Head coach Roy Williams released this season’s UNC men’s basketball roster on Monday, with eight lettermen returning from last year’s team that won the NCAA Championship.
Senior point guard Joel Berry–the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four–headlines a Tar Heel squad which will also feature another important senior with do-it-all wing Theo Pinson.
After offseason knee surgery, junior guard Kenny Williams will look to reclaim a spot in the starting lineup–while sophomores Seventh Woods, Brandon Robinson and Shea Rush hope to show flashes of improvement in the backcourt in their second season at the college level.
Two players who could hold the key to UNC’s chances of defending its title, however, are juniors Luke Maye and Cam Johnson.
Maye is the only returning post player on the roster, but has a perimeter-oriented game on the offensive side.
This could lead to a shift in coaching philosophy from Williams, which would see the Tar Heels stray away from using two traditional big men as they have mainly done in the past.
Johnson–a 6-foot-7 guard who graduated and transferred from Pitt in the offseason–will help with that strategy, as he possesses a great shooting touch and has the size needed to replace the now departed Justin Jackson.
He is also one of eight new additions to the UNC roster.
Joining Johnson for their first year in Chapel Hill is a list of freshmen that includes: guards Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek, as well as forwards Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.
Connections to UNC helped earned roster spots for two other newcomers.
Walker Miller–the younger brother of former Tar Heel and current UNC-Greensboro head coach Wes Miller–will be a freshman walk-on this season.
KJ Smith–the son of former UNC All-American Kenny “The Jet” Smith–is on the roster, but will sit out this season after transferring from Pacific University.
Jersey Number Changes:
Seventh Woods will wear No. 0 this season after wearing No. 21 as a freshman, and Brandon Robinson is switching from No. 14 over to No. 4.
Cam Johnson is sporting No. 13 in his first season as a Tar Heel, while fellow newcomer Jalek Felton will wear the famed No. 5.
For the full roster, click here.
Photo via Todd Melet