UNC Basketball: Jalek Felton getting important chance early in season

CHAPEL HILL, NC - DECEMBER 06: Jalek Felton /

UNC point guard Jalek Felton has opportunity to show off his skills

Jalek Felton was the name everyone was talking about for the North Carolina Tar Heels 2017 recruiting class.

The flashy point guard is the nephew of Tar Heels great Raymond Felton and was a top 50 player in the 2017 class. When he stepped on campus, many fans wondered what Felton’s role would be with starter Joel Berry and backup Seventh Woods ahead of him.

But now just a few weeks into the season a big opportunity has been handed to Felton.

Sophomore Seventh Woods will miss extended time dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, head coach Roy Williams announced on Tuesday.

With Woods on the sideline for at least a few weeks, Felton now assumes the role of backup point guard for the Tar Heels.

Felton’s chance comes early in his career, just after the 10-game mark. In a four-game stretch against Arkansas, Michigan State, Michigan and Davidson, Felton played just 9 minutes in each game except for 6 against Arkansas.

But with the absence of Woods, Felton played 13 minutes against Tulane and 18 against Western Carolina.

He delivered arguably his best game of the season against the Catamounts, putting up 15 points in his 18 minutes of play. Felton drained all four of his three-point attempts on what was a historic night for the Tar Heels.

Felton shot 62.5 percent from the field and was pretty smooth while handling the basketball.

While Felton projects to backup Berry with Woods out, we will also see the two on the court at the same time.

Already this season we have seen Felton be the primary ball handler in the offense while Berry plays more of a two-guard role.

If Felton can continue to shoot well, it gives the Tar Heels another legit scoring option on the court along with Berry and Luke Maye. It can also give Roy the opportunity to rest players like Kenny Williams and Theo Pinson at times.

It will certainly be interesting to see what Roy decides to do with his lineups and how he will involve Felton more.

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But one thing we know is that Felton seems to have a lot of talent that will help this team in the long run.