With last year’s season-ending in the most heartbreaking way, North Carolina is looking to run it back this year.
The 22-23 basketball season is only 40 days away, so let’s take a look at the most anticipated thing for this upcoming season.
The 2021-2022 season came to an end this past April with UNC losing to Kansas in the National Championship game 69-72. But this wasn’t a typical loss, UNC was up 40-25 going into Halftime, and with that came excitement for the UNC fans. We all thought we had it in the bag, and that is never a good thing to think when being up on your opponent, especially in March. Kansas came back from being down 15 points at Half and beat the Tar Heels in the final minutes. Remember, Brady Manek, Caleb Love, and Armando Bacot were injured for most of the game, and they only lost by 3. With that came tremendous heartbreak for my fellow Tar Heel fans and me as well. But, it was healed a tad bit healed when we remembered what happened 48 hours prior to the Kansas game. Caleb Love hitting the historical 28-footer over 7’1 Duke center Mark Williams to seal Coach K’s coffin and to send him home for good.
The Off Season
Not going to spend too much time writing on the off-season, so I’m just going to sum it up really quickly. UNC lost 3 players to the transfer portal Kerwin Walton (Texas Tech), Anthony Harris (Rhode Island), and Dawon Garcia (Minnesota). And Brady Manek signed with the Perth Wildcats in Australia.
Hubert Davis and staff hit the Transfer Portal looking for a stretch 4/5. Matthew Mayer was the first target, and most thought UNC was going to get him. But he pledged to the Fighting Illinois. Then they moved on to their next target, Pete Nance. a 6’10 Forward out of Northwestern University. The recruitment of Pete was quiet at first just because of him being in the process of going through the NBA combine. But he chose the Tar Heels as his home for his last year of collegiate basketball.
Then the Freshmen came in. All of them are 4 stars in Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington, Tyler Nickel, and Will Shaver.
So, with UNC keeping 4 of last year’s starters, adding a First-Team All-Big 10 player, 4 freshmen studs, and having Puff Johnson, Dontrez Styles, and D’marco Dunn on the bench, the expectations are very high. UNC being #1 in everybody’s pre-season Top 25, and being named Natty winner for next year already, has put a ton of pressure on UNC. But, pressure makes diamonds. Hubert has already made it very clear that he wants all of his players to ignore the noise. “Last year was negative noise, this year is positive noise, and I want them to treat it the same way. I always tell them, Ignore all side distractions and stay focused on what’s ahead.” Davis said in an interview a few months ago. With basketball season being around the corner, how do you think the Heels will do?