Tuesday was a big day for UNC basketball, as five-star recruit Cole Anthony signed his letter of intent to play in Chapel Hill next season.
With the recruiting cycle coming to an end, Roy Williams and his staff have a good idea of what the Tar Heels will look like next season. After losing three seniors and a pair of freshmen to the NBA Draft, UNC will have major work to do this offseason to replace that production.
Anthony’s commitment is a major boost and gives Williams a focal point to build around for next season. Anthony is likely the Tar Heels’ best scorer next season and will fit nicely into the point guard role vacated by Coby White.
But other than Anthony, who projects to start for the Tar Heels next season? Let’s take a look.
Cole Anthony, freshman
High school stats: 18.0 ppg, .479 FG%, .366 3P%, 9.8 RPG, 9.5 APG (Oak Hill Academy, Va.)
Anthony will finish as one of the best players in the 2019 class and the highest ranked point guard coming out of high school since Kyrie Irving in 2010. He was named the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game, the co-MVP of the Jordan Brand Classic, and the MVP in Team USA’s win at the Nike Hoop Summit.
Anthony is a dynamic scorer and projects to start immediately for the Tar Heels. Draft analysts have Anthony pegged as a Top-10 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft assuming he goes pro after his freshman season.
Cole Anthony’s commitment to North Carolina means the highest ranked prospect in the ACC will not play at Duke for the first time since 2011-12.
— Bryan Ives (@awaytoworthy) April 23, 2019
Garrison Brooks, junior
2018-19 stats: 7.9 ppg, .574 FG%, N/A 3P%, 5.6 RPG, 1.3 APG
Career stats: 6.2 ppg, .557 FG%, N/A 3P%, 4.5 RPG, 0.9 APG
Brooks is the only starter that the Tar Heels return next season. He started all 36 games as a sophomore, averaging 7.9 point and 5.6 rebounds per game.
A former four-star recruit, Brooks was also named UNC’s Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player at the team’s award ceremony. With Luke Maye, Cam Johnson, and Kenny Williams departing, Brooks enters next season as the Tar Heels’ most experienced player and will be looked upon as a leader in the locker room.
One of my favorite plays from yesterday.
Seventh Woods tracks back on defense, gets the steal, pushes the ball and then delivers the perfect bounce pass to Garrison Brooks. Huge momentum swing to close the half. pic.twitter.com/ijzFr4CZEe
— Taylor Vippolis (@tvippolis) February 21, 2019
Brandon Robinson, senior
2018-19 stats: 3.4 ppg, .494 FG%, .460 3P%, 1.6 RPG, 1.4 APG
Career stats: 2.3 ppg, .415 FG%, .379 3P%, 1.4 RPG, 0.9 APG
A former four-star recruit, Robinson has been a primary option off the bench at guard during his career in Chapel Hill. His playing time has increased throughout his three years and was playing critical minutes for North Carolina down the stretch last season.
Robinson’s role is not guaranteed, as graduate transfers Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern) and Justin Pierce (William & Mary) are set to visit UNC in the next few weeks.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 2, 2019
Leaky Black, sophomore
2018-19 stats: 2.5 ppg, .469 FG%, .417 3P%, 2.1 RPG, 1.2 APG
Black was third member of the 2018 recruiting class along with White and Nassir Little. With those two off to the NBA, Black will have the opportunity to step in as a starter.
However, he is also the biggest unknown out of all the projected starters. Black sustained a high ankle sprain against Georgia Tech on January 29 and was not cleared to play again until the ACC Tournament. If he’s healthy, Black can be a talented forward for UNC.
Leaky Black’s overall game is just so impressive. One of favorite players to watch.
— Taylor Vippolis (@tvippolis) January 9, 2019
Armando Bacot, freshman
High school stats: 12.4 ppg, .620 FG%, .478 3P%, 7.7 RPG, 0.9 APG
Bacot was a one of UNC’s most important recruits this cycle. Not only is he a talented player, but his relationship with Anthony was certainly a factor in the five-star recruits teaming up in Chapel Hill.
At 6 feet 10 inches, Bacot projects to contend for immediate playing time at center. He could end up being a multi-year starter for the Tar Heels and a building block for future recruiting classes.
— Armando Bacot Jr. (@iget_buckets35) April 23, 2019