UNC Basketball: Joel Berry II named preseason All-American

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Joel Berry II
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Joel Berry II /

Senior Joel Berry II earns honors in the latest round of preseason All-American team naming.

SportingNews placed Joel Berry II on their preseason All-American Third Team that was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Berry was one of six seniors as well as one of four ACC players to make one of the three squads.

In most cases, this would seem like a pretty big honor for a rising senior but in actuality, it is yet just another knock against this year’s Tar Heels team.

The Tar Heels, despite being the reigning National Champions, are not getting much overall respect from the media.

No ESPN writer had the Tar Heels in their preseason Final Four prediction despite being the only school to make said Final Four each of the past two seasons.

They were also picked to finish fifth in the conference despite finishing first each of the past two seasons. The Tar Heels couldn’t even land the coveted Charlotte region in Joe Lunardi’s preseason bracketology.

UNC returns seven players from last season’s championship team, including Berry, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four last season.

However, just like the team, Berry is also not getting much respect for postseason awards.

He is constantly being overlooked for ACC player of the year by Bonzie Colson (a noteworthy selection) and Grayson Allen, who didn’t even get honorable mention for the All-ACC squad last year.

Berry was recently snubbed by the AP All-American teams, failing to make a spot in the top five, though it appeared he would’ve made a second team appearance had the voting gone that deep. That is what makes this third team selection such a slap in the face.

Six other guards were selected ahead of Berry and none are near as accomplished as the Chapel Hill senior.

It is possible that Berry’s injury is hurting him in voting, but the few games he will miss will hardly have an impact on his overall season.

Besides Berry has shown time and time again that he is tougher than most, playing through two ankle injuries as the Tar Heels won the title.

Regardless, congratulations are in order for Berry making the third team per Sporting News.

Next: Simi Shittu cancels visit to UNC

Hopefully, it will be just another piece of fodder on his way to National Player of the year and a third straight Final Four stint for North Carolina.