UNC Basketball Player Preview: Andrew Platek

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Andrew Platek
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Andrew Platek /

Keeping It Heel continues previewing the 2019-20 UNC basketball program with junior shooting guard Andrew Platek, who looks to earn more minutes in his penultimate season with the Tar Heels

Jeremiah Francis | Cole Anthony | Armando Bacot | Anthony Harris | Rechon Black | Sterling Manley | Walker Miller

Junior shooting guard Andrew Platek didn’t get a ton of playing time as a freshman, but cracking the lineup as a sophomore proved to be nearly impossible. That was partly due to the Tar Heels’ talented, senior-laden roster that featured impact freshman Coby White at point guard, big man Garrison Brooks in the low post, reserve wing Nassir Little off the bench and the experienced trio of Luke Maye, Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson in the starting lineup.

That wasn’t the only reason that Platek struggled to see minutes off the UNC bench, though. He averaged just two points and one rebound in seven minutes per game as a freshman. He connected on 10-of-27 shots from three-point range on the season for a satisfactory 37 percent. Platek turned the ball over 10 times to just 18 assists, and committed 21 fouls in limited minutes.

Those numbers didn’t get any better the following year, unless you’re comparing sheer volume. Sure, he didn’t commit as many fouls or turnovers, but he also played half as many minutes as the prior year. Now, entering his third season at North Carolina, Platek will try to find consistency on the court that will lead to increased playing time.

2018-19 season in review

In a smaller role than the season before, Platek averaged just over one point per game in 32 appearances on the season. He shot worse from the floor (46.7) and three-point range (33.3) than he did as a freshman, while attempting just 30 total shots. With numbers like that — and players in front of him with a lot more experience and production — it’s no mystery why Platek had a difficult time getting onto the court.

What to expect in 2019-20?

Platek will have hurdles to overcome this season, too, what with a starting lineup that’s packed with both talent and experience, and a pretty lengthy bench when healthy. He will have opportunities to prove his mettle, though, and it’s in those times that he’ll have to produce better results than we’ve seen over his previous two seasons in Chapel Hill.

Expect guards Brandon Robinson, Leaky Black and Anthony Harris to all get their minutes before Platek sees time off the bench, and junior K.J. Smith could make an argument, too. On the other hand, if Platek comes into games and hits shots when he has opportunities, his playing time will increase. So, too, will the faith of his coaching staff. Both would result in a bigger role for Platek during the 2019-20 campaign.

Next. Who commits to the Tar Heels next?. dark

Bold prediction

Platek will return this season with better shooting numbers that will help him take on a bigger role with the Tar Heels. He won’t play a bunch of minutes, but increased efficiency on the court will allow him to come into the game during big moments, and get the green light from downtown.