North Carolina guard R.J. Davis announced on Twitter he’s a “Tar Heel for life,” and will return to UNC for his senior season. The 6-foot guard from White Plains, N.Y. joins Armando Bacot in returning to the team for one more season. The Tar Heels have been staples in the lineup the better part of three seasons.
Davis was second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 16.1 points per game, and led the team in both 3-point shooting percentage (36.2) and assists with 104. Even though he’ll be playing his fourth year with the Heels, he actually has two years of eligibility remaining since he could play a fifth season due to the NCAA waiver on the COVID-19 plagued season in 2020-21.
UNC will now await the decision of guard Caleb Love, who has started with Davis and Bacot for three seasons. Love is a volume shooter who drew a lot of criticism last season for his inconsistency.
Even if Love does return, the roster has undergone several changes since the season ended with a loss to Virginia in the ACC tournament.
Four players entered the transfer portal: Puff Johnson, Dontrez Styles, Tyler Nickel and Justin McKoy. Starters Leaky Black and Pete Nance each have exhausted their eligibility.
Carolina’s incoming recruiting class consists of only guard Simeon Wilcher and forward Zayden High at the moment, so coach Hubert Davis and staff will likely be diving into the transfer portal to fill in the gaps on the roster.
One obvious hole is at wing, where the departure of Black, Johnson, Styles and Nickel leaves a void.
Davis will put a premium on shooting for whomever he’s recruiting after the Heels shot 31.2 percent from 3-point range — the second-worst performance in program history.
Davis could help change that. He was the teams most consistent outside shooter despite dislocating a finger on his shooting hand that caused his percentages to dip at the start of the season, and again when he re-injured it. When healthy, Davis had an 11-game stretch where he made 28 of 60 (46.6 percent) from behind the arc.
This story was originally published March 24, 2023, 12:52 PM.