‘Tis the season for player announcements, and in this day and age you don’t just have players announce that they are leaving, but whether they are staying. Earlier this week, after four announcements of players going to the transfer portal, Armando Bacot announced he was going to use his fifth season of eligibility to play for the Tar Heels. On Friday, another announcement came out, this one from RJ Davis.
Perhaps befitting the fact that this season was a disappointment, a tweet was all that was needed.
RJ Davis our most improved player for this past season, and while the raw numbers may have been a disappointment, he showed perhaps his most complete game of his career when he was healthy. Carolina’s season seemed to go with his health, struggling in the beginning as he overcame issues with his shooting hand, rolling along in the middle when that hand was healthy, and struggling again when injured it again against Syracuse. He was starting to be healthy again by the end, but it was a little too late to save the season.
Davis was actually the second leading scorer of the team at 16.1 points a game, a nearly three point improvement over the 2021-22 season. He also increased his free throw percentage to 88%, leading the team, and also increasing his rebounding margin. He’s a spark plug who demands your attention, and having him back on the floor is nothing but good news for a Tar Heel squad that’s seen a significant number of shooters and wings leave over the last few days.
The Tar Heels are still waiting to hear from other members of the team as to whether or not they will return, namely the other guards Seth Tremble, D’Marco Dunn, and Caleb Love. None of them are required to formally announce a return, but making it official either way will help the coaching staff as they start to sift through the transfer portal.
While this will be the senior season for Davis, he’ll have another year thanks to his freshman year being the Covid season of 2020-21. Thus we could have a repeat in the Smith Center where Davis participates in a senior ceremony and then gets to participate again.
We still don’t know what 2023-24 will bring, but now knowing that two of the top three leading scorers including one of the best rebounders in ACC History and the best three point shooter on the team will be returning, the prospects are looking a lot brighter. Hopefully this knowledge will allow the Tar Heels to get some help around these players to come in.
It also appears that Jalen Washington has confirmed he will be coming back to Chapel Hill next season with his support of RJ:
This means another big will team with Bacot next season, and with a full, healthy offseason for Washington, there should be a lot of improvement for him next season. This also further clarifies what the Tar Heels will be looking for in the portal.