UNC Basketball: Shea Rush 2017-18 season preview

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 31: Shea Rush
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 31: Shea Rush /

Shea Rush is back for his sophomore season with the North Carolina Tar Heels

Walker Miller | Sterling Manley | Brandon Huffman | Garrison Brooks | Andrew Platek Jalek Felton | K.J. Smith

If you think the last name Rush sounds familiar in college basketball then you’re right. Preferred UNC walk-on Shea Rush is carrying the tradition of his last name in the sport into his sophomore season.

Rush is the son of former No. 1 overall high school recruit JaRon Rush who played at UCLA.

His uncle Kareem was a standout player at Missouri before spending some time in the NBA and his other uncle Brandon won a national championship at Kansas back in 2008.

The Rush family has a connection to head coach Roy Williams before Shea even enrolled at Chapel Hill. Williams had to rescind a scholarship offer to his father JaRon at Kansas back in 1990 but Shea didn’t know the story before arriving at UNC.

Now he continues the Rush legacy in college hoops as he enters his sophomore season.

2016-17 season review

As mentioned before, Rush was a preferred walk-on for the Tar Heels in 2016. He appeared in 20 games for the Tar Heels, coming in late with UNC holding big leads.

Two of those 20 appearances occurred in the NCAA Tournament as Rush entered the game against Texas Southern in the opening round and then Butler in the Sweet 16.

In those 20 appearances, Rush scored a total of 15 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and 3 steals as a guard.

Rush was a hot topic during UNC’s NCAA Tournament run as he constructed hats for the team to wear while traveling. The sophomore enjoys making hats, specifically fedoras, in his spare time and gifted one to each member of the team.

They were pretty damn cool.

2017-18 role and preview

Rush will enter the 2017-18 season with a similar role as he did going into 2016-17.

The majority of his playing time will likely come during blowouts as he will appear with the Blue Steel. UNC added guards Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek in their 2017 recruiting class, so any chance of Rush getting into that mix was gone when those two enrolled.

It’s going to be tough for Rush to earn valuable minutes this year unless there are key injuries to UNC’s rotation.

Still, his presence with the team from a bonding standpoint will be big.


The strength of Rush’s game is how he can handle the basketball. When he comes in he’s shown that he can handle the basketball and not turn it over.

There were some things that he had to work on going into the offseason and it appears as if he did this summer. According to his GoHeels bio, Rush says he worked on getting stronger and his three-point shot.

If that’s the case, and those both improve we could be talking about his three-point abilities as a strength.

Bold prediction

With Rush expected to have the same role going into the 2017-18 season, I will go on a prediction with his three-point shooting.

Last season Rush made 1-of-3 attempts from beyond the arc when he appeared in games. I’ll go ahead and say he makes 4-of-8 attempts this season.