Hubert Davis doesn’t want to belabor the point, but to say he’s excited about the upcoming season would be a severe understatement.
“I had always grown up a North Carolina fan, my uncle, Water Davis, was an All-American here in the mid-’70s and I remember being 4 or 5 years old coming to his games,” Davis said. “I grew up having dreams of playing on Smith Center floor and to think that I had an opportunity to play here and, after I played in the NBA, have an opportunity to coach here and for the last six and half months I’m the head coach here. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Davis took over the reins in Chapel Hill when hall of fame coach Roy Williams retired after 18 years, a run that included three national championships and nine Final Four appearances.
To that end, Davis, who served as an assistant under Williams for nine years, said he wanted Williams to have an office in the basketball offices “because I wanted him around.”
“He’s been great, he’s been around at practices and he’s a sounding board if I need it,” Davis said of Williams. “I’ve known Coach Williams since he recruited me out of high school, so there’s a relationship there. I love Coach Williams, and I always want him around.”
Still, Davis remains adamant that he’s devoid of pressure because he doesn’t compare himself to anyone.
That said, he’s clear that the ultimate goal of winning a national title remains consistent.
Davis inherits a talented crop anchored by junior forward Armando Bacot (12.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG), who will be the focal point in the paint for the Tar Heels. Transfers Justin McCoy, Dawson Garcia and Brady Manek should complement Bacot’s power game with versatility, sophomore sharpshooter sniper Kerwin Walton, a 42% three-point shooter last season, and R.J. Davis will add firepower on the wing and sophomore point guard Caleb Love (10.5 PPG, 3.6 APG) will try to find consistency as he runs the offense.
“One of the things I love about our team is our versatility on both ends of the floor,” Davis said. “I like the direction that we’re heading in. One of the things that I’m really excited about is our guys are desperate to be relevant. They’ve heard all the stories, the testimonies, the memories and they want their own story and it’s really driving them to be the best that they can be.”