North Carolina sophomore guard Joel Berry II shined under a national spotlight on Monday night in the NCAA title game against Villanova, going for 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half. Though Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson are household names, Berry has been just as consistent this season.
A 6'0" guard out of Lake Highland Prep in Apopka, Fla., Berry saw increased minutes in his second year on campus and took full advantage. He averaged 12.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists, and played a key role in each of the Tar Heels’ victories this March.
Berry has provided provided scoring when necessary, and played solid defense. He’s been so steady that Roy Williams called him UNC’s “most consistent player” in recent weeks.
Before the season began, it wasn’t even a guarantee that Berry would see significant time on the floor until Paige went down with an injury in November. He hit big shots, put together productive nights, and earned a spot in the rotation.
– Kenny Ducey