heels in 2007-08, and I expect nothing less this season.

At power forward, the Tar Heels will start Deon Thompson, a 6'8" junior who has steadily improved in his first two seasons, and figures to do no less this year.  Thompson combines brute strength and athletic ability, and he fits perfectly with the "run and gun" style offense North Carolina runs. 

At center, North Carolina boasts the best player in all of college hoops:  Tyler "Psycho-T" Hansbrough.  Hansbrough returns to this team for his senior season looking to lead the Tar Heels to another Final Four birth.  Hansbrough was a unanimous All-American going into this season, and barring a serious injury, he will not disappoint.

Th team's key reserves, Bobby Frasor, Marcus Ginyard, and William Graves, will team up with incoming freshmen Larry Drew, Ed Davis, and Tyler Zeller to form one of the deepest benches in the NCAA.

The Tar Heels' talent extends much further beyond this phenomenal starting five, and this team might as well purchase their plane tickets to the Final Four, because they are second to none.