UNC Basketball: Looking ahead to the 2023-2024 Season

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 13: Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels moves the ball against the Citadel Bulldogs during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on December 13, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 100-64. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 13: Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels moves the ball against the Citadel Bulldogs during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on December 13, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 100-64. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The college basketball season is over and we are heading into the off-season, but first, let’s take an early look at UNC Basketball for next season.

The University of Connecticut cut down the nets for their fifth National Championship on Monday night, officially ending the 2022-2023 college basketball season. Many of us at this time last year thought that would be the UNC basketball program standing tall on the last night.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for the guys in Carolina Blue. It was a rough year from opening night, struggling to beat mid-majors and letting bad teams hang around. That carried over into conference play and we all know the rest. UNC missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in what would have been four years if it wasn’t for COVID.

Now that we’re past all that negativity. Let’s get a way-too-early look at the 2023-2024 UNC Basketball team. ESPN ranked the Tar Heels at #19 after the championship game ended. With that being said, what does next year look like?

Well, for right now, this is the current roster.

Guards: RJ Davis, D’Marco Dunn, Seth Trimble, Simeon Wilcher, Paxson Wojcik

Big men: Armando Bacot, Jalen Washington, Zayden High

Based on who is currently on the roster, I would agree with ESPN’s projected starting lineup of

PG: RJ Davis

SG: Seth Trimble

SF: Simeon Wilcher

PF: Jalen Washington

C: Armando Bacot

However, I believe, and expect, that will change significantly. Coach Davis has been in the transfer portal often in the past month. Nick Timberlake has been someone we’ve consistently kept an eye on and has a 100% crystal ball prediction for UNC. There are other transfers out there that have said to be in contact with UNC (we covered that here).

What about 2024 recruits possibly reclassifying? Elliott Cadeau was asked about the possibility of reclassifying at the GEICO National Championship and this was his response:

"“I’m not sure yet, as of now, 2024 I’ll see you guys in Chapel Hill.”"

So Cadeau didn’t rule that out, and the announcers of the GEICO National Championship hinted at the possibility several times throughout the broadcast. Ian Jackson has also spoken about the topic of reclassifying.

We are all speculating at the moment, but Davis and the UNC basketball program have five open scholarship spots headed into the summer. A lot can change between now and the opening day of practice. It’s a very real possibility that we don’t even know what the final roster will look like until mid-July for next season’s Tar Heel squad.

Here’s what we do know: Hubert Davis is committed to the University of North Carolina and he is committed to building this program and keeping it amongst the elite in college basketball. Was this season disappointing? Absolutely. But for as disappointed as you as fans felt, I promise Coach Davis felt that even more.

Are the Tar Heels the 19th-best team in the country headed into 2023-2024? I’m not sure anyone can answer that (or does it even matter? We saw what pre-season rankings did this year). I believe that the core group of Armadon Bacot, RJ Davis, and Jalen Washington returning is a great start and with the right pieces put around them, there is no reason why they couldn’t make it to the final Monday night in 2024. But that is a long way off and would be a significant step from missing the NCAA Tournament completely this year.

As fans, it can be scary seeing five open scholarship spots on a roster, but there are a lot of good players in the transfer portal and just the possibility of getting the talented 2024 guys in a year earlier is exciting. Some fans want to keep their hopes low and be pessimistic about the future, but if big names start to roll into Chapel Hill for 2023-2024, it’s still Carolina basketball and the Dean E. Smith Center will be rocking come November with expectations and hopes of hanging another banner.

The schedule is juicy for 2023-2024. UNC will open the season on November 6th vs Radford. They will also compete in 4 pre-season tournaments/invitationals. UNC will join Villanova, Michigan, Arkansas, Memphis, Oklahoma, Stanford, and Northern Iowa in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

The Tar Heels will also play Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic. They will play in the Jimmy V Classic (defending National Champion UConn is also committed to this event – but no opponent pairings have been released), and they will play in the Jumpan Invitational in Charlotte. They played Michigan in the Jumpan Invitational last season while Oklahoma played Florida. With the Sooners joining the Tar Heels in Atlantis, Florida seems like a reasonable matchup in Charlotte.

Also, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge is no more next season. It is being replaced by the ACC-SEC Challenge. So we will await to see who could the Tar Heels be paired with there. There are a lot of good SEC options, including Tennessee and Alabama.

For now, we just have to wait and see how it all plays out in the off-season. We will track the Tar Heels all off-season and with every commit or recruit, we will be here to let you know how it impacts the Tar Heels on the scholarship chart, on the recruiting trail, and on the court.

dark. Next. UNC Women’s Basketball lands big-time ACC transfer

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