UNC Basketball 2020-2021 Player Preview: R.J. Davis

Stepinac's R.J. Davis is the Journal News/lohud boys basketball Player of the Year March 26, 2020.Stepinac S R J Davis
Stepinac's R.J. Davis is the Journal News/lohud boys basketball Player of the Year March 26, 2020.Stepinac S R J Davis /

Our UNC Basketball player preview series continues with another freshman as point guard R.J. Davis has the chance to impress right away

Kerwin Walton | Donovan Johnson | Creighton Lebo | Day’Ron Sharpe | Walker Kessler

By now you’ve already heard about the UNC Basketball 2020 recruiting class that is coming in as the No. 2 ranked class. The six-man class is arguably Roy Williams’ best in years for the program headlined by a few five-star recruits.

But one recruit that should have an impact in UNC’s backcourt right away. The Tar Heels have a need for a point guard this year after Cole Anthony departed for the NBA and Anthony Harris is expected to miss some tight right away. In steps R.J. Davis, a four-star recruit out of New York that will have his chance to shine early.

Davis could be the Tar Heels’s starter at point guard when they open the season and should form a two-man backcourt with fellow freshman Caleb Love. It’s not ideal to have a all-freshman backcourt to start the season but both Davis and Love are very talented and will be called upon early to make an impact.

The 6-foot, 160-pound Davis is coming off a big senior season at Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, New York. He was named the 2020 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in New York and even set a new record in Westchester County with 2,446 career points. Davis was fantastic in his four years and topped it off with an impressive senior season.

But how will that translate to the college level?

What to Expect in 2020-2021

As mentioned above, Davis will be expected to step in and make an impact right away for the Tar Heels in his first season. With a need for a true point guard, Davis fits that mold. Not only is he a good ball handler but he can dish out the rock and setup his teammates, running the offense how Roy Williams wants him to.

Davis speed and skillset should fit in well with Williams system. If you’ve watched UNC under Williams, you know the style of offense they want to play and having a quick point guard that can not only distribute but also score is a good thing to have.

Check out some highlights to see Davis’ game below:

Is it fair to expect a great showing for Davis early? No. But would we be shocked if it happened? right away? No, not really.

With his skillset, I can see him being a good player to run this offense right away. Last season, UNC really didn’t have a healthy guard outside of Cole Anthony, a player that was more suited to play the shooting guard spot. But this year they have that spot filled with Caleb Love and can allow Davis to run the point.

Bold Prediction

While everyone raves about Davis’ scoring ability, and rightfully so, I think my bold prediction will lean more towards the passing side. I can see Davis having a solid season averaging 5 assists per game with that number potentially climbing as the year goes on.

But for that to happen, UNC is going to need to fix one thing: Shooting.

They were a very poor shooting team last season and it cost them some games. Williams is hoping that this class can fix those woes but again, you’re relying on freshmen to do that for you.

If the Tar Heels can shoot better, that will bode well for Davis’ numbers. I’m really looking at this part of his game as an underrated skillset that he can bring to the table right away.

Next. UNC signs 2021 recruiting class. dark

For more on Davis and other UNC Basketball players, please check back with Keeping It Heel.