The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday June 10th

UNC JV men's basketball player Harrison Lancaster shoots his shot

Harrison Lancaster (5) swerves between Central Carolina Community College players Saturday afternoon at the Dean Smith Center.
Buy Photos Harrison Lancaster (5) swerves between Central Carolina Community College players Saturday afternoon at the Dean Smith Center.

Harrison Lancaster scored 10 points during his junior season of high school basketball.

Not 10 points per game, 10 points. For the entire season. 

On Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center, Lancaster, now a junior on the North Carolina junior varsity men's basketball team, scored 16 points in 20 minutes of play in UNC's 101-79 victory over Central Carolina Community College. 

It has been a roundabout journey for the junior from Fort Mill, S.C., one that has seen the 6-foot-2 inch guard go from a fringe high school talent with no prospects of playing college basketball to one of the best players on the UNC JV roster.

Now Lancaster has a real chance to play at the highest level of college basketball on the 2016-17 Tar Heel varsity squad.

“I got a lot better,” Lancaster said. “I had a good senior year (in high school), thought maybe I would have a chance to play, got a couple of Division III offers, went to Clemson actually my freshman year and tried to walk on. 

"The coach (Brad Brownell) didn’t need any players, so I came here, because I’ve always been a huge Carolina fan. Got into Carolina, came and tried out and made it. I’ve always wanted to be here.”

Now that he is at UNC, Lancaster is impressing his teammates on and off the court. On the floor against Central Carolina, Lancaster looked for his own offense in the first half, pouring in 12 of his 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the first half. 

In the second half, he demonstrated his passing ability with four key assists that helped Coach C.B. McGrath’s team pull away from the Cougars.

Off the court, teammate Andrew Gillespie said Lancaster demonstrates a wide range of talents. 

“Harrison’s the man, first of all,” Gillespie said. “We call him Doc, because he’s doing his thing in the classroom. He’s just a great leader in general, we love having him on the team. He’s got a great sense of humor, and he keeps us all focused.”

As if being an ace in the classroom who has the ability to keep people laughing and focused at the same time wasn’t enough, Gillespie issued a warning to anyone looking to challenge Lancaster in a game of H.O.R.S.E., which is essentially a battle of basketball trick shots.

“All I know is, if I was going to play anyone in H.O.R.S.E., it would not be Harrison,” Gillespie said. “He’s the best H.O.R.S.E player of all time.”

As for Lancaster, the shot he would most like to make is a shot at playing in the Smith Center for the varsity team. It would be the ultimate trick shot, but for a guy on the cusp of achieving a basketball dream, anything might be possible.

“I want to re-enact when Austin Rivers hit the game-winning shot,” Lancaster said. “But I want to hit it on Austin Rivers, for Carolina to win. If it could happen, in a perfect world, that would be the best thing in the world.”


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