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Analysis: UNC Women’s Basketball Brings Skill Diversity With Its Wing Core

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In Head Coach Courtney Banghart’s third year at the helm of the North Carolina women’s basketball program, the team will have a reliable combination of players on the wings. Expectations are high this season for the Tar Heels, who are looking to jump from their 13-11 ranking last season.

The team lost former graduate Stephanie Watts after last season as she was drafted in the first round of the WNBA Draft. Watts averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Tar Heels last year.

Banghart has plenty of shooting guard depth and small attacking positions at UNC, which includes two much-touted first years, two comebacks that helped significantly last season, and a graduate transfer that didn’t. did that produce during his college career.

The Tar Heels had the # 3 ranked recruiting class in the 2021 recruiting cycle, which included four top 20 ranked rookies. Two of those rookies will specifically complete the wing position and will be instant impact players based on capabilities they have demonstrated. at secondary school.

First-year guard / forward Teonni Key was ranked ninth in the ESPNW class of 2021 and was named to the 2021 Jordan Brand Classic Women’s National Team and the 2021 McDonald’s All-American Women’s Team. ESPN analysts said Jason Key and Shane Laflin, Key has good ball skills and a good midrange jumper and hits the boards on both the offensive and defensive side – a great combination for a winger.

Destiny Adams, another first-year goaltender / forward, was ranked 20th in the ESPNW class of 2021 and was named the Gatorade New Jersey 2020-21 Female Basketball Player of the Year, scoring 30.1 points, 18.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks as a senior, highlighting the improvement in her rebounding and defensive skills over the past year. She was also named to the 2021 Jordan Classic Brand Classic Women’s National Team and the 2021 McDonald’s All-American Women’s Team.

Of the returning players, second-year guard / forward Alyssa Ustby started 17 of 24 games and averaged 30 minutes last season, which was the most for the team. Ustby was the fifth-leading scorer averaging 9.9 points per game. She was also effective in breaking the glass, as she averaged 5.7 rebounds per game, the second-tallest on the team.

The second is also back, Kennedy Todd-Williams, who plays a style very similar to Ustby.

Todd-Williams was a key player coming off the bench for North Carolina last season. She had an assist in the program’s first-ever triple-double, posting 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in just 21 minutes against South Carolina State.

Banghart named this season’s three team captains ahead of the start of training on Oct. 11, one of which was graduated transfer goaltender Carlie Littlefield.

Littlefield played three seasons at Princeton, finishing his last season in the Ivy League top 10 in points, field goal percentage, steals, assists, 3 point percentage, free throw percentage and assists ratio. decisive.

No one on the team will be a more reliable combo guard on and off the ball than Littlefield, who played under Banghart his first and second seasons at Princeton before Banghart left his post to coach at UNC.

As the team opens their season against North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, they have the first opportunity to experience wing rotation. With the diversity of skills, UNC has many possibilities with its range choices.

@CaparelliHunter

@dthsports | [email protected]

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