Late Night With Roy is tonight, and the raising of the 2017 NCAA championship banner is not the only thing to watch for. The volleyball team takes on Virginia Tech at 5 p.m, the women's basketball team will dance and scrimmage, and the men's basketball team will participate in dances and videos. C Jackson Cowart will tell you what to watch for with women's basketball. Sam Doughton has you covered on the volleyball side. Here now are five things to watch for when the men's basketball team takes the floor to actually, you know, play basketball.
1. The MOP returns
Joel Berry II is just the seventh player in the last 25 years to have won Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament and return to school for the following season. One of the great joys of the last three years of Carolina basketball has been watching Berry grow into his role as an assertive, even aggressive player, willing and able to take over a game when necessary. Even playing hurt, Berry has shown the ability to be profoundly impactful on a game. And he's back. For a team that will be young in the post, Berry's leadership and assertiveness will be huge.
I don't know that he'll play tonight, as Kenny Williams was only recently cleared to resume basketball activities, but it's a good sign that the junior is back on the court. Kenny and Theo Pinson are two different players, though it turned out that they pretty much tag-teamed on the wing last year. Williams showed the ability to find his own shot and hit from the outside a year ago, and he was one of Carolina's best perimeter defenders.
3. Cam Can
Pittsburgh grad transfer Cam Johnson joins the Tar Heels and is available to play immediately. He's not Justin Jackson, though he may look similar in size and position. Johnson can shoot, and he has length. But let Cam be Cam, not Justin, and appreciate that the Tar Heels got a solid player who has proven himself in the ACC.
4. Fresh Faces
We know what Carolina lost from a year ago. What makes tonight fun is the debut of the incoming freshman class. Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley will be missed in the post, but the Tar Heels added four post players in Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman, Sterling Manley and walk-on Walker Miller. So while they aren't experienced in the post, they are deep, and Brooks in particular looks ready to contribute right away. On the wing, Jalek Felton comes in as the #1 combo guard in the class of 2017, and Andrew Platek is a shooter from the outside.
5. Raise the banner