UNC Basketball 2019-20 Player Preview: Anthony Harris

Keeping it Heel is helping count down the days until the start of the 2019-20 UNC Basketball season with our annual player previews. Today we look at another freshman in the 2020 recruiting class.

Jeremiah Francis | Cole Anthony | Armando Bacot |

The last player to commit to Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels was four-star combo guard Anthony Harris. Just a few hours after Cole Anthony joined the Tar Heels’ 2020 recruiting class, UNC was able to also add Harris giving them a four-man class ranked inside the Top 10.

With UNC losing some key players on the wing from last year and five of their top six scorers, getting some depth was huge. And landing Harris for the 2020 class was a big get for Williams and his staff.

Harris was originally committed to Virginia Tech under Buzz Williams and was even considered a lean to Duke but the Blue Devils never offered him.

After Harris re-opened his recruitment with Buzz leaving the Hokies, he took some official visits including one to UNC where he committed to the program. Harris loved the atmosphere of UNC and really connected with the coaches.

Now he heads into his freshman season at UNC on what should be a team that can contend for a national championship. Harris will have to wait to see the court as he’s currently being held out due to a lingering knee injury.

Let’s get into the preview for Harris and his freshman season:

What to expect in 2019-20?

Like previously stated, Harris will start this year sidelined with a knee injury. Williams told reporters in early October that the guard hasn’t done anything in terms of practicing with the team and on ACC Media Day, he reiterated that by revealing that Harris, Jeremiah Francis and Sterling Manley will not be ready for the season opener in November.

For Harris, the injury is a tough start to his first season in Chapel Hill but it’s not expected that he will miss a ton of time. We very well could see Harris back in November or early December. When he does come back, it’s also fair to expect he will see some significant time if healthy.

Harris figures to be in the mix as the backup point guard to Anthony, although he can also play the two-guard spot. Cole Anthony and Christian Keeling will likely be the starting guards for the Tar Heels with Harris and Rechon “Leaky” Black coming off the bench to spell them. All four guards are versatile, so it will be interesting to see how head coach Roy Williams deploys his lineup.

The main thing right now for Harris to take it slow and fully recover from that torn ACL he suffered in his senior year of high school. From there, getting into game speed might be a little tricky but by ACC play, Harris could become a factor for UNC’s depth.

Bold prediction

For the bold prediction on Harris, I’m going to go with the defensive side of the basketball and say he’s going to be a bigger factor on defense than he will offense in his freshman season.

We know that Williams really values players that get it done on the defensive side of the floor and that will certainly earn Harris some more minutes. At 6-foot-3 and 180-pounds, Harris has a solid frame to be good defensive player on the perimeter.

There are obviously going to be roadblocks for every freshman and Harris is going through his first major one now. But when he does come back, I’ll say Harris will be a big contributor with his defense and it will be valuable down the stretch for the Heels.

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