Whenever basketball season rolls around, it always takes a while to get used to the new team. For those of you who have been wrapped up in football season, (rightfully so) you might lean over to your friend during those first couple of basketball games and say something like “who was that?” Even if you know his name, you might ask “where did he come from?” or “is he supposed to be any good?”
These are all good questions that need answers. Below, we've compiled your guide to knowing the “diaper dandies” on this year’s Carolina Basketball team. So, instead of asking those questions to your neighbor, you could be answering them.
Tony Bradley, #5
Height/Weight: 6-10, 240
Hometown: Bartow, FL
Also considered: UConn, Florida State, Miami, NC State, Pitt
Tony was ranked the #3 center on ESPN in the 2016 class, with 5 stars, and a overall grade of 93. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida in 2016, and played in both the McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-America games. He is likely to get some strong minutes early for the Heels, being our top rated recruit this year. Nate Britt has high hopes for the freshman, saying “He’s going to turn a lot of heads. He still has a lot of growth that he has to make with learning our system. But just watching him in the summer, he’s extremely skilled, runs the floor, has a big body and doesn’t back down from anybody.”
Seventh Woods, #21
Height/Weight: 6-2, 180
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Also considered: Georgetown, South Carolina
Seventh was ranked 14th among shooting guards in the 2016 class, with 4 stars, and a grade of 84. He was the two-time Mr. Basketball in South Carolina, and the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina. He also captained the U-16 USA Basketball team, and won a gold medal in Uruguay in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. For more on Woods and his potential impact at UNC, check out the article from Tar Heel Blog’s Luke Willard.
Brandon Robinson, #14
Height/Weight: 6-5, 162
Hometown: Douglasville, GA
Also considered: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Louisville
Brandon was ranked 13th among shooting guards in the 2016 class, 4 stars, and a grade of 85. He was the region 3-AAAAAA Player of the Year, and selected to the Georgia Coaches All-State team. Robinson was also named first-team All-Metro Atlanta his senior year. Robinson is an athletic guard that can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Historically, some good high school shooters have had trouble adjusting to the college game. Only time will tell how well he gets used to the next level.
Shea Rush, #11
Height/Weight: 6-6, 200
Hometown: Fairway, KS
Shea is a preferred walk-on for the Heels this season. A smart and capable guy, he could have either gone to an Ivy League school for academics, or a Division II school as a scholarship athlete. Instead, he picked his dream school: Carolina. He liked the Kenan-Flagler Business School, and loved the idea of playing for Roy Williams. His father JaRon was given an offer by Williams to play at Kansas in the early 90s, but it was eventually rescinded for various reasons. JaRon eventually landed at UCLA. The nephew of NCAA and NBA Champion Brandon Rush, Shea will now try to follow in his family’s footsteps and make an impact on a major college team. Check out the full story on Shea from the Kansas City Star.
There you have it! Your freshman class for 2016 Carolina Basketball. Every incoming class is different, and contributes in their own way. With key losses from last year, and injury to Theo Pinson, this class looks like it could have an immediate impact this season.
Player photos and bio information courtesy of GoHeels.com. Rankings courtesy of ESPN.com.