With the offseason shortened due to COVID-19, first-years across college basketball have been thrown directly into the fire. This year more than any, expect major leaps in production and efficiency as the season goes on.
UNC's six first-years on scholarship are in that learning process right now and have continued to develop as they further entrench themselves in head coach Roy Williams' system.
As the Tar Heels enter the midway point of league play, here are some grades for how UNC's first-years are living up to expectations so far:
Walton has made a splash as a Tar Heel and has been the most unexpected difference maker in the 2020 class. The guard has solidified his role in the starting lineup as UNC's only reliable outside shooter, recording a 41.7 percent mark from deep. Walton's abilities as a catch-and-shoot option have created space all season.
Moving forward, the guard has room to grow in his ability to create his own shots and start making more contested jumpers, but his game mimics that of another guard with the initials K.W. who donned No. 24: Kenny Williams.
Love had early struggles with shot selection and turnovers. The guard shot at or below 30 percent for six games straight mid-season. His 3-point efficiency of 22.7 percent is even worse. Love also has 50 turnovers in 16 games but looks like he is turning a corner.