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Friday February 3rd

Preview: UNC women's basketball boasts impressive group of versatile wings

UNC sophomore guard Alyssa Utsby (1) prepares to pass the ball at the game against Virginia at Carmichael Arena on Jan. 20 2022. The Tar Heels' beat the Cavliers 61-52.
Buy Photos UNC sophomore guard Alyssa Utsby (1) prepares to pass the ball at the game against Virginia at Carmichael Arena on Jan. 20 2022. The Tar Heels' beat the Cavliers 61-52.

The North Carolina women’s basketball team is led by returning wings who played a pivotal role in the Tar Heels' success last season.

With three talented underclassmen already on the roster, the Tar Heels have added another weapon this offseason to round out their versatile offense.

Here's a look at players who will look to make a difference for UNC this season:

Alyssa Ustby

Ustby is one of the four returning starters from the team's Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament last year. After being named to the All-ACC Second Team as a sophomore, Ustby enters this season with high expectations. In October, she was named to the watchlist for the Cheryl Miller Award, an honor given annually to the nation's best small forward.

Standing at 6 feet and 1 inch, Ustby can do it all for the Tar Heels, scoring from everywhere on the floor and guarding all positions. That versatility is backed up by an impressive 650 career points, 412 rebounds, 126 assists, 93 steals and 33 blocks.

Last season, Ustby was second on the team in scoring with 12.9 points per game and averaged a team-high 8.6 rebounds per game. Some of her best performances included a 20-point game in a victory at Duke and a double-double against Arizona in the NCAA Tournament.

Kennedy Todd-Williams

Todd-Williams accompanies Ustby as another key returning starter from last season. Her scoring improved greatly as a sophomore, nearly doubling her average from her first year and ranking third on the team with 10.8 points per game.

In UNC's second-round win over Arizona, Todd-Williams scored a career-high 19 points and also added five assists and three steals. Throughout just her two seasons at UNC, she has made her mark with 486 career points, 303 rebounds, 113 assists, 64 steals and 21 blocks.

Todd-Williams will be an essential asset for the Tar Heels this season. Her versatility and hustle goes beyond just a stat sheet and she will serve as a foundation for head coach Courtney Banghart on the offensive and defensive end.

Teonni Key

After suffering an ACL injury during a preseason scrimmage last year, redshirt first-year Teonni Key looks to make an impact for the team.

Key was a highly-touted recruit entering her first season at UNC. The McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand Classic invitee was named to the ACC Newcomer Watch List and was ranked ninth in the ESPNW class of 2021. When she was forced to miss the entire season due to injury, the Tar Heels lost a valuable piece of their expected rotation.

As a 6-foot-4 forward, Key will make her name immediately known at the wing position. Her strong ball handling and shooting skills makes her a unique asset to the Tar Heels.

Destiny Adams

Destiny Adams made her mark during her first year at UNC, appearing in 28 of the 32 games last season.

Standing at 6 feet and 3 inches, Adams provided valuable size off the bench. Although she didn't score much — averaging 3 points per game — she still had some standout moments last season, including a season high nine points in a key ACC victory over Miami.

During the UNC Live Action scrimmage, Adams flashed the ability to be a potent shooter, making all three of her baseline jumpers. If she continues to show improvement, Adams could earn herself more play time as a sophomore.

@sydneybeyer

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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