North Carolina is coming off an incredibly disappointing 2022-23 season. Preseason rankings had the Tar Heels as the number-one-ranked team in the country. However, they failed to make the NCAA tournament and finished 7th in the ACC. Entering the 2023-24 season UNC has revamped its roster by the transfer portal and adding top Freshman prospects. How will these new additions impact UNC’s seasons and what do these players bring to the table?
Elliot Cadeau: Freshman Guard
Elliot Cadeau is a five-star recruit from Link Academy in Missouri. Cadeau was also the number two ranked point guard in the class of 2023 and the 12th overall prospect in the country. As a freshman Cadeau will be given a big role in UNC’s offense and is a natural replacement for Caleb Love. Cadeau is a speedy guard with great passing skills and handles; he is also a capable three-level scorer. Moreover, this skill set makes him a perfect fit in the backcourt with Senior guard RJ Davis.
Zayden High: Freshman Forward
Zayden High is a four-star recruit and top 100 prospect from Compass Prep in Arizona. Last year two freshmen of similar caliber, Jalen Washington and Seth Trimble, didn’t have huge roles. This could certainly be the case for High. Alternately, High has an intriguing skill set and possible open forward minutes could lead High to have a surprisingly important role. High is a lengthy, athletic, and versatile forward. He is an active defender and rebounder. High can also space the floor a little and is a solid interior scorer.
Harrison Ingram: Junior Forward
Harrison Ingram is a Junior transfer from Stanford. During his Freshman year at Stanford Ingram was named Pac-12 Conference Rookie of the Year. Ingram is an athletic and versatile 6’8 forward capable of guarding multiple positions. Ingram is also a high IQ player who can handle the ball and create shots for his teammates. For his size, Ingram is an incredible passer. This skill set is highly valuable and will make Ingram a key player for UNC this year.
Cormac Ryan: Senior Guard
Cormac Ryan is a Senior transfer from Notre Dame. Ryan has spent the previous three years with the Fighting Irish and played for Stanford as a Freshman. Ryan is a 24-year-old, 6th year Senior who will provide the Tar Heels with an important veteran presence. As a player, Ryan is a knockdown shooter and a solid shot creator. He can play well on or off the ball and will be an important complementary piece for UNC.
Paxson Wojcik: Senior Guard
Paxson Wojcik is a Senior transfer from Brown. Considered one of the best players in the Ivy league, Wojcik is a knockdown shooter making 38% of his shots from deep last year. Wojcik is likely to be a role player used as a spot shooter, cutter, and secondary ball-handler. A skill set that will be vital to UNC. After shooting 32% from deep as a team upgrading three-shooting was a top priority for UNC in the transfer portal.
Jae’lyn Withers: Senior Forward
Jae’lyn Withers is a Senior transfer from Louisville. Withers is a versatile combo forward who can space the floor. Last year Withers shot 41% from beyond the arc on three attempts per game. Withers’ shooting ability will make him extremely valuable as a forward. Additionally, Withers is also a solid rebounder and versatile defender. Withers could certainly be starting forward next to Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram.
Caleb Love: Junior Guard
After three quality years with the program, Caleb Love decided to transfer to the Arizona Wildcats. For the past three years, Love was the starting Point Guard for the Tar Heels. While Love had a down year in terms of efficiency and shooting % last year there’s no denying this is still a big loss. Love is a dynamic scorer and ultra-talented guard. UNC is able to make up for Love’s loss with returning star guard RJ and top freshman Elliot Cadeau. As well as quality guards from the transfer portal. UNC still has a deep and extremely talented backcourt.
Leaky Black: Senior Guard/Forward
Leaky Black spent 5 years with UNC and was a beloved player by the fanbase. Black graduated and went on to sign a two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Black was one of the most impactful and disruptive wing defenders in college basketball. With the ability to lock up multiple positions and make big plays on defense Black was infinitely valuable. UNC is banking on collective effort in terms of wing defense and hoping that transfer Harrison Ingram can develop to an elite level on defense.
Pete Nance: Senior Forward
Pete Nance was one of UNC’s most consistent and productive players last year. Nance graduated leaving behind a rebounding and interior presence void. Additionally, Nance was a solid floor spacer. UNC is hoping transfer Jae’lyn Withers can play a similar role to Nance and produce at a high level.
The Last Word on The Tar Heels:
Well UNC certainly lost some talent. The revamped roster is incredibly deep and talented. With a great combination of experienced players and young players with upside UNC is poised for a bounce-back year. Additionally, UNC upgrade some massive weaknesses, especially three-point shooters and complementary ball handlers in the transfer portal. Furthermore, the Tar Heels project as a no-doubt top-five team in the ACC and a borderline 25 team in the country. UNC has a complete roster and if things fall into place that could be an incredibly dangerous team come tournament time.