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Countdown to Tipoff: Previewing UNC and FSU

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Countdown to Tipoff: 29 Days

The ACC is the premier basketball conference in the country, and as is true every season, the conference is stacked with top level talent and teams that will compete at the national level. Today we will take a look at one of the traditional powers as well as a team that has had some recent success in the the big dance


The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Tar Heels their top five scorers from last season, three of which were first round picks in the NBA draft. They look to replace these players with a recruiting class ranked 9th in the country and includes two five-star players. The Heels also supplemented this stellar class with two talented players in the transfer portal.

New Faces

Cole Anthony - Guard, 6-3 190, #4 ranked player in the class of 2019 - Out goes a one and done, lottery pick guard and in steps another. Anthony is the jewel of this class for the Tarheels, and looks to fill the shoes of Coby White.

Armando Bacot - Center, 6-10 240, #27 ranked player in the class of 2019 - Bacot is the number six ranked center in the class of 2019. Bacot is an athletic big man who will help in the low post rotation.

Anthony Harris - Guard, 6-3 180, #72 ranked player in the class of 2019 - Another top 100 guard for the Heels, Harris will be another scoring option in the back court.

Christian Keeling - Guard, 6-3 180, transfer from Charleston Southern - Keeling is a graduate transfer, originally from Augusta, Georgia. Keeling averaged 17.9 points per game during his three years in Charleston. He shot .450 from the floor and .352 from behind the arc.

Returning Players

Leaky Black - Guard, 6-8 195, Soph - Black came to Chapel Hill as a top 75 ranked player in the nation. Unfortunately his first year was limited due to injuries, only appearing in 23 games. He will look to improve on his numbers this season as his playing time increases and if he can stay healthy.

Garrison Brooks - Forward, 6-9 235, Junior - Brooks started every game last year for the Tar Heels and looks to be the main option in the post for them this season. He averaged 7.9 points while shooting .574 from the floor, he added in 5.6 rebounds per game as well.

Brandon Robinson - Guard, 6-5 173, Senior - Robinson will be the senior leader for this team. He shot .460 from behind the arc last season and looks to be a solid 3 and D option this season.

Sterling Manley - Forward, 6-11 250, Junior - Manley is another option in the post for the Tar Heels. He struggled with injuries last season, only appearing in 18 games.


This team may struggle early as they work to integrate all of the new faces into the program, but look to see the Heels playing late into March with a possibility of winning the whole thing.


Leonard Hamilton has a huge rebuilding project this year. The Noles lose 6 of their top 8 players from last years Sweet 16 team. FSU signed the #19 ranked class in the nation for 2019 as well as brought in players through the transfer portal.

New Faces

Patrick Williams - Guard, 6-6 215, #26 ranked player in the class of 2019 - The highest rated player in the class, Williams will be expected to come in and contribute from day one. He is a strong shooter from behind the arc and has the length that FSU is known for.

Balsa Koprivica - Center, 7-0 240, #77 ranked player in the class of 2019 - Koprivica is another in the long line of 7 footers to play at FSU. Not as strong defensively as the previous big men at FSU, he is an athletic player who will be an integral part of the rotation.

RayQuan Evans - Guard, 6-4 195, #13 ranked JUCO player in 2019 - Evans comes to FSU from North Idaho College. He will look to play a roll in the guard rotation and as a player to spell Forrest.

Nathanael Jack - Guard, 6-4 195, #26 ranked JUCO player in 2019 - Jack is a JUCO transfer from Eastern Florida State College. He looks to be a three point specialist off the bench for the Noles.

Dominik Olejniczak - Center, 7-0 260, transfer from Ole Miss - With Naheem McLeod failing to be eligible this season, Olejniczak will be the main reserve at the center position. He averaged 5.3 points and 3 rebounds a game last season for the Rebels.

Returning Players

Trent Forrest - Guard, 6-4 210 Senior - Forrest is the leading returning scorer for FSU, he averaged 9.3 points per game last season. Forrest looks to be the senior leader this season and will be asked to run the offense for the Seminoles.

MJ Walker - Guard, 6-5 213 Junior - Walker is the 2nd leading returning scorer, averaging 7.5 points per game last season. Walker is a former highly rated recruit that has never really grown into the player people expected him to be.

Devin Vassell - Guard, 6-6 180 Soph - Vassell played in 33 games last season for the Noles, averaging 4.5 points per game while shooting .419 from behind the arc. He looks to take a more prominent role this season.

Raiquan Gray - Forward, 6-8 260 R-Soph - Gray averaged 3.9 points per games last season, playing in 36 games for FSU. Gray will look to be the main option for FSU at the power forward position.


There is a lot to replace in Tallahassee going into this season. The Seminoles will more than likely struggle to make it to a fourth straight NCAA tournament.