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News » At Carolina, fathers know best 2009-11-06

At Carolina, fathers know best 2009-11-06

At Carolina, fathers know best 2009-11-06For years, Larry Drew told his son, Larry II, that he needed to work on his shooting mechanics in Basketball. Last season, the younger Drew, North Carolina's point guard, shot 35.1% and finally got the message.

"In high school, I always talked to him about taking the hitch out of his shot," the father said in a phone interview. "The thing was, he was making the shot and didn't see a need to fix it. At the end of last season, he said, 'Dad, I want you to fix my shot.' "

The father has a lot of expertise as a player and coach. He played 10 seasons on four NBA teams before retiring in 1991. He is an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks.

Larry Drew II is one of two North Carolina sophomores whose fathers played in the NBA . Forward Ed Davis' father, Terry, played 10 NBA seasons, including five with the Dallas Mavericks.

Both UNC players turned to their dads for help as they prepared for the 2009-10 season. UNC, the defending NCAA champion, opens Monday against Florida International and new coach Isiah Thomas in Chapel Hill. The game is part of the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Drew and Davis are expected to start after being reserves their freshman year. Davis, 6-10, is part of an imposing front line. He could team with 7-0 sophomore Tyler Zeller, 6-9 senior Deon Thompson or 6-10 freshman John Henson.

These players are expected to account for most of UNC's scoring. The Tar Heels lost Tyler Hansbrough, who averaged 20.7 points, to graduation along with Danny Green. Additionally, Wayne Ellington and point guard Ty Lawson left early for the NBA .

Davis scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in 14 minutes in UNC's 89-72 NCAA title-game win against Michigan State. His raw skills, a lanky body suitable for the NBA and a knack for blocking shots impressed NBA scouts.

There was speculation Davis was going to be a top-10 NBA draft pick last summer, but he decided to stay at UNC. "If they predicted him to go in the top 10, he can work himself to the top five," his father said.

Davis spent a chunk of the offseason in his hometown of Richmond, Va., working out with his dad.

"He's really tough," Davis said. "He doesn't do a lot of joking around. The NBA was his job, so he took it seriously."

They worked on improving Davis' strength and shooting and polishing his low-post game.

"He's not afraid to go up strong," his father said. With a chuckle, he adds, "If he goes in there with a weak layup, he knows he has to answer to me anyway."

Drew has a lot more to prove this season than Davis. He played 9.6 minutes a game behind Lawson, and his play was usually sketchy. He averaged 1.4 points.

"The program is regenerating with new blood," Drew's father said. "He has a bit of responsibility on his shoulders."

After last season, his father began driving from Atlanta on Fridays to spend the weekends with Drew, mostly in Chapel Hill gyms. They began changing Drew's shot to give it a more fluid motion.

After the semester ended, the workouts continued in Drew's hometown of Encino, Calif. Father and son incorporated conditioning drills, and Drew scrimmaged at UCLA, where dozens of professionals and college players play pickup daily every summer.

Usually, Drew's father runs point guard camps in California. He canceled them this year to work with his son.

"He's been through everything I'm going through," the younger Drew said. "He knows what can be made of this team. He knows my role coming into this year and how important it is for me to be on top of my game. I'm ready for it."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 6, 2009


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