North Carolina is losing big pieces in Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson, but head coach Roy Williams is confident in the core group of the returning players and the improvements they will make this offseason.
In an interview with The David Glenn Show, Williams discussed the talent level of the returners while also noting the immense losses that the team will face.
“We have never had teams where we brought back guys, but also lost so much,” he said.
In addition to the recruited talent that will be joining the squad for the 2016-17 season, the Tar Heels have important players coming back. When asked about the improvements that need to be made, Williams immediately went to Isaiah Hicks.
“Hicks is the first one I think about,” Williams stated. “We have got to keep him in the game. In ACC play, he averaged seven fouls per 40 minutes of play. If we don’t keep him in the game, he can’t replace Brice.”
Other than foul trouble, Williams is confident in Hicks’ skill set.
“His shooting percentage is right there with Brice, and per 40 minutes his points per game was right there with Brice.”
Williams also noted, “Joel (Berry II) has got to be more aggressive offensively. Justin (Jackson) has got to make some more shots because every time he shoots it I think it’s going in, but over two years he’s shot 29 percent from three.”
Williams ended his thoughts on the improvement with a positive, yet hesitant, note.
“If those guys improve and we continue to get good play from Nate (Britt), Kennedy (Meeks) and some freshmen, then we do have a chance at being good.”
Williams also touched on the Tar Heels’ strength of schedule and the difficulty of finding players under the radar with the advancements in media coverage. Click below to hear the full interview: