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Previewing UNC's roster after commitments from Cole Anthony and Anthony Harris

Roy Williams Duke
Head Coach Roy Williams encourages players during the final home game against Duke in the Smith Center on Saturday, March 9, 2019. UNC defeated Duke 70-79 on Senior Night to finish the season as ACC regular season champions.

It was a whirlwind week in the world of North Carolina men's basketball. But as incoming first-year Armando Bacot proclaimed on Twitter, the Tar Heels might not be done yet.

This past Tuesday was one of the busiest days in UNC basketball recruiting history. In the morning, head coach Roy Williams secured a commitment from five-star guard Cole Anthony, the No. 3 player in his senior class and top combo guard in the country, according to 247Sports. Hours later, four-star guard Anthony Harris, No. 65 in the 2019 247Sports' composite rankings and the eighth-best combo guard in the class, joined the Tar Heels as well, and UNC's 2019 recruiting class skyrocketed to sixth on 247Sports' team rankings.

Along with incoming three-star guard Jeremiah Francis, the trio will ease a lot of concerns in the Tar Heel backcourt, which will lose starters Coby White and Kenny Williams. But questions on the wing remain β€” questions that could be answered by five-star small forward Precious Achiuwa, whose college decision is one of the last dominoes to fall in the high school basketball's senior class.

The Bronx, N.Y., native is ranked as the 13th player and the fourth-best small forward in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also an A-plus athlete and a projected NBA lottery pick in 2020. As written earlier this month, Achiuwa projects as someone who could come to Chapel Hill and immediately fill the role once occupied by Nassir Little, battling for rebounds inside and getting to the rim. But experts see Memphis, Kansas and Connecticut standing in the Tar Heels' way, among other teams. So, Achiuwa is likely a long shot. 

Meanwhile, North Carolina remains active in the graduate transfer market, with former Charleston Southern star Christian Keeling listing Clemson and UNC as his top two schools. Keeling scored 18.7 points per game last season and shot 38 percent on 3-point attempts in 2018-19. He would provide some much-needed shooting for the Tar Heels.

A dynamic player on the wing could work wonders to round out UNC's roster. Be it Achiuwa, Keeling or someone else, Roy Williams will need someone to spar with other teams' best forwards. He now has plenty of depth in the backcourt, but just one returning rotation player, Leaky Black, between 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-7.

But even if Bacot's prediction doesn't pan out, the Tar Heels will end this week a lot better off than they started it. At worst, UNC's 2019-20 lineup will look something like this:

Anthony will start at point guard, with either Harris or Black joining him in the backcourt. Harris is a highly touted prospect, but Black has a year's more experience and impressed in limited minutes this past season, showing a propensity to handle the ball, contribute on the defensive end and see the entire floor at 6-foot-7. The announcement of Seventh Woods transferring is surprising, but will free up minutes for the Tar Heels' other guards.

Rising senior Brandon Robinson will likely start on the wing. In three years at UNC, he's shot 37.9 percent from 3-point range and will be perhaps the team's top option from deep next season. Expect him to get significantly more playing time in his last year in Chapel Hill β€” he averaged 11.9 minutes per game as a junior.

Rising junior Garrison Brooks will join Bacot to anchor the paint. The two project as a fitting pair down low β€” Brooks as a defensive-minded big man who cleans up on the glass, Bacot as an offensive post threat with nice hands and soft touch around the rim.

Coming off the bench, expect Francis, Sterling Manley, Andrew Platek and Brandon Huffman to all contribute meaningful minutes.

Make no mistake: the heavy lifting is done. In Anthony, Roy Williams landed the big fish, one who will likely excel in the college ranks and help carry North Carolina along the way. Any new Tar Heel from here on out should be treated as a bonus.


@DTHSports |

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