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UNC Basketball Summer Preview: Seth Trimble

The explosive guard should see an expanded role.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the roster rearrangement that’s taken place, the Carolina guards/wings have definitely experienced the most shakeup. Shortly after last season ended, Caleb Love, Dontrez Styles, Puff Johnson, and Tyler Nickel all elected to enter their names in the transfer portal. Then, spanning roughly a month in early summer, D’Marco Dunn entered the portal, Elliot Cadeau reclassified, and Simeon Wilcher decommitted. After the dust settled, the dust settled, there were just two such players returning from the previous team: RJ Davis and the next man up in our previews: Seth Trimble.

Past Previews links:

Armando Bacot

Cormac Ryan

Paxson Wojcik

Jae’Lyn Withers

RJ Davis

Jalen Washington

Harrison Ingram

James Okonkwo

Trimble is just one of four players total (Davis, Armando Bacot, and Jalen Washington) back from last year’s squad. With the exodus of Tar Heels to the transfer portal happening, Trimble quickly shut down any speculation of his departure by responding to a tweet in late April.

After at one point looking like he was going to have to fight hard for minutes, Trimble now finds himself in a situation where he might be the only true guard coming off the bench. His potential was evident last season despite not receiving significant playing time. Trimble should have an opportunity to really break into the rotation with this team.

As a freshman, Trimble averaged 1.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in just 9.7 minutes per game. He immediately made an impact on the defensive side, possessing a way more advanced skill set than your average freshman. With elite athleticism, seamless lateral quickness, and a persistent motor, Trimble carries the tools necessary to be an extremely high-level defender. While not exactly the same type of player, he is already on a faster pace than Leaky Black in terms of becoming truly lockdown.

Many people, including myself, wanted to see more of Trimble throughout much of last season. In defense of Hubert Davis, Trimble was certainly not immune to rookie mistakes. Though he successfully hounded opposing team’s top guards, his intensity could get the best of him and lead to unnecessary fouls. Moreover, Trimble’s inability to pose a legitimate three-point threat was exacerbated by the team’s overall deficiency in that department. He never really found solid footing on that side of the ball.

Naturally, the attention will be on how much Trimble has and can develop offensively. Coach Davis raved about the work he had been putting in at his summer press conference and Bacot even specifically praised his shooting. Trimble isn’t expected to be lights-out, adding some sort of consistent jumper, whether it be from three or mid-range, is imperative in unlocking the full potential of his game.

This year’s roster and mentality will hopefully be more conducive towards what Trimble brings. The presence of Cadeau should help speed things up a bit and reignite the Carolina break. Trimble is at his best in fast-pace, up-tempo games, and the two of them together could be an explosive duo. Moreover, assuming the Heels are able to improve from beyond the arc, Trimble can turn more of his focus towards being the energy guy, drawing charges, diving for loose balls, and giving everything he’s got on both ends.

Truthfully, I believe Trimble is poised for one of the biggest year-to-year leaps we’ve seen in some time. His leaping ability, reminiscent of his brother and former Tar Heel J.P. Tokoto, paired with his stellar attitude and insatiable work ethic, will take him far. While Trimble may not start this season, he’s as solid a candidate as any to take on sixth man duties. Given Carolina is looking to replace the defensive prowess of Leaky Black, Trimble could ultimately be an X-factor for this squad.