North Carolina has a strong history of do-it-all, stat-stuffing, playmaking, long and athletic guards or wings.
Examples in the Roy Williams era include Rashad McCants (2002-05), Danny Green (2005-09), and Theo Pinson (2014-18).
In 2004-05, Rashad McCants was second on the team in points, first on the team in made three-pointers, fourth in made free throws, second in assists, second in blocks, and third in steals.
In 2008-09, Danny Green was fourth on the team in points, second in made three-pointers, second in three-point percentage, first in free throw percentage, fifth in rebounds, second in assists, second in blocks, and second in steals.
In 2017-18, Theo Pinson was fourth on the team in points, tied for first in made free throws, third in free throw percentages, second in rebounds, first in assists, third in blocks, and second in steals.
Leaky Black is primed to be the latest jack-of-all-trades for the Tar Heels.
At UNC’s media day on Wednesday, Garrison Brooks said of his junior teammate that a “healthy Leaky Black looks like a Swiss Army Knife; he can do anything”.
In 2019-20, Black finished sixth on the team in points, third in made three-pointers, fifth in free throws, third in rebounds, second in assists, second in blocks, and first in steals.
As compared to Theo Pinson, the most recent prototypical UNC stat-stuffer, Black measures rather similarly. Black is two inches taller (6’8” to 6’6”) but 15 pounds lighter (195 to 210). Black also has a wider wingspan, although negligibly so (6’11” to 6’10 ¾”).
While Black’s numbers have not yet ascended to that of Pinson, Green, or McCants, he’s also only played two years. He’s spent a good portion of those two years injured. He’s also spent a good chunk of those two years having to play multiple positions due to lack of depth.
Brooks went on to say, “Leaky’s always been really good on defense, he’s been getting up and down the floor really well. Of course, he’s always getting people involved, he’s always been a very good passer. I think the surprising part is he’s healed up really well from his injuries. I think that he’s become what he was in high school: a big, athletic guard. He’s going to be really good this year. You’ll see.”
Black is finally to the point of feeling fully healthy and looking forward to the upcoming season.
“A healthy me only knows one speed, and that’s giving everything I have. I felt like with the ankle holding me back, it didn’t allow me to guard everyone full court like I’m accustomed to doing or being confident in my offense or making a cut or whatever the case may be.”
Black said he looks forward to being “more of an offensive weapon” this season. In the offseason, he spent countless early morning hours with trainer Doug Halverson getting treatment and then heading into the gym to get work in with Coach Hubert Davis for 60-90 minutes. Black commented, “I feel like I’m setting myself up to have a pretty successful season”.
So what exactly does a healthy Leaky Black look like?
I’ll let him tell you in his own words:
“I’ve never been this confident in my life.”
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