The North Carolina Tar Heels announced Monday that senior point guard Joel Berry II will miss approximately four weeks as he recovers from a broken bone in his right hand.
Berry averaged 14.7 points and 3.6 assists last season for the Tar Heels, helping lead them to the school's seventh national title in men's basketball.
While losing a talented scorer and veteran presence like Berry will hurt the Tar Heels, the team isn't lacking for options at guard and on the wing. In Seventh Woods and Jalek Felton, the team has excellent stand-ins at point guard, while Cameron Johnson, Brandon Robinson, Kenny Williams and Andrew Platek will provide plenty of shooting and production on the perimeter as well.
The bigger question for North Carolina this season is in the frontcourt, as the team has to replace Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley. The Heels will turn to Luke Maye and a number of freshmen, including Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.
With the Tar Heels likely to rely on a number of freshman this year, that made the steady presence and production of Berry all the more important. His experience—he was the NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player last year and scored 22 points in the championship game against Gonzaga—is vital for North Carolina.
While the Tar Heels have the perimeter talent to survive without Berry for now, their long-term success is unquestionably tied to the senior point guard.
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