CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – As UNC men’s basketball season quickly approaches, the Tar Heels are ready for a fresh start in Chapel Hill. There have been some changes in the offseason, most notably the hiring of head coach Hubert Davis after Roy Williams’ retirement, but the players are rolling with them.
With the new transfer rules that Division I athletes do not have to sit out a year, there’s a lot of movement among all college athletes. But Caleb Love’s decision to stay at Carolina was an easy one.
“There was no question that I needed to get better and that I needed to make that jump in my development and get better at my game. So there was no question. I was coming back,” he said. “What went into that was talking to my parents, trying to see who was going to get the next job, and when Coach Davis got hired, it was a no-brainer. I knew I was coming back before then, but I just knew when he got the job it was a clear connect with me and him.”
His backcourt counterpart, Kerwin Walton, agreed.
“You can definitely feel the difference. It’s a whole lot more energy. Definitely, everybody is really excited for this season because everybody has been developing and working hard and growing, and I think we’re really motivated to do really well this season,” Walton said.
“I think Coach Davis has done a great job of motivating us and working with us to get better every single day. So I think there’s going to be a lot of positive energy with us on and off the court, and I think we’re going to have a great year.”
Davis was on William’s coaching staff for eight seasons. The players are adjusting to his coaching style, but say it’s somewhat familiar to them.
“There’s a lot of similarities, but as far as the system, it’s kind of the same but it’s kind of different at the same time. They kind of coach alike, but they also have their differences. I think it goes hand-in-hand, and they both want the same goal so I feel like it’s going to be an easy transition,” Love said.
The Tar Heels finished with a record of 18-11 last season and were 14-19 in the 2019-2020 season. Davis’ goal is to get back to winning ways of Carolina basketball.
“His biggest thing is we’re going to become real hungry this year. The past two years, for Carolina standards, we’ve come up real short. That’s something we got to turn around. That’s something we got to change. Right now, we’re more focused on making shots, which is something we didn’t do last year. We’re going to have to guard 1 through 5,” Walton said.