UNC Basketball 2018-19 Player Previews: Coby White

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 28: Coby White #0 of Greenfield School walks on the court during the 2018 McDonald's All American Game at Philips Arena on March 28, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 28: Coby White #0 of Greenfield School walks on the court during the 2018 McDonald's All American Game at Philips Arena on March 28, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Freshman guard Coby White begins our UNC Basketball 2018-19 season preview just days ahead of tipoff against Wofford

We are just under two weeks away until the start of the 2018-19 college basketball season and with that, it’s time for our annual player previews.

Each year we do previews for each player on the 2018-19 roster, breaking down their previous season if they aren’t a freshman and what we can expect this season as well as strengths and weaknesses. It gives us a chance to break down these players and help provide some insight to the readers.

This year we are going to kick things off with the freshmen, in what could be one of Roy Williams’ best classes in a while at UNC. This class was ranked Top 10 nationally with three players signed and is very talented on the perimeter.

One of those signees is Wilson, North Carolina native Coby White. Let’s start our previews by looking at what White can bring to the table in 2018-19 season.

2017-18 Season in Review

The combo guard was one of the top players at his position in the 2019 class and finished ranked No. 25 and a five-star player by 247 Sports composite rankings. White began his recruitment as a four-star point guard out of North Carolina and eventually committed to the Tar Heels in late July of 2016.

As for his senior year at Greenfield High School, White flat out dominated.

He sent a new record for most points at the John Wall Invitational in December of 2017, breaking a 27-year-old record at the tournament. White was one of the more impressive players in a field of teams that were loaded with talent. It was then that he started to begin his ascent up the rankings with his strong play.

White finished out his four-year career at Greenfield High School scoring 3,573 total points, setting a new state record regardless of what class. The guard developed into a big-time scorer in his high school career, something that the Tar Heels hope he brings with him to Chapel Hill.

What to expect in 2018-19?

Going into this season, one of the biggest storylines surrounding the Tar heels would be the starting point guard position. After Joel Berry II graduated, UNC had a void at point guard after Seventh Woods struggled in his sophomore year.

Both Woods and White are expected to compete for the starting job and we likely won’t get an answer until the season opener at Wofford. Woods will be a junior this season and has experience in Roy Williams’ offense but he hasn’t looked like the player we all thought he would when he arrived at UNC.

The chances are that Woods is the starter early in the season but that doesn’t mean White won’t take over at some time this season. We also don’t expect White to just sit on the bench either. The guard will be a key piece to UNC’s rotation whether it’s as a starter or off the bench.

If White does come off the bench, he will play the role of the 6th or 7th guy in the rotation and could be the leader of the second unit. By coming off the bench, White gives UNC a dynamic scoring option to help push the pace of play.

This could work out very well in UNC’s favor.

Strengths and something he needs to improve on…

The biggest strength for White is his scoring ability.

White can score from all over the floor and displayed that while in high school. He’s got a good jumper and is a natural born scorer. White can beat you on the drive and has shown the ability to finish at the rim.

He may not be a flashy player but White is more of someone that can score at all three levels on the court.

Transitioning from high school to college may take some time to get used to for White, especially on the defensive end. He struggled with his on-ball defense and could have problems with quicker guards at this level.

Playing for Williams means you will need to play very good defense and especially on the perimeter, an area the Tar Heels have struggled in over the years. If White can improve his defense, he could really develop into a good all-around player for the Tar Heels.

Bold prediction

I think White will eventually take over the starting point guard role but that’s not going to be the bold prediction.

Instead, I’ll go with White averaging 12 points and 5 assists in his freshman season for the Tar Heels. An uptick in playing time after taking over as the  starter would help White achieve this.

Nassir Little named to watch list. dark. Next

Let’s hope we can re-visit this and it’s true later on down the road.