Adam Lucas published an insightful profile of senior forward Deon Thompson on Tarheelblue.com over the weekend. The article discusses the myriad ways in which Deon has played second fiddle during his illustrious career: acting as one half of the Alex Stepheson/Deon Bash Brothers his freshman year, then having to Garfunkle his way for two years behind Psycho T. Deon even gets seconds here on The Rafters due to our extreme love of Ed Davis.
Lucas points out some interesting facts about Deon’s defense, which I’m sure most of us hadn’t noticed:
“Sunday, he helped harass Nevada standout Luke Babbitt into a 5-for-18 performance, including completely shutting him out from the 10:31 mark until 19 seconds remained–the key part of the game.”
“It’s not a coincidence that with Thompson out midway through the second half, a six-point Tar Heel lead turned into a one-point deficit in less than 150 seconds.”
That sort of defensive presence is a necessity, especially considering the high volume of turnovers the Tar Heels are consistently coughing up. While Davis and freshman John Henson come up with the most spectacular blocks, Deon continues to execute the less glorious maneuvers – like hedging on screens and closing out perimeter shots – that enstill an underlying defensive toughness. So far this season he has been the Tar Heels’ leading scorer, and is showing some new moves with the same fluidity his game has always exhibited. Here’s to hoping that Deon’s performance thusfar is the prelude of a well-deserved starring season.