The North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team will be bringing in three new freshmen for the upcoming season. I believe that each can have a significant impact and will be able to help the team have a successful season.
I think Joel Berry will have the biggest impact for the Tar Heels. The point guard out of Orlando will help shore up a position that was a weak spot for much of last season, and will allow Marcus Paige to move to shooting guard, where he can be more of a scorer. Berry should also be more of a leader than Nate Britt was last season, and will have more of a court presence than Britt. If Berry can be the legitimate scoring threat that he was in high school, it will draw the defense’s attention and open up the floor for the rest of the Tar Heels offense.
The two other freshman recruits are Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson, who both play small forward. As the season gets closer, it will be interesting to see how they play, as both are potential starters for the upcoming year. I believe that Jackson, the McDonald’s All-American game co-MVP, will win the starting job, since he is a better shooter than Pinson. All Tar Heels not named Marcus Paige had trouble scoring from the outside last season, and I think Jackson will provide a much-needed scoring threat that will also help draw attention away from Paige.
In my opinion, Pinson’s biggest contribution will be providing depth and scoring off the bench. Marcus Paige played more than 35 minutes a game last season, and hopefully Pinson will be enough of a threat that Roy Williams feels comfortable taking Paige off the floor to give him some rest. Ideally, Pinson will be able to provide energy and points off the bench in the same way JP Tokoto did last season.
Overall, I think the Tar Heels are bringing in a great Freshman class this season, which will help their offense immensely. I think that both Jackson and Berry will be starters and will have an instant impact, and that Pinson will provide depth and points off the bench.
Who do you think will have the biggest impact for UNC this season? Let me know in the comments below.