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UNC basketball: Where does Andrew Platek fit in?

Can the incoming guard find minutes in a loaded backcourt?

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

With the addition of Cameron Johnson, North Carolina’s stable of wings is even more crowded. Johnson committed to the Tar Heels on Wednesday before a decision had been made clear about whether he would have to sit out a year. The next day, though, he received his full release from Pitt, allowing him to participate in the 2017-2018 season. While clearly beneficial for the Tar Heels, what does this news mean for incoming freshman guard Andrew Platek?

Andrew Platek is a six-foot-four, 180-pound shooting guard from Mount Hermon, Massachusetts. As a senior for Northfield Mount Hermon, he averaged 13.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. He shot 43% from the field, including a 35% clip from three point range. Platek also managed to sink 45% of his perimeter attempts in his final go-round on the EYBL circuit. This statistic is especially encouraging for a team in North Carolina that has had its struggles from behind the arc in recent seasons.

247sports lists Platek as a three-star recruit, landing just outside the top 200. He joins a backcourt led by seniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson. With guys such as Seventh Woods, Kenny Williams, Brandon Robinson, Jalek Felton, and the aforementioned Cameron Johnson also in the fold, it is unlikely Platek will find much daylight in his first season. However, the departure of Justin Jackson leaves a large hole in the Tar Heels’ three-point production. Jackson broke UNC’s single season three point record with 105 threes (the previous record was 95 held by Shammond Williams). Especially with a questionable frontcourt, the Heels will need players to step up and account for that lost production, which puts Platek in a not-so-bad situation.

Andrew Platek is, to put it simply, a pure shooter. Arguably most impressive are his shooting mechanics. Not only is he great at getting his feet set and aimed towards the basket, but he routinely manages to keep his elbow square and flick the ball with nice rotation. His consistency and muscle memory lend to efficient shooting, which is not something that can be said about every Tar Heel that comes through (Nate Britt had to change shooting hands because of an inconsistent jumper). Platek does not have the quickest release, which could be an issue for him at the college level. His athleticism and explosiveness are subpar, but he makes up for it with a steady motor and high basketball I.Q.

In his freshman season, expect to see Platek spotting up and coming off the occasional screen to try and find open looks. Roy Williams will tinker with lineups in the early going and give everyone on the roster a chance to prove himself. Platek’s ability to knock down the open jumper as well as his tenacity on both sides of the ball will determine whether he can secure a permanent spot in the rotation.