NBPA: Larry Drew Spotlight

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ---- There would be no warmup game for Larry Drew at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. In the opening session on Wednesday, he was matched up against the top-ranked point guard in the class: Brandon Jennings.

"I always look forward to playing against Brandon because he's the best there is," Drew said afterwards.

Jennings is taller, quicker and more explosive than Drew -- and he showed it in tallying a game-high 24 points. "He hit some tough shots and that's why he's [No. 1]," Drew commented.

But it was Drew's team that won the game.

The Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft floor general focused on setting up his teammates, be it Samardo Samuels inside or Iman Shumpert and Jordan Hamilton on the wing.

That's the mindset of a pass-first point guard.

"If I have an open shot and I see someone who has a better shot than I do, no question I'll pass the ball," Drew said. "I'll shoot when I have to, but we won the game ...

"I only shot the ball twice; I just wasn't in the scoring rhythm tonight, I was more in a running-the-offense kind of rhythm."

Drew has had some solid performances this spring on the circuit, though he knows he's capable of much better. And he's sporting an ankle injury that is still not fully healed.

"Every now and then I'll tweak it, and it'll get sore, but I think it's getting stronger," he said.

As for his recent drop in national rankings by the scouting analysts, that's of little concern to Drew.

"I have goals, and looking at what other people say about me is not going to help me," he said.

Though he has noted an added edge in opponents since his commitment to North Carolina.

"My dad told me I'd have a target on my back now and people have come at me because of the reputation Carolina has," Drew said. "I've noticed it from local kids to national kids; I've definitely noticed something."

There are raised expectations now that he's going to be a Tar Heel. He's joining a program that has featured a long list of celebrated point guards and he's expected to play at that level both now and when he gets to Chapel Hill. What about the pressure that entails?

"I welcome it," he replied. "It can only make me better."

Larry Drew Profile


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