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RJ Davis returning for fifth season with UNC basketball

UNC senior guard RJ Davis (4) stands on offense during the men’s ACC tournament semifinal basketball game against Pitt at the Capital One Arena on Friday March 15, 2024. UNC won 72-65.

UNC men's basketball star guard RJ Davis announced that he will return for the 2024-25 season to take his extra year of COVID-19 eligibility on Instagram, early Wednesday morning. 

In his caption, he wrote: "I'm back 🩵"

The senior guard has been an integral part of the Tar Heel team for the past four years. Most recently he was named ACC Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season, a consensus first-team All-American, a Naismith Trophy finalist and a Wooden Award Trophy finalist. 

Davis led North Carolina to a 29-8 record — averaging 21.2 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting — before the team fell to Alabama in the Sweet Sixteen. He became the eighth Tar Heel to score 2,000 points, and set a UNC record of 113 made 3-pointers in a single season. 

"I just love putting on this jersey, love playing for Coach [Hubert] Davis and the rest of the coaching staff and playing for the Carolina fans," RJ Davis said after the Sweet Sixteen.

Beyond his performance on court, Davis has served as a vocal leader and team unifier throughout his years at UNC, and especially this season. He was one of only four scholarship players to remain on the team last year, acting as a veteran presence and teacher for the rest of the guys. 

“He’s our go-to guy, and he’s also our closer," sophomore forward Jalen Washington said. "So we just trust him." 

He will reunite with guards Seth Trimble and Elliot Cadeau, who have announced their intent to return to UNC already. In addition, McDonald's All-American recruits Ian Jackson and Drake Powell will look to make their mark on the North Carolina squad come fall. 

For now though, Davis will be thinking about what he can do to rectify the woes of this season during his final year as a Tar Heel.

After the team's loss to Alabama, cutting their postseason run short, Davis was left speechless. It wasn't how he wanted his time at UNC to end — he still has a few more goals to check off. 

But in Davis' silence following the game, teammate Cormac Ryan was quick to chime in. 

"RJ's done something incredible for this team," Ryan said. "He's done stuff that's never been done before. He's one of the greatest Tar Heels of all time."

And next fall in Chapel Hill, Davis has the chance to prove that one last time. 


@dthsports |

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Gwen Peace

Gwen Peace is the 2023-24 assistant sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as a senior writer. Gwen is a sophomore pursuing a double major in media and journalism and peace, war and defense.