CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The added pressure of the new season would warp any team, but North Carolina seems up for the challenge.
Leadership was the buzz word spoken through each player, and head coach Roy Williams, Leaky Black, Garrison Brooks, and Andrew Platek are looking to spearhead the campaign.
UNC Media Day took place earlier this week, and guard Black is as confident as ever. After stating that he played at just 70% on average last season, Black is ready to contribute to this team fully.
Discussing pressure, Black says he hasn’t experienced any, and it will be the little details like diving on the floor that he will be able to provide for UNC.
“I know I want to be available every game and my best self to give us a better chance of winning or just playing better. If I’m a little bit healthier, maybe I’ll feel good enough to dive on the floor or something like that. Every small percent, I want to give my teammates.”
His freshman year, he averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.3 minutes. He doubled those numbers his sophomore year, 6.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists; Starting in 31 games leading the team with 40 steals and second with 83 assists.
“If Leaky can be the player that he is capable of being for the North Carolina Tar Heels, then he takes us to a completely different level. I think he transcends every position that’s on the floor; He can be the backup to every single position.” Noel says on the podcast, “He can be the leader and the defensive stopper. He’s probably a jump shot away from even possibly getting drafted.”
Black has the potential to be more than just the wing for this loaded team. The North Carolina native fought through frustrations with an injury by his ankle and missed significant time contributing to the team. After going through five different recovery plans, and countless hours of dedication, Black should be a cannon this upcoming season.
Leading senior, Brooks echoed Black’s sentiments. The injuries are no longer a factor for the Charlotte native, and he’s due for a good year,
“Leaky’s always been good on defense; He’s been getting up and down the floor well. Of course, he’s always getting people involved; he’s always been a very good passer. I think the surprising part is he’s healed up well from his injuries. I think that he’s become what he was in high school: a big, athletic guard. He’s going to be good this year. You’ll see.”
Although freshman wasn’t available for the press, the team sings their praises but don’t get too excited. This is an incredibly young team with freshmen stepping up in coveted North Carolina positions like the point guard. Williams has a task on his hands to develop a well-oiled machine team and NBA ready players.
Expectations are high but moderate for this team, but word to Coach May, fans are in for a great season.
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