UNC is coming off a disappointing season. Do they have enough next season to respond?
There aren’t too many teams that were happy to see the college basketball season prematurely stop but North Carolina had to be one of them.
Head coach, Roy Williams had the worst year of his career. The Heels would finish the season 14-19, 6-14 (tied for last in the ACC) including a season ending 81-53 loss to Syracuse.
UNC was snake-bitten by injuries all season. Starters, Cole Anthony (missed 11 games) and Brandon Robinson (missed 9 games) missed significant time during the season. The injury bug also impacted the Heels’ depth off the bench with Jeremiah Francis missing 17 games while Anthony Harris missed 28.
But the injuries weren’t the only reason why the Heels struggled. Williams needed for his Grad transfers to play major roles and they didn’t live up to the task. Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce took turns struggling against ACC competition. Their lack of consistent punch was also a key to the Heels disappointing season.
First, lets assume that Anthony isn’t coming back. The fabulous freshman did enough to prove that he’s good enough to be an NBA lottery pick. Robinson will be loss to graduation. UNC fans can only wonder what type of year Robinson and the Heels would’ve had if he could’ve stayed healthy.
Keeling and Pierce will also be moving on. They are certainly replaceable.
Day’Ron Sharpe 6′ 9″ – Winterville, NC (Montverde Academy)
Walker Kessler 6′ 10″ – Fairburn, GA (Woodward Academy)
Caleb Love 6′ 3″ – Saint Louis, MO (Christian Brothers College High School)
R.J. Davis 6′ 1″ – White Plains, NY (Archbishop Stepinac High School)
Donovan Johnson 6′ 7″ – Phoenix, AZ (Hillcrest Prep)
Keys for 2020-21:
If Garrison Brooks comes back, the Heels are a strong candidate for next year’s Final Four. Brooks proved that he can be dominant around the basket against top flight competition. Armando Bacot had an uneven freshman season but he will improve during the offseason now that he knows what level he needs to play at.
Leaky Black is Leaky Black and he will probably be asked to do less next season. Of course, Williams would love to get something out of either Francis or Harris.
Then there is the freshmen class heading to Chapel Hill. Davis and Love will be contributors next season while Kessler and Sharpe will have the luxury of playing behind Brooks and Bacot. Their minutes will increase as the season progresses and it will give Williams incredible depth in his two-big offense.
The key, besides health, will be three-point shooting. The Heels will have to knockdown the three-pointers to open up things up for the bigs inside.