UNC Basketball: What Does D’Marco Dunn’s Commitment Mean for the 2021-22 Roster? – Sports Illustrated

Class of 2021 shooting guard D’Marco Dunn (Fayetteville, NC | Westover) committed to the Tar Heels on Wednesday. Dunn is the second commit for UNC’s class of 2021, joining strong forward Dontrez Styles from Kinston, NC (Kinston).

Each successive commitment affects the make-up of the 2021-22 roster as well as the available scholarships.

What does D’Marco Dunn’s commitment mean for the make-up of the 2021-22 North Carolina men’s basketball team?

Let’s investigate.

Scholarship Count

NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams are allowed a maximum of 13 scholarships per year.

Here’s Carolina’s roster and scholarship breakdown for the 2020-21 season:

2020-21 Roster & Scholarships

  1. #0 – Anthony Harris (Scholarship)
  2. #1 – Leaky Black (Scholarship)
  3. #2 – Caleb Love (Scholarship)
  4. #3 – Andrew Platek (Scholarship)
  5. #4 – RJ Davis (Scholarship)
  6. #5 – Armando Bacot (Scholarship)
  7. #11 – Day’Ron Sharpe (Scholarship)
  8. #13 – Walker Kessler (Scholarship)
  9. #14 – Puff Johnson (Scholarship)
  10. #15 – Garrison Brooks (Scholarship)
  11. #21 – Sterling Manley (Scholarship)
  12. #22 – Walker Miller
  13. #24 – Kerwin Walton (Scholarship)
  14. #25 – Creighton Lebo
  15. #30 – KJ Smith
  16. #35 – Ryan McAdoo (Scholarship)

From that team, we know the following players will be gone:

  1. Garrison Brooks (graduation) – Scholarship
  2. Walker Miller (graduation)
  3. Andrew Platek (graduation) – Scholarship
  4. KJ Smith (graduation)

Those departures free up two (2) scholarships for 2021-22.

Here’s another item you need to be aware of when it comes to scholarship math: Heading into the 2020-21 season, there was one extra scholarship available (not taken by student-athletes who were offered scholarships). As noted above, Ryan McAdoo holds a scholarship for 2020-21. The coaches decided to award him that aforementioned extra scholarship. What you should know is that scholarships are just one-year commitments, so there is no guarantee that McAdoo will receive that scholarship again this year.

In fact, it’s better to assume that he will not receive that scholarship for 2021-22. The coaching staff will hope to award that to a student-athlete to whom they offer a scholarship. KJ Smith had the “extra scholarship” last year. Ryan McAdoo has it this year. If that scholarship does not go to an offered student-athlete, the coaching staff will almost certainly give the honor to a different walk-on in 2021-22.

We can therefore say with certainty that three (3) scholarships will come off the books.

But what about players who might leave early?

Great question; we must take them into account as well.

Our purpose here is not to evaluate in detail which players will leave early, but rather to speculate who might do so.

None of the juniors project to leave after this year, although Leaky Black has an outside chance given his body and intangibles.

Armando Bacot is the sole sophomore and if he continues his natural progression is certainly a candidate to leave school after his sophomore year.

Of the seven freshmen, the most likely scenario is that some combination of Caleb Love, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Walker Kessler head to the NBA after their first year in Chapel Hill.

Conventional wisdom says that the front court is too crowded for Bacot, Sharpe, and Kessler to each have the type of year which would allow them to move on early.

Let’s estimate that three underclassmen leave for the draft – Love and two of the three big men.

When you add those three scholarships to the three certain freed up scholarships (assuming there are no transfers or other unforeseen exits), the Tar Heels will have a total of six scholarships available for the 2021-22 season.

What does the 2021-22 roster look like following D’Marco Dunn’s commitment? And how many more scholarships are available for the class of 2021?

2021-22 Roster & Scholarships

  1. #0 – Anthony Harris (Scholarship)
  2. #1 – Leaky Black (Scholarship)
  3. #4 – RJ Davis (Scholarship)
  4. #11 – Day’Ron Sharpe (Scholarship)
  5. #14 – Puff Johnson (Scholarship)
  6. #21 – Sterling Manley (Scholarship)
  7. #24 – Kerwin Walton (Scholarship)
  8. #25 – Creighton Lebo
  9. #35 – Ryan McAdoo
  10. D’Marco Dunn (scholarship)
  11. Dontrez Styles (scholarship)
  12. Open Scholarship
  13. Open Scholarship
  14. Open Scholarship
  15. Open Scholarship

For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that Love, Bacot, and Kessler leave early. In addition to Brooks and Platek, non-scholarship seniors KJ Smith and Walker Miller will also graduate. We also add in D’Marco Dunn and Dontrez Styles to the roster.

In this scenario, Carolina has nine (9) scholarships committed for 2021-22 and has four more available. Obviously, if fewer Tar Heels leave early, fewer scholarships would be available and if more leave early, more scholarships would be available.

If Love does indeed leave, RJ Davis and Anthony Harris would have the lead guard responsibilities and Roy Williams would likely still need a lead guard commit.

Additionally, with the graduation of Brooks and likely departure of one or more of the other big men, the Heels will need more front court help to join whomever stays and Styles.

Stay tuned to AllTarHeels as we continue to update the shape of the 2021-22 roster with each new commitment.

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