The 2019-2020 season was one of the worst basketball seasons in Carolina history.
The Heels went 14-19 and 6-14 in the ACC. Although it was a bad year for the Heels, we could see a huge improvement this coming year.
The first bright spot is Garrison Brooks. He had a breakout season in ’19-20. Brooks averaged nearly 17 points per game along with 8.5 rebounds per game this past season. This coming season will be his final season at Carolina and many think it will be his best, even after his stellar Junior year.
Secondly, returning Sophomores could play a huge impact. The class included the number one ranked point guard recruit in the country, Cole Anthony. Cole recently declared for the NBA Draft, as expected. Additionally, guard Anthony Harris will be headed back to Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, the 4 star guard had a freshman season cut short due to an ACL tear. Harris is expected to start and play a huge role for the Tarheels.
Additionally, the second highest ranked member of Roy Willams 2019 recruiting class Armando Bacot, announced he would be returning. Bacot will have to play a massive role if UNC wants to cut down the nets in April.
Another key role of UNC’s success next season will be the development of Junior guard Leaky Black. Black averaged 6.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game last season. Many saw Black as the “Defensive Player of the Year” for the Tar Heels last season. One question mark in Leaky’s game was his jump shot. His shooting percentages were extremely low last season, shooting 36% from the field and a slim 25% from 3-point range. However, it wouldn’t be the first time we have seen a Carolina small-forward make a huge leap in his game from Sophomore to Junior season. A few years ago, Justin Jackson went from shooting 29% from 3-point range, to shooting 37% from behind the arc the following season.
Most importantly, North Carolina has the third-ranked incoming freshman class in the nation. Five-star guard Caleb Love is expected to earn the starting position this coming season after Cole Anthony’s departure. The Heels are acquiring four-star guards, Kerwin Walton, Puff Johnson(brother of Cam Johnson), and RJ Davis. All of whom can be key contributors for the ‘Heels.
In the frontcourt, Carolina will add five-stars Day’ron Sharp and Walker Kessler. With Bacot and Brooks most likely being the starters, Sharpe and Kessler could both play a key role off the bench.
In the 2020-21 season, the Tar Heels are set for a deep run in the tournament and will see a huge improvement from last season.
Photo: Robert Willet