The team’s leading scorer last season, Berry became one of only four players in program history to score 1,800 points and record 400 assists during his college career. In his senior campaign, he averaged 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and started every game except one that he sat out on after breaking his hand after losing in video games.
He finished his time with the program in a loss to Texas A&M in the Round of 32 after leading the team to two straight national championship games, one that ended in a loss, and another that brought home a trophy to Chapel Hill.
He was a 2017 Second-Team All-ACC honoree, a 2018 All-ACC first-teamer, two-time All-Final Four teamer, the 2016 ACC Tournament MVP and finished his career as one of three players ever with career numbers in the top 15 in points and assists at UNC.
While Berry brought home a lengthy list of awards, Pinson brought a different kind of value to the team. He was recently named the first winner of the Caulton Tudor Award given to the most cooperative basketball player with the media in the Triangle. He was known for crashing press conferences, giving colorful quotes to the media, and his antics off the court mirrored in his play on it.
Though his career numbers won’t necessarily reflect it, the program was much better when he was on the floor — with his ability to dish out assists and create open shots making a big difference.
Last season, he had seven double-doubles and led the team with the most assists (187). During that stretch, the Tar Heels went 18-4 when he had five assists or more, which boded well as he became the first UNC player and only the eighth ACC player to average 10 points, five assists and five rebounds per game in a single season.
For a career, he became one of three players in program history to rack up 500 rebounds and 400 assists and he has the third best assists to turnover ratio in program history.
Berry II and Pinson ended their college careers playing in 14 NCAA tournament wins and 17 NCAA Tournament games — second in UNC history in NCAA tournament games played and wins. North Carolina had a record of 118-37, making four straight NCAA tournaments and winning a national championship during their time in Chapel Hill.
But the men's basketball program will enter a new era without Pinson or Berry next season, and the two players will also start a new chapter of their own, with a paycheck now dependent upon basketball.
It will be an uphill battle for either to have a long career in the NBA. There were 15 former UNC basketball players in the NBA last season and none of them reached that point after not being drafted.
To break into the pro game, UNC’s most recent seniors will have to prove their worth once again, just like they did for head coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels out of high school.
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