UNC Basketball 2020-2021 Player Preview: Kerwin Walton

Keeping It Heel continues previewing the 2020-2021 UNC basketball program with freshman guard Kerwin Walton, who could be a steady contributor in his first season with the Tar Heels.

The 2020 recruiting class is viewed as one of the best groups that Roy Williams has been able to bring in during his tenure as the head coach of the UNC Basketball program. Williams and his staff were able to get five early commitments from three 5-star recruits and two 4-star recruits.

With already high expectations for this recruiting class, the Tar Heels found themselves with another open roster spot. Veteran big man Brandon Huffman announced that he was transferring, leaving Williams with an additional scholarship for the 2020 recruiting class.

North Carolina reeled in a commitment from 4-star recruit Kerwin Walton, a 6-foot-5 guard from Hopkins, Minnesota. The addition of Walton helped the Tar Heels secure the second-best recruiting class in the nation in 2020, according to 247 Sports.

The extra roster spot was one that the Tar Heels would use to add depth in one of the roster’s weaker areas. Although he may not be the most talked about recruit in this class, Walton has the potential to make an impact during his freshman season in Chapel Hill.

What to Expect in 2020-2021

Last season, the Tar Heels were one of the worst shooting teams in the country. It was a rare season where a Roy Williams-led squad was unable to hit key shots, especially from three-point range.

To put it into perspective: the 2019-2020 Tar Heels shot just under 47% from the floor (which ranked 298th in the country) and 30.4% from three-point land (which ranked 313th overall). The team also struggled from the free throw line, shooting under 70% on the year.

Simply put: it’s safe to say that Tar Heels fans want to put last season behind them.

The good news is that the Tar Heels roster features much more talent overall than it did a year ago, and the incoming freshman class has a lot to do with that.

In terms of fixing the shooting woes, Williams has brought in some high-level shooters, including Walton.

Three-point shooting is considered to be Walton’s best attribute on the court. Although he is not considered a three-point “specialist, Walton has an above-average midrange/three-point shooting ability.

If you’re thinking that Walton is simply a shooter, you may want to look at the video below.

Although shooting is his best trait, Walton has good handles and is a solid passer for a player of his position. He is also viewed by many scouts as an above-average on-ball defender.

Walton is considered to be a multi-year player for Williams’ squad, so he’ll have time to develop his overall game. However, with the Tar Heels lack of depth at the wing position, Walton will have a chance right away to earn some play time at the shooting guard and small forward position.

Bold Prediction

With Anthony Harris most likely missing the start of the 2020-2021 regular season, there will be additional playing time available at the wing position. As Williams tries to find the right combination at the wing, expect guys like Walton to get a chance to earn some minutes early on in the season.

Of the Tar Heels 2020 recruiting class, Walton is the guy who could be the “sleeper” of the group. There are high expectations for guys like Caleb Love, Day’Ron Sharpe, Walker Kessler and R.J. Davis, but Walton is the one recruit who could end up being the biggest surprising contributor this season.

Walton will need some time to adjust to the college game, as he is a player who definitely has room to grow. However, once he gets his feet wet and starts knocking down shots, Walton will become one of the Tar Heels most valuable role players.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming player previews as we inch closer to the start of the 2021-2021 UNC Basketball season!