The college basketball offseason is upon us. This is the time where college stars get drafted, rosters overturn, and fans like us anxiously await for October. Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of huge roster changes that will impact the college basketball landscape going into the 2019-20 season. The University of North Carolina basketball program has been in the news routinely as of late. We will look at some of the major changes that has occurred within the program.
College athletes leave programs during the offseason for many reasons. Some players will look to take their talents to the professional level while others will try to find a better situation for themselves. UNC’s program will lose players to both the NBA and to the transfer portal.
Coby White falls into the former category. Following a sensational Freshmen campaign, we have seen his draft stock consistently rise throughout the season. Coby White started every game he played and averaged 16.1 points per game shooting 42% from the field and 35% from the three point line. He was one of the most consistent weapons for UNC and earned Coach Roy’s trust. Scouting services have him as a solidified lottery pick and for good reason.
This past season wasn’t smooth sailing for every freshmen on UNC’s roster. Nassir Little’s talent is undeniable, however his freshmen season was a let down. Through his freshmen campaign there were flashes of greatness as well as glaring holes in his game. Despite his season, Nassir will put his name in the draft. Scouts believe in high ceiling players and that concept is synonymous with Nassir Little. Looking at the next level, in a few years he could be really good or another let down.
The heels will also lose a veteran player to the league. Cameron Johnson will be looked at hard in the first round during this years draft. He is a versatile offensive weapon and he proved to be a legit three point shooter, in fact, he shot 45% from three for the season. Shooting is a skill that every NBA team needs and he has it.
On the other side of the spectrum, the team will lose a veteran point guard to the transfer portal. Junior point guard, Seventh Woods will take his talent to a different program to finish out his collegiate career. There was never a fit at UNC, it did not click. It will be interesting to see where Seventh decides to end his career.
The biggest get for Roy Williams and his staff this offseason was Cole Anthony without question. He is the number two ranked player in the 2019 class according to ESPN and the number one point guard. Cole Anthony is a consensus one and done recruit because of his athleticism, heady playmaking, and scoring ability on all three levels of offense. He averaged a triple double throughout his senior campaign, averaging 18.2 points per game, 10.2 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. Cole Anthony’s commitment solidified another national title run for the Heels.
The Heels were able to get Armando Bacon, a five man who committed to program back in August 2018. He is a five star recruit that will help the Heel’s rotation and allow Garrison Brooks to play his natural position at power forward. Lastly, he has created chemistry with Cole while playing in various all star games. He was also the first UNC commit in the social media age to make a commitment video. Check it out. They have other pieces to their recruiting class but I highlighted the two main recruits I expect to make the biggest impact.
The Heels did not just fill their roster with heralded recruits, but also secured some players looking for a change of scenery. Christian Keeling, a talented combo guard from Charleston Southern University recently committed to the Tarheels for his senior year of college. Keeling averaged 17.9 points per game over his three years at CSU and totaled 1,668 points in a three year span. He is expected to come in and contribute immediately because of his instant offense. Justin Pierce, a 6-foot-7-inch forward is a versatile player that will transfer in from William and Mary. Pierce averaged 14.9 point per game, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
The Tarheels have in influx of talent coming in for the 2019-20 season. It is up to Roy to get his guys ready to compete at a high level. The program’s roster seems solidified, therefore, it will be interesting to see how the team will gel together in six months as the gear up for another title run.