North Carolina Basketball: Tar Heels' Brice Johnson Will Have A Breakout 2014-15 ACC Season

By Gregory Philson
Brice Johnson
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels are coming off a very polarizing season that saw the Roy Williams-led squad upset the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals and Michigan State Spartans but also suffer some major upsets during the non-conference season.

The Heels also started poorly in the ACC season. However, the group rebounded nicely and made its way to the NCAA tournament as a possible dark horse team in some analysts’ brackets. The Tar Heels ultimately fell to the Iowa State Cyclones, but the future looks bright because of a great recruiting class joining a talented group of returning players.

Brice Johnson may end up being the most important player in all of this. Johnson had a few standout games where he showed off a beautiful hook with a soft touch that was complemented by his shot blocking ability on defense. Johnson is long and lean which means he can cover a variety of players and disrupt shots from basically anywhere on the court.

The biggest problem with Johnson last season was his extremely inconsistent play. He could go for a double-double against anyone and also be a no-show with just as much ease. His play was best displayed when he went six straight games where he did not post double figures in scoring during the conference year. However, he also had 19 games where he scored at least 10 points. Obviously he cannot be this up-and-down next year.

Johnson should be helped because of 2014 freshman class. Joel Berry is considered one of the best point guards in the group, and he will be able to get Johnson the ball at the right place at the right time. In fact, Johnson may end up being the main player helped immediately by Berry’s presence.

Johnson definitely has all of the potential to be an all-ACC first team player, and if he can come close to it, he will be one of the best players in the conference during the 2014-15 season.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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