UNC signee Nassir Little is already making a name for himself before he ever steps foot on campus in Chapel Hill. The Florida native has brought home MVP honors in both the McDonalds All-America game and the Jordan Brand Classic. Despite the fact that announcers at both games have focused exerting their vocal chord energy on future Blue Devils, such as Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, it’s been Little who has stolen the show.
In a world where everyone is obsessing over the latest mock draft for kids even still in high school, early early versions of the draft board project Little to go very high after next season. That’s not a surprise after seeing the performances he’s turned in against the most elite members of his peers.
Will Little follow in the footsteps of Tony Bradley and be a one-and-done for Roy Williams? Who knows. If you listen to Little and his father discuss the possibility, it seems kind of like the furthest thing from their minds right now. Rightfully so. A draft featuring Little might as well be eons away at this moment, and he will need to prove himself against competition in the ACC and beyond in order to cement his potential for an NBA team.
Carolina is not Duke or Kentucky, which is to say a glorified factory of freshman on a conveyor belt heading off to the pros ASAP one after the other. If Little does, indeed, only stay one year in Chapel Hill, it will be because he had an impressive year that afforded him the opportunity to move on to the next level. If he stays around for another season, it wouldn’t be surprising either. He seems like an intelligent young man with a good head on his shoulders. Roy Williams has a way of helping his players truly reach their potential, and that could very well take more than one season for Little. Or maybe not! Who knows.
In the one-and-done age, it’s easy to look at a player like Little and already mentally skip forward in your mind. Jumping to conclusions on just how long he will wear Carolina blue is a fruitless endeavor. The number of factors in play to influence that decision between now and the summer of 2019 are pretty infinite.
It would be a disservice to Little and to all of us to write him off as nothing but a one-and-done player making a pit stop at a school because he has to. This kid looks to be tremendously talented and we’re going to get an up close and personal look at that talent playing for our favorite team very soon. Maybe he stays one year, maybe he stays all four. Who knows? That’s not a discussion for today. I’m just excited he’s going to be a Tar Heel.