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UNC Basketball: 3 Reasons Why Reggie Bullock Can Be the Go-to Guy This Season

Thomas BonifaceCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2016

UNC Basketball: 3 Reasons Why Reggie Bullock Can Be the Go-to Guy This Season

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    North Carolina made a deep run into the NCAA tournament last season behind the skill and expertise of Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, John Henson and Tyler Zeller.

    Now all four of them are in the NBA.

    So who is left to pick up the slack left behind from the four NBA draft picks, all of whom went in the top 20?

    Well, we are talking about North Carolina Basketball here.  The Tar Heels always seem to reload with top-tier talent. 

    This year's freshman class includes a foursome of 4-star recruits, according to rivals.com, including forwards Joel James, Brice Johnson and J.P. Tokoto and point guard Marcus Paige.

    The Tar Heels also have Reggie Bullock, who is a former Rivals.com 5-star recruit himself.

    Here are three reasons why Bullock, not any of the four freshmen, will be the go-to guy for the Tar Heels this season.

Experience and Leadership

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    First and foremost, Bullock will give the Tar Heels a veteran leader with experience.

    He is currently the oldest player on the North Carolina roster and its most experienced player.  Bullock's minutes last year trailed only Barnes, Zeller, Marshall and Henson, and he played in all 38 of the Tar Heels' games last year.

    You also cannot forget to mention the fact that he was a part of two straight NCAA tournament runs to the Elite Eight.

    With four incoming freshmen that project to get significant playing time this season, the Tar Heels will need someone to provide them with leadership and experience.  Look for Bullock to provide that for them.

Scoring Threat

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    Bullock will be counted on this season to score more points.

    As I mentioned previously, the Tar Heels lost four of their five top scorers from last season and are bringing in four freshmen that look to contribute right away.

    In most cases, however, incoming freshmen cannot always be counted on to score points.  This is especially true in big games—something that the Tar Heels will have plenty of in the ACC.

    Roy Williams should be relying on Bullock, the team's leading returning scorer, to be the primary scoring threat this season. He had to take a back seat to Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson in past seasons, but now is his time.

    Bullock averaged 8.8 points per game on 48-percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from three-point range last season.

Defensive Presence

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    Not only is Bullock a former 5-star recruit who has the ability to score from all over the floor, but he can also play some defense.

    At 6'7'' and 207 pounds, Bullock has a big frame that allows him to defend both inside the paint or outside on the perimeter, and he also has the speed and athleticism to defend several positions.

    Bullock's versatility gives the Tar Heels the ability to go with many different looks on defense.

    As a sometimes-starter, Bullock had 193 rebounds (130 of which were on the defensive glass), eight blocks and 25 steals.

    Look for those numbers to rise this year—and look for Bullock to make a significant difference for the Tar Heels on defense this season as he looks to become a full-time starter.

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