In the one-and-done era of college basketball, early season attention usually goes to the team with the latest big-time high school recruits. However, postseason success often favors the well-constructed rosters, balanced with youthful talent and veteran experience.
Relatedly, a lot has been made of the job head coach Roy Williams did on the recruiting trail this offseason ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. Williams snagged five-star point guard Cole Anthony, five-star big man Armando Bacot Jr., four-star combo guard Anthony Harris and 3-star guard Jeremiah Francis from the high school ranks, along with graduate transfers Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce.
Their arrival in Chapel Hill brings excitement and hope for another championship. It has also shifted attention away from the players that are already here and will continue to contribute. Here are three returning Tar Heels that will be vital to a successful season – and maybe even to hanging another banner in the Dean E. Smith Center.
During his sophomore year, Brooks took large strides, earned the trust of Roy Williams and was rewarded with major increases in playing time on his way to becoming one of the Tar Heels' primary big men. Brooks jumped from 14.6 minutes per game in his first season in Chapel Hill to 23.0 minutes in his second.