Caleb Love Returning to UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina guard Caleb Love is returning to college for his junior season, opting not to enter the NBA Draft course of following his rise to nationwide prominence within the NCAA Tournament. The St. Louis, Mo. native introduced the choice on Sunday.

“The alternative to play at North Carolina is one thing I by no means take without any consideration,” Love mentioned in a video released on social media. “To play for the best fan base on the planet, to play with essentially the most superb teammates I might ever think about and to play for coaches who assist and problem me in each approach are all blessings that make me really feel so lucky…

“I’m again.”

Love — who etched his title into March Madness lore with a dagger 3-pointer over the outstretched hand of ACC Defensive Player of the Year Mark Williams with 25 seconds remaining to elevate UNC previous Duke within the Final Four — joins first-team massive man Armando Bacot and All-ACC defender Leaky Black, who each introduced their returns final week, then level guard R.J. Davis did so on Saturday. With 4 starters again from a workforce that reached the nationwide championship recreation, UNC is anticipated to be a consensus Top 5 workforce in preseason polls for 2022-23.

“Caleb’s ardour for this workforce and program are what motivates and drives him to win a nationwide championship and finally have an extended, profitable profession within the NBA,” UNC head coach Hubert Davis mentioned in a launch. “Nobody is healthier at taking and making massive photographs in strain conditions. He’s one of the vital gifted gamers I’ve ever been round and I’m extraordinarily excited to coach him one other season.”

Love averaged 15.9 factors per recreation on 37.1% taking pictures from the ground and 36% from the 3-point line. He averaged 3.6 assists per recreation and shot 86.3% from the foul line. UNC was 14-0 when he had 5 assists or extra. He earned All-ACC Honorable Mention honors and was named to the Final Four and All-East Regional groups.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound combo guard was equal components sporadic and enthralling in his sophomore season, enduring excessive ups-and-downs however all the time keen to take – and make – key baskets in crunch time. He scored 14 factors within the closing 2:23 of regulation and extra time to information UNC previous Syracuse on Senior Night, flattening a go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds to play. Love scored a layup and made a pair of free throws within the closing 31 seconds to safe a house victory towards Louisville. He additionally drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play at Clemson earlier than driving and dishing to Brady Manek for the profitable basket with 3.1 seconds left.

Love was even higher within the NCAA Tournament. He opened the occasion with 21 first-half factors towards Marquette, tying the varsity file for many 3-pointers in a recreation (6) in doing so, after which was elite within the Sweet 16 victory over UCLA, scoring 27 of his career-high 30 factors after halftime. The combo guard then scored 22 factors after halftime within the Final Four win over Duke. 

A key space of enchancment for Love shall be in ending on the rim. The sophomore shot 38% on two-pointers on the season, however that share dropped to 34% in ACC play.

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