NBPA: Q&A with Larry Drew

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- You asked and Larry Drew answered. We collected questions from Inside Carolina's readers and then sat down with the future Tar Heel point guard at the NBPA Top 100 Camp to present him with some of your questions ...

When did you know you were coming to Carolina?

"Last summer when I was playing with the Pump [‘N Run team], the recruiting process started to really pick up. I had noticed that Carolina wasn't recruiting me, and they had been the only top school that hadn't been recruiting me or sending me any letters or anything. We were in Vegas and somebody said Roy Williams was at the game watching me play, I had a really good game and that they were really impressed with me. I got so excited and I got so happy and that feeling alone let me know right then and there that I wanted to be a Tar Heel -- that I wanted to go there. Any other college I was like, ‘Oh, that's cool,' but when I found out Roy was watching me I was like, ‘Yeah …' I felt like I achieved something."

Can you tell us about the approach Coach Williams took in your recruitment?

"The one thing he did most differently than any other coaches is he used patience. He said, ‘I know you're going to go other places and I know you're going to talk to other coaches, but we really want you to come here and I think this will be the best situation for you.' And that was all he really told me … They really took the time to recruit me and let me take my time - they were professional about it."

How much interaction did you have with the current team during your recruitment and did that impact your decision?

"I didn't really get a chance at [interacting with the current team]. The only player I know from Carolina right now is Alex Stepheson and when we see each other we talk."

What is the funniest thing you were told while being recruited?

"Actually, it was from Roy. He joked that he wanted me to commit so bad that if I didn't he might jump off a building [*laughs*]. It was toward the ends of it when I was narrowing it down. I thought that was pretty funny. … He was pretty funny – he'd say [*imitating Roy Williams' voice*] ‘Young Larry...'"

What was the craziest thing that happened on one of your recruiting trips?

"I remember when I went to Arizona for the visit it was me, Brandon [Jennings] and some other kids and I thought it was funny because they were running around trying to get to all of us at the same time without letting us know that there were other players on the campus -- but we all knew about it."

Can you give us some insight on why you think Coach Williams made you his one and only PG target and what qualities make you a perfect fit for UNC's system?

"A lot of people tell me I'm kind of like an old-school, throwback point guard – that I look to run the team and I'm a pass-first guy. So maybe that's why [he chose me]. … [Coach Williams] has won the most games out of any coach the last 10 years. He knows what he's doing and he's real professional with everything he does … "

Considering your father is a coach with the Hawks, do you get to talk or play any pickup with Marvin Williams?

"Yeah, I hang out with Marvin when I go to Atlanta. After I visit a practice, we shootaround and talk. He's always been telling me that [Carolina] is the best place to go out of anywhere."

How much do you know about the tradition and heritage of Carolina basketball - do you have a favorite former Tar Heel?

"I definitely know what I'm getting myself into. … I like Michael – love Michael – but I liked Raymond a lot when he was there."

Who is the current or former UNC player you're most looking forward to playing with in pickup when you first arrive in Chapel Hill?

"I'm hoping I can play some pickup against Tywon [Lawson] because he is their point guard and he's having a real successful college career – and I want to go against the best. I'm just looking forward to playing with and against anybody I can there."

If you had your choice, what one player for 2008 would you like to have as a teammate? Are you recruiting anyone to join you at Carolina?

"I have a lot of players I'd like to play with. Jrue [Holiday], I'm really good friends with him. Samardo [Samuels], I just met him here and we're playing real well together and clicking. … Anybody that wants to win and wants to work hard and play hard, I'm down with them. … I wouldn't say [I'm recruiting] anybody in particular, but I try to put Tar Heels in everyone's ear."

Did your parents express any preferences when you were making your college decision?

"My mom really wanted me to stay close to home, and she was pushing for me to stay home, but she went away for college and when it was all said and done, she liked North Carolina as much as any in my family did and she was really happy with the decision I made. My dad wanted North Carolina from Day 1, even when they weren't recruiting me yet."

Who wins in a game of horse, you or your dad?

"I think I'd beat him now. Last time we played I didn't beat him. He can shoot, I don't know how he does it. He doesn't even have to warm up, he just comes and winds up and shoots this little set shot and it goes in every time."

What about in a game of one-on-one?

"Oh, one-on-one? That's no problem. [*laughs*]"

Your father has had great success as a college and pro basketball player. What qualities have you learned from him that you think will make you a better college player?

"Leaderships qualities. The way a point guard should think on and off the court. The feel for the game – that kind of stuff. He's taught me from Day 1. He's the one who put the ball in my hands and has guided me ever since."

What type of point guard do you consider yourself to be?

"Pass-first. There's no need to make things harder for myself. Why shoot a tough jumper if somebody else is open. And I think once you get your teammates involved, they start to play better. It's a team game, so …"

If you were going to pick a player as an example of the sort of PG you'd like to be, who would it be and why?

"The only three point guards that I want to go home and watch play are Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Jason Kidd. They are the best point guards in the NBA without a doubt, in my opinion."

What specific parts of your game do you think translate well to college ball and what areas are you currently working on?

"My IQ. I know how to run a team and what to do when I go out there. … I know I need to get a lot stronger and work on my jumper for the next level because guys are going to be just as fast, shoot just as well or better, so I have to work at that stuff.

Who is the best player you have played with or against?

"So far it's Brandon [Jennings]."

Have you felt the Duke rivalry at all yet?

"Not really, but I know once I get there it'll be crazy. This teacher at my school asked me a couple days after I committed if I'd committed to Carolina. I asked ‘Why?' and she said she had a cousin who went to Duke who was asking ‘Does Larry Drew go to your school? Did he commit? If so, tell him we're going to beat them.' So I've seen it a little."

Have you decided on an intended major? If not what are some choices that you will take into consideration?

"All up until a couple weeks ago, I always wanted to major in astronomy. But it's a lot of work – a lot of work [*laughs*]. There's a lot of time you need to spend with it, and if I wasn't playing basketball, I would love to major in that, but with the amount of time I'll spend with basketball, I'll have to major in something else like communications."

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