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Double trouble (cont.)

Posted: Monday January 28, 2008 3:17PM; Updated: Tuesday January 29, 2008 11:38AM
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When the Wears do arrive in Chapel Hill two seasons from now, they already know they'll be roommates. "We're so used to living under the same roof as it is," says David, who sits on the family's living-room couch next to Travis during the interview, with both boys dressed in identical warmup gear from a game Mater Dei won a few hours earlier. "And we already share so much stuff" -- including clothes and shoes, but not Guitar Hero axes -- "that it's just easier."

Whether they'll play the same kind of tricks on Roy Williams that they do on McKnight remains to be seen. The Mater Dei coach purchased a new set of practice jerseys this year with numbers on both sides; with the old, one-sided jerseys, McKnight had to wait until the Wears ran by him to figure out which brother he was watching. Yet they insist on confusing him by wearing the old ones, or even switching jerseys altogether on occasion. "I can take teasing from 6-10 kids," says McKnight. Especially when they're combining for 35 points per game, and your team is 22-0, as Mater Dei was through Monday.

When they do wear the correct jerseys, there are simple reasons that David is No. 12 and Travis is 12 times two, or 24: "D" comes before "T" in the alphabet. And on Sept. 21, 1990, "D" was born one minute before "T," a fact of debatable importance among the brothers.

"It matters a lot," says David, "for stuff like holding the channel-changer, seats at the dinner table ..."

"It does not matter," Travis insists.

Where they are in agreement is that they play better as a tandem -- not just because most high-school defenses are woefully unequipped to guard multiple 6-10 forwards, but because the Wears are almost always on the same mental wavelength. "We've never played on separate teams," says David. "I'm so used to playing with [Travis]: I know where he's going to be, I know when to pass him the ball, and I know if I get in trouble he'll bail me out."

"It's habit now, knowing where's going to be," says Travis. "We just have a feel for each other on the court."

The Wears will go on to join a UNC team devoid of the hosts from their October recruiting trip: Hansbrough, Bobby Frasor and Marcus Ginyard, the latter of whom had the twins watch two hours of Planet Earth in HD before they went out on Franklin Street. (It was a good thing that they actually like the Discovery Channel.) The new look of the Heels' roster, however, will be loaded with other big men, including Thompson and Stepheson if they stick around as seniors, elite '08 recruits Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller, and Henson in the '09 class.

One gets the feeling, though, that when Mater Dei's Twin Towers become the Dean Dome's Twin Tars, they will eventually find themselves on the court in tandem: a sixth sense is too valuable of a thing to waste. They'll likely come off the bench early on, then perhaps be utilized as roving threes and fours on a massive Carolina front line. That scenario is a long ways off; there are two more high-school state titles to be won in the meantime. But as Travis says, "We're just always together." They know no other way.

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