CHARLOTTE — At North Carolina basketball's media day last week, the team made a move toward the future by making players Cole Anthony, Armando Bacot, Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis available for questions. It was the first time in decades, dating back to Dean Smith's tenure as head coach, that first-year Tar Heels spoke to independent media before their first game.
But at Tuesday's ACC Operation Basketball, the conference's kickoff event for media before the 2019-20 season, the UNC rookies were nowhere to be found. Instead, it was senior guard Brandon Robinson and junior forward Garrison Brooks, who, amid six new faces, figure to lead the Tar Heels this season.
"So far, Garrison and B-Rob have been two of our best players," head coach Roy Williams said. "They're two of our most experienced players. They're trying to drag the other guys along with them."
The team's only returning starter, Brooks averaged 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds a season ago. Robinson came off the bench to add 3.4 points per game in 2018-19, and shot 46 percent from 3-point range on 50 attempts last year.
When asked about what it will take to make a jump this season, both players mentioned one thing: details, details, details. While Brooks mentioned simply showing up on time to team events as a point of pride, Robinson made sure to emphasize "the little things."