Joel James started out the season looking good with a soft inside touch and a better back to the basket game than most expected to see from him during his freshman campaign. Since his solid start, James looks lost on both ends of the floor and it’s clear he just isn’t ready for the big time yet.
This isn’t a surprising development for James who just started playing basketball three years ago during his sophomore year in high school. James has also went through a drastic body transformation over the last year where he dropped over 60 pounds and added on another 20 of muscle, even for an experienced player that’s a big change to get used to.
James has a ton of potential and his physical presence won’t be kept bottled up for long, he just doesn’t have the basketball IQ to play much right now. James has been plagued by silly fouls on the defensive end and turnovers on the offensive end in which he looks like he’s very unsure of where he needs to be and either overexerts himself and plays with too much aggression or is too tentative
Sophomore Desmond Hubert has been picking up his game slowly, Brice Johnson is an offensive force that continues to improve his all around game and Jackson Simmons stepped up and proved that he at least deserves a shot at the fourth big man spot with his 15 minute, eight points, four rebound performance against FSU. For now James needs to play very sparingly and Tar Heel fans shouldn’t expect much of anything from him this season.