We take a look at UNC Basketball junior Brandon Huffman for the latest in our season in review for 2020-21
With the 2020-21 college basketball season coming to a quick end, it’s time to break down the roster and continue our player reviews.
Next up is big man Brandon Huffman who saw his role actually decrease from a year ago as he fell down the order in the rotation. The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Huffman averaged just 3.4 minutes a game this season, appearing in 14 games. A year ago, Huffman played in 27 games but averaged just 2.5 minutes per game.
Going into the year, with the uncertainity of fellow junior Sterling Manley, it was expected that Huffman could see an increased role. That wasn’t the case and instead fell behind both Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot and Justin Pierce in the post. Andrew Platek also saw an increased role on the perimeter which may have hurt Huffman’s minutes.
So what was the problem?
Brooks had a breakout season being named the Atlantic Coast Conference Most Improved Player and Bacot earned big minutes in his first year. Both became key rotation players for the Tar Heels and logged a lot of minutes. With Manley out, Huffman was projected to be the third big man but often times, Williams went with the graduate transfer Pierce instead.
This could be due to Pierce’s ability to shoot the basketball more than rebounding.
Huffman struggles as a scorer and despite his size, he isn’t a great rebounder. He averaged just 1.3 points and 1 rebound per game this season, most of that coming when games were out of hand. There was a slight expectation that Huffman would improve this season but it just didn’t happen.
When Huffman was in the game, he wasn’t bad. He shot 66.7 percent from the field, making 8 of his 12 attempts, just a year after he went 13 of 22 from the field. There wasn’t any news of an injury for Huffman this season so it’s still unknown as to exactly why he didn’t see more minutes in his junior year.
For Huffman, the focus this offseason should be working on is offensive game.
UNC will welcome in a loaded recruiting class that includes two big post players in five-star recruits Walker Kessler and Day’Ron Sharpe. In addition to that duo, both Brooks and Bacot are also expected back as is Manley. It’s tough to tell if Manley will play next season fully but if he does, it could be a battle between him and Huffman for minutes.
If Huffman does improve, we should see him be a little more involved in the minutes rotation.
For more on the UNC Basketball program, please check back with Keeping It Heel.