North Carolina basketball roster: Starting lineup prediction, bench rotation, depth outlook for 2022-23 season

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As late as mid-February, it appeared unsure whether or not North Carolina would even qualify for the 2022 NCAA Tournament, not to mention be positioned to make a deep run. However the Tar Heels turned it on down the stretch in coach Hubert Davis’ first season and made an inconceivable run to the nationwide title sport as a No. 8 seed.

Now, with 4 of 5 starters coming back from that staff, expectations for UNC are sky-high because the mud settles on faculty basketball’s cycle of offseason participant motion. North Carolina sits at No. 2 in Gary Parrish’s High 25 and 1, and can seemingly be favored to win the ACC over rival Duke, which may have seven true freshmen on scholarship beneath new coach Jon Scheyer.

Whereas North Carolina’s core of gamers seem settled, led by acquainted names akin to Caleb Love and Armando Bacot, there are nonetheless questions in regards to the roster’s make-up. The Tar Heels ranked 348th of 358 groups nationally final season in bench minutes, per KenPom, however Davis has crammed all 13 scholarships for the season forward.

Will the second-year coach discover a strategy to get extra substantive contributions from these exterior the beginning lineup as he welcomes the nation’s No. 11 recruiting class  to campus? Here’s a look at how the Tar Heels’ roster — and a possible rotation — shake up with a roster that seems settled.

Projected beginning lineup

1. Caleb Love

6-4 | 195 | Jr.

After a disappointing freshman season, Love took huge strides as a sophomore and started dwelling as much as his five-star prospect billing. His legendary 27-point outburst within the second half towards UCLA within the Candy 16 helped propel the Tar Heels on their Last 4 run. He adopted up with 28 towards Duke as UNC secured a spot within the nationwide title sport. Love nonetheless has room to develop by turning into extra environment friendly offensively, and one other leap will put him within the working for first-team All-ACC honors.

2. RJ Davis

6-0 | 160 | Jr.

Davis additionally took a pleasant step ahead in his sophomore season, averaging 13.5 factors, 4.3 rebounds and three.6 assists per sport whereas beginning all 39 of UNC’s contests. He and Love make for a dynamic one-two punch offensively, as each can facilitate the offense or explode for a scoring run of their very own. If one or each can grow to be lockdown defenders as juniors, it could go a great distance towards serving to UNC attain its full potential after the Tar Heels struggled defensively at occasions final season.

3. Leaky Black

6-8 | 195 | Sr.

Although offensively insignificant in a beginning lineup filled with scoring threats, Black once more proved his worth final season because the Tar Heels’ prime perimeter defender. Now returning for his fifth season with 122 profession video games already beneath his belt, Black ought to once more function the final word position participant for UNC.

4. Pete Nance

6-10 | 225 | Sr.

Nance seems to be the highest candidate to fill the beginning position vacated by Brady Manek, who shot 40.3% from 3-point vary as a graduate switch from Oklahoma in his lone season with the Tar Heels. Like Manek, Nance is a stretch energy ahead and graduate switch with loads of high-level expertise beneath his belt. He shot a career-best 45.2% from 3-point vary for Northwestern final season, although he tried simply 3.1 per sport in comparison with Manek’s 6.2 with the Tar Heels.

5. Armando Bacot

6-10 | 240 | Sr.

Fortunately for North Carolina, the NBA Draft holds little urge for food for conventional huge males who concentrate on bruising on the block. Due to that actuality, it made sense for Bacot to return for his senior season and make a run at ACC Participant of the Yr. He completed second within the voting final season whereas main the Tar Heels in factors (16.3), rebounds (13.1), blocks (1.7) and area purpose share (56.9%). He was a third-team CBS Sports activities All-American and may solely enhance on that designation as he provides Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe some competitors for finest huge man within the nation.

Bench

Dontrez Styles

6-6 | 210 | So.

Types logged simply 5.8 minutes per sport as a real freshman however flashed his potential at occasions, akin to when he performed 25 enormous minutes in UNC’s second-round win over Baylor within the NCAA Match. His offensive sport must be refined, however he can assist the Tar Heels as defender and rebounder together with his measurement and athleticism.

Puff Johnson

6-8 | 205 | Jr.

He is the youthful brother of former UNC sharpshooter and present Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson, and it is affordable to check their skillsets resulting from their comparable frames and strengths. Cam was a collegiate late-bloomer who broke out as a junior at Pitt earlier than transferring to North Carolina for his last two seasons. An identical junior-year bounce is unlikely for Puff as a result of surplus of depth on the Tar Heels’ roster, however his 11-point outing off the bench within the nationwide title sport was a superb omen for his possibilities of carving out a steadier position this season.

Justin McKoy

6-8 | 220 | Sr.

McKoy appeared in 30 video games for North Carolina final season after transferring in following two seasons as a job participant at Virginia. His contributions had been minimal, however he is a veteran who can assist within the frontcourt as necessitated by foul hassle or accidents.

D’Marco Dunn

6-4 | 185 | So.

Dunn made occasional appearances on the ground as a real freshman and ought to be in line for a bigger position following the departures of fellow reserve guards Anthony Harris and Kerwin Walton. The previous four-star prospect simply wants some a bit little bit of run to get comfy and discover a rhythm.

Seth Trimble

6-3 | 185 | Fr.

Because the No. 29 total participant within the 2022 class, based on 247Sports, Trimble is the highest-ranked incoming freshman at UNC and may have an opportunity to crack the rotation early. Whereas Love and Davis have roles locked down, Trimble ought to have the ability to compete with Dunn for minutes off the bench as a combo guard who can play on or off the ball.

Depth

Will Shaver | 6-10 | 265 | r-Fr.
Jalen Washington | 6-9 | 210 | Fr.
Tyler Nickel | 6-8 | 210 | Fr.

Shaver is a former three-star prospect who enrolled halfway by means of final season. He brings good measurement, nevertheless it would not be shocking if he is nonetheless a season away from competing for a daily position. Washington is a four-star true freshman with large size who might grow to be this system’s stretch ahead of the longer term. For now, he is working again from knee accidents that plagued him in highschool. Nickel is a little bit of a wild card with positional versatility and a easy offensive sport. Any of the three might play themselves onto the courtroom, however resulting from their youth and the expertise forward of them, they appear extra more likely to spend the subsequent season in improvement.





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