UNC Basketball: Tar Heels’ biggest hope and biggest concern for 2018-19

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels and his team react to their 86-65 loss to the Texas A
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels and his team react to their 86-65 loss to the Texas A /

The Tar Heels’ offseason began in Charlotte after a loss to Texas A&M. Where does North Carolina go from here?

UNC basketball ended a little earlier than usual for Tar Heel nation this season. After making it to at least the Sweet 16 the past three seasons, this year’s team fell in the second round to Texas A&M.

With that loss, ends a season in which the Tar Heels lost 10 games and failed to win either the ACC regular season or tournament titles. It also marks the end of two great careers as Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson graduate and move on to greater things.

So with that in mind, what is the biggest hope and the biggest fear for the upcoming season?

Biggest Hope

The Continued Development of the three freshmen bigs

There are several things to look forward to next season, including the return of the trio of Cam Johnson, Kenny Williams, and Luke Maye. The three combined to average nearly 41 points per game and will be a solid base for Roy Williams to build upon.

There is also a lot of hope with the incoming freshman class, led by the play of Nassir Little, who just recently dominated the McDonald’s All-American Game. He is the type of young impact player that the Tar Heels were missing this past season.

However, the biggest hope has to be the development of the freshmen bigs, particularly Sterling Manley and Garrison Brooks. Those two started the season off slowly, but helped out greatly down the stretch.

Another jump this offseason will allow Roy Williams go back to the bruising style he likes to play and potentially a deeper run for next year’s squad.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Garrison Brooks
CHAPEL HILL, NC – FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Garrison Brooks /

Biggest Concern

Who will play point guard? 

Anytime a team loses a player the caliber of Joel Berry II, it is going to hurt. However, this is one of those times where a player leaving creates a giant hole.

Not only will the Tar Heels miss the graduating senior’s leadership and scoring, but also his ability to bring the ball up the court. This is further hindered by the fact that the team’s next best ball handler, Theo Pinson, is also graduating.

Next season, the ball handling job will come down to Seventh Woods and incoming freshman Coby White. Woods did not progress last season as expected, partly due to injury, and had more turnovers than field goals made on the season.

White does enter as one of the top freshman guards in the country, but it’s rare for a freshman guard, especially one playing out of position, to excel in Roy Williams’ offense.

The development of this storyline will be the biggest of the offseason, and may even lead to the Tar Heels going the transfer route.

Next: Coby White receives another prestigious honor

As always, how a team grows from its losses often defines how it wins later on, and the Tar Heels have a great chance to continue winning if they continue to grow and work out their question marks for next season.