Three Tar Heels Go in NBA Draft’s First Round

Three Tar Heels Go in NBA Draft’s First Round

North Carolina has now had 52 players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.

On Thursday night, UNC’s Coby White was drafted No. 7 by the Chicago Bulls, Cameron Johnson will head to the Phoenix Suns with the No. 11 pick, and Nassir Little was selected No. 25 overall by the Portland Trailblazers.

The three selections give Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams 21 first round picks at North Carolina and 32 for his entire coaching career.

North Carolina has now had 116 players drafted all-time.

This is the first time that UNC has had three or more players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since 2012 when Harrison BarnesKendall MarshallJohn Henson, and Tyler Zeller were all first-round picks. Before that, Carolina had three first round picks in 2009 with Tyler HansbroughTy Lawson, and Wayne EllingtonDanny Green was a second-round pick that year.

In 2005, following Coach Williams’s second season at UNC and his first National Championship four Tar Heels went in the first round. Marvin Williams, Raymond FeltonSean May and Rashad McCants all went in the first-round that year.

White arrived at North Carolina as the No. 25 overall player in the 2018 class. He didn’t expect to be a one-and-done player for the Tar Heels, but put together a fantastic freshman season and played his way into the NBA Draft’s lottery.

The Goldsboro, N.C., native averaged 16.1 points and 4.1 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three. White made a UNC freshman record 82 three-pointers and shot 80 percent from the free throw line. He had the fifth-highest scoring average ever by a Carolina freshman. White led UNC in assists and was second on the team in scoring, three-pointers, and free throw percentage.

White scored 552 points as a freshman at UNC, the fifth most by a freshman in Carolina history. He became the first UNC freshman to score 30 or more points three times in a season (34 vs. Syracuse, 33 vs. Texas and 33 vs. Miami) and was the first Tar Heel to make six three-pointers in consecutive games (vs. Syracuse and at Clemson).

White was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors five times. He also earned Second-Team All-ACC honors.

A grad transfer from Pittsburgh, Johnson led the Tar Heels with 16.9 points per game and averaged 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his second season in Chapel Hill. Johnson shot 50.6 percent from the field and a striking 45.7 percent from three en route to First-Team All-ACC honors.

Little averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds for Carolina this past season. He scored in double figures 18 times (Carolina was 17-1 in those games) with a high of 23 against Virginia Tech. That was one of three 20-point games; he also scored a team-high 18 against Florida State.

Shark Sports Management

Jae Crowder