CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With eight new faces on the 15-person roster, the UNC women’s basketball team looks a lot different this year.
However, amongst the changes within the preseason No. 16 Tar Heels, the basic goal of the team remains the same: overcome the postseason hump and reach the Final Four.
Here are three takeaways from the team’s appearance at the ACC Tipoff:
New pieces bring experience and depth
Ahead of the 2023 season, the Tar Heels added three transfers and five first-years to the roster — a stark contrast to last season when sophomore guard Paulina Paris was the only new face on the squad.
With the departure of key starters like Kennedy Todd-Williams, who was second on the team in scoring, and Eva Hodgson, who sank 50 three-pointers last year, head coach Courtney Banghart looked to the transfer portal this past offseason. The veteran players joining the Tar Heels includes a former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in graduate guard Lexi Donarski as well as a former McDonald's All-American in Stanford transfer Indya Nivar.
Banghart has called this year's group “the most competitive team” she’s coached at UNC.
“Good additions to an already good team,” Banghart said of the new faces. “So that equals depth, and not just depth, but experienced depth, right? So, you know, certainly, it's fun to go to practice every day.”
Add that to the presence of senior leaders and first-team All-ACC picks like Alyssa Ustby and Deja Kelly, and no question remains about the depth of the Tar Heels — something that will be vital in winning tough and physical matchups down the line.