#16 North Carolina Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
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The Roy Williams era came to an end after a brilliant 18 years. For half of that time Hubert Davis was an assistant under Williams and now it is his turn to take over the program. Coach Davis is a Tar Heel through and through and is more than ready to take over and add his touch to the team. With four starters back, he will have the talent and experience he needs to push UNC back up the ACC pecking order after a combined 16-20 conference mark over the last two years.
2020-21 Record: 18-11, 10-6
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Hubert Davis
Coach Record: 0-0 at North Carolina, 0-0 overall
Key Departed Players:
Garrison Brooks, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Day’Ron Sharpe, Forward/Center, 9.5 ppg
Walker Kessler, Forward/Center, 4.4 ppg
Andrew Platek, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Armando Bacot, Junior, Forward/Center, 12.3 ppg
Caleb Love, Sophomore, Guard, 10.5 ppg
RJ Davis, Sophomore, Guard, 8.4 ppg
Kerwin Walton, Sophomore Guard, 8.2 ppg
Leaky Black, Senior, Guard/Forward, 5.6 ppg
Anthony Harris, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Puff Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Creighton Lebo, Sophomore, Guard, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
D’Marco Dunn, Freshman, Guard
Dawson Garcia, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Marquette
Brady Manek, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Oklahoma
Justin McKoy, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Virginia
Dontrez Styles, Freshman, Guard/Forward
The backcourt returns three starters. Caleb Love struggled throughout much of his freshman campaign, but he still managed to average 10.5 points and 3.6 assists. The hope is that the year of experience will turn Love into a more consistent floor leader. If Anthony Harris can stay healthy, he could become a solid option if Love’s struggles continue. RJ Davis can handle the ball some too, but he is at his best on the wing. Kerwin Walton is the team’s best three-point shooter and should thrive in Coach Davis’ likely plans to spread the floor a little bit more and let his shooters shoot. Leaky Black is a talented and versatile 6-8 wing who saw his minutes decrease last season. If he can finally reach his potential, Black will see a big boost to his numbers. It is in the frontcourt though where the Tar Heels need to replace much of their production. The good news is Armando Bacot is back after leading the team with 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds. He is an efficient scorer in the paint and can knock down some mid-range jumpers. The rest of the minutes in the frontcourt will come from a trio of Division I transfers. Dawson Garcia spent one great season at Marquette where he averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds. Brady Manek was a four-year starter at Oklahoma where he averaged double digits in the scoring department each season. He is a forward who can stretch the defense and consistently knock down three-pointers. Justin McKoy, a transfer from Virginia, should add another defensive presence in the paint. The frontcourt could end up being the strength of this team again, but the development of the young backcourt will make the difference between an ACC title contender and a team that struggles to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (74th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.9 (166, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (179, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (127, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (307, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.8 (263, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.8 (284, 14)
Rebound Margin: 10.4 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (49, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.6 (270, 15)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#11 Caleb Love
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#54 D'Marco Dunn
#61 Dontrez Styles