TOC: Danny Green Arrives Early

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- One of four 2005 basketball signees, Danny Green, is not due on the campus of UNC for the second session of summer school until late June, but he is already scoring points in the Dean Smith Center.

While most seniors have hung up their AAU basketball shoes for the last time, Danny Green is traveling with his Long Island Panthers to stay in shape until he arrives on campus to get down to business.

In the first night of pool play in the Tournament of Champions, Green finished with 15 points on 5-9 field goals (1-2 from behind the arc), 4-5 free throws, five rebounds two assists, and two steals, even though he played almost none of the second half of an 88-26 victory that was called early due to the 20-point slaughter rule.

"I played all right," Green said. "I was trying to get the cobwebs out from the ride, just getting loose. We were up by a lot, so we weren't trying to go all-out. We are saving ourselves for tomorrow, once we got the big lead. We played the second half lackadaisical."

He is already thinking about what his role is going to be in Chapel Hill this coming season, now that four underclassmen have declared for the NBA draft.

"It's a lot different now," Green said. "Everybody is gone, so the freshmen have big shoes to fill. I don't know what my role is going to be on the team right now, but I know it is going to [have to be] more assertive and more aggressive than it was before…

"But I think we'll be OK. Coach Williams will get us ready. We'll have a lot of pressure on our shoulders, but I think we'll be able to handle it a little bit. Coach Williams, he'll get us ready."

Green does, however, expect to be able to use his varied talents.

"I'm just going to do what I do best," he said. "I'm going to play my all-around game: get rebounds, block shots, shoot the ball, play hard, and play defense."

Green has been in the Smith Center before, but his first visit since he signed to play at UNC feels different than others in the past.

"I feel more at home," he said. "I saw some of the guys who played here last year. They said, 'What up?' to me, and I said 'What up?' to them. I feel more at home. A lot of fans are showing me love. It's more comfortable."

Since the 2005 Tar Heels lost seven players, there will be plenty of scholarships to fill in the future, and Green is willing to do his part in the recruiting process if the opportunity arises.

"D.C. -- Derrick Caracter -- they are looking at him," Green said. "He's another guy who is close to New York, by New York. I know him, so if they are interested I'll push for him -- and a couple of other guys from New York, if they are interested."


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