The independent news organization of Duke University

2020-21 North Carolina men's basketball preview

North Carolina Tar Heels

2019-20 record: 14-19, 6-14 in the ACC

Head coach: Roy Williams

Tenure at North Carolina: 18th season

Career coaching record: 885-253

Home court: Dean E. Smith Center

Starters: G Caleb Love, G/F Leaky Black, F Garrison Brooks, F Armando Bacot, G RJ Davis

Bench: G Kerwin Walton, F Walker Kessler, G Andrew Platek, G Puff Johnson

Overview: North Carolina struggled greatly last year, ending with a losing season both in the ACC and overall. This was a big change from the Tar Heels most people are used to but was a direct result of losing three first-round picks: Coby White, Cameron Johnson and Nassir Little. The Tar Heels also lost some key veteran players like Luke Maye and Kenny Williams, who proved to be assets on the team from their experience. The Tar Heels got lucky last season, as the postseason was canceled and they didn’t have to live with the shame of having a disastrous end to the year.

This season, Roy Williams has another chance to work with some top players that will hopefully bring him a better season this time around. There are five top-100 recruits on the squad, with three from the top 18. Caleb Love will likely be the starting point guard, as the coaching staff has had an eye on him for several years. Anthony Harris is coming into the season as a redshirt freshman due to an injury, and if he is able to get healthy, he will be by Love’s side. Leaky Black is weak offensively compared to his teammates but has proven to be a valuable passer. Puff Johnson and Kerwin Walton are strong shooters, and RJ Davis will likely be a backup for Love and will be primed to start as point guard next season.

Besides the incoming class, Williams has some veterans to fall back on. Sophomore Armando Bacot will hopefully continue to work on being the strong rebounder to look to. Senior forward Garrison Brooks will be an important player that will be useful as a team leader and will be able to use his experience in the past few years to guide his teammates on the court.

Team ceiling: UNC comes back with a stronger squad and a healthy Anthony Harris to add to Williams’ arsenal, and the team makes it to the Final Four.

Team floor: The Tar Heels have another losing season and lose in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament.


Share and discuss “2020-21 North Carolina men's basketball preview” on social media.