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UNC Basketball: Coby White soaring in the NBA

It's been a scorching December for the former Tar Heel.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tar Heel fans who follow the National Basketball Association have cringed in the last few years when the conversation about Coby White has arisen. The fifth-year guard for the Chicago Bulls was a lottery pick in 2019 after a phenomenal freshman season for North Carolina. After seeing what we saw from Coby in his one season in Carolina blue, expectations were extremely high for the young guard.

His time in the Windy City since then has been confusing, to say the least. Coby has never been able to break through into a consistent star role on a roster with a handful of elite scorers. Drafting PG Ayo Dosunmu in 2021 was another hit to his stock, and many fans began to push the idea of “free Coby White.” We can argue day and night about if the Bulls use of the former Tar Heel has been valid, but just about everyone can agree that his true potential has been hindered.

When Coby did see the court in his previous four seasons, there wasn’t much to complain about. In limited minutes and constantly rotating from starter to off the bench, he has averaged around 13 PPG in his career. With that being said, his name has always swirled in trade rumors and has been a huge question mark regarding the future of the Chicago Bulls.

Well, he may have answered those questions in the last month.

It had been a more productive season for Coby before mid-November, as he began seeing consistent starts and 30+ minutes per game. When Zach Lavine went out three weeks ago, Coby went to the next level and has yet to look back.

Coby White has scored 19 points or more in 11 straight games. He has hit 3+ three-pointers in nine of his last ten. He has gone for 30 points or more twice in the previous eight games. The stats go on and on, but the reality the basketball fans are seeing is that Coby is finally surfacing into the elite scorer and shooter he was expected to be.

It’s not just putting the ball in the basket that’s making his stats pop, though. Coby has sniffed a triple-double on multiple occasions over this flaming hot run. He is averaging nearly seven rebounds and seven assists in the month of December. Everything is more efficient for the Bulls when Coby is playing extra minutes, and he is proving to so many why he was drafted where he once was.

It’s still a young NBA season, but if Coby keeps this historic pace up in Chicago, he could be in the running for an All-Star selection as well as the Most Improved Player award. His current season averages are 17.5 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.0 RPG. Are these solid stats? Absolutely. But pull up his game log in the last three weeks to see how much he is soaring over these on a nightly basis.

Although Coby has put up fireworks, the Bulls are still 11-17 and far from where they’d like to be. No one knows if Chicago is the long-term home for the former Tar Heel guard, but a run like this solidifies what many of us already knew: Coby White is a stud. His versatility, size, and speed is an asset anywhere around the league, and I am so thrilled that #0 is finally putting it all together and proving where his ceiling truly lies.