How Have Freshman SGs Done Under Roy Williams?


In order to get an idea of how well Kenny Williams will do next year, Keeping It Heel took a look at all the freshman shooting guards that have played under Roy Williams during his time at Carolina, and organized their stats in this table. This chart gives us an idea of the success that some of those other guys have had, while also giving us a few comparable players to Kenny Williams.

Here is the chart below. You can organize the players by any of the four categories listed.

[table id=10 /]

A couple of notes about the chart…

– Wes Miller played one year at JMU before coming to UNC.

– You can see why UNC had a lack of depth on the wing last season — there was a gap in shooting guard prospects coming into the program. The only other gap between shooting guard signings was between Wanye Ellington and Dexter Strickland.

-Yes, I could have included Theo Pinson or Justin Jackson here, but I felt they were more three guard types than true shooting guards.

Projecting How Kenny Williams Will Do

In order to project how Kenny (I’m going to call him Kenny to avoid confusion with Roy Williams) will do next year, we have to both look at the roster construction of the Tar Heels and the comparable players to Kenny. First of all, UNC’s roster is pretty loaded. Some of the most successful freshman were Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard and Wanye Ellington playing on relatively young and bad UNC teams in the period of 2005-07.

The only freshman who entered on the National Championship winning teams was Wes Miller, and he didn’t have a great freshman season. However, that could also because Miller, for all his great qualities, wasn’t quite as talented as some of the other freshman SGs on this list.

P.J. Hairston is an obvious comparable here. Hairston was rated a quite a bit higher (13th in ESPN 100)  than Kenny in recruiting ranks, but, both entered talented UNC teams with similar skill sets. Hairston joined the Heels in 2011-12, the year with Kendall Marshall and John Henson and the rest of that crew, and scored 5.7 points per game while shooting just 27.3% from deep. I’m not sure if Kenny will score more or less points but I’m sure he could shoot better from deep than Hairston’s relatively low mark.

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Reggie Bullock also seems like a likely comparable. Bullock averaged 6.1 points and shot just under 30% from deep in his first season in Chapel Hill.

The final takeaways here are that Coach Williams lets his freshman shooting guards play. All of the guys on this list played in nearly all the games and got significant opportunities. None of the freshman, save for maybe Wayne Ellington, made a huge impact on the team. Therefore, those singing Kenny Williams’ praises as the potential savior or key piece that this team needs might be overstating things a bit.

We can also take away that Kenny Williams will get his shot and his chance to shine, if not in Year 1 then certainly in Year 2 and beyond. 4 of the 8 guys on that list have carved out significant and successful NBA careers for themselves, and Ginyard, McDonald and Strickland all came close, playing either in the D-League or overseas. Roy Williams’s Tar Heels are silently a sort of “Shooting Guard U,” developing talented young guards into NBA ready rotation players. Kenny Williams should get his chance to develop and shine at UNC with an eye towards eventual following some of his fellow Tar Heels in the NBA.