F Brice Johnson, Sophomore, 6-9, 210 lbs.
You can forgive Brice Johnson if he didn't seem to live up to expectations last season. Backing up James Michael McAdoo and expected to be the heir apparent to John Henson, Johnson often seemed overwhelmed by the pace and strength of the college game. Though he averaged a respectable 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds, Johnson became lost in UNC's muddled post rotation and ran hot and cold over the course of the course of the season. And last season he carried a slight 187 pounds, which made it difficult to bang in the post. Still, he averaged 12.4 minutes per game, the most of any post player besides McAdoo.
Moving forward to this season, Johnson has packed on about 20 pounds of bulk while maintaining his quickness. If UNC is able to get consistent play from the center position, Johnson can focus more on the power forward position and use his natural talents, including shot blocking (where he was second on the team last season). Johnson can expect to split time with Jackson Simmons in backing up McAdoo but the team will need his athleticism and touch on the offensive end to shore up Carolina's potentially suspect wing play. His high basketball IQ (he is the son of a coach) will be key as well. He needs to dial up his intensity and deliver on his potential.