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What impact can Pete Nance have for North Carolina in 2022-23?

The Brady Manek comparisons have been pouring in, but the Northwestern transfer brings a lot to the table. PIC: Inside Carolina/Jim Hawkins

Let’s set the record straight - Brady Manek isn’t walking through that door.

One thing is for sure, Manek will be missed on this team. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound multi-tool player won over the hearts of America in the NCAA Tournament last year during UNC’s magical run to the National Championship game, where they lost by a slim margin to Kansas. He bruised his way though the paint, and also was lights-out from three. Manek ultimately finished with over 15 points-per-game last season, his best career mark at the NCAA level after 4 years with Oklahoma.

But this story isn’t about Brady Manek. It’s about North Carolina, and what they do now with their re-tooled roster.

And as the Tar Heels figure it out, Pete Nance is looking to be a big part of the 2022-23 story.

Pete Nance stands unnaturally tall to common folk at 6-foot-11. And, in a way, his game is unnatural for his stature, too. Finding his success from outside, Nance progressively emerged as a weapon from downtown during his four years at Northwestern. His freshman year, he shot 26%. At the end of last year, he eclipsed 45% from downtown; his attempts weren’t quite enough to get him on any national leaderboard, but an impressive mark nonetheless.

Nance wasn’t just an outside shooter at Northwestern. He was a solid low-post player, both defending and facilitating late-in-sets. He finished the season with nearly 15 points and 7 rebounds per game, shooting around a 50% clip from the field.

So the question begs itself: where does Pete Nance fit in at North Carolina this season?

After a few months of practices, the Chapel Hill pundits seem to think he’ll be a day-one starter at the power forward position, pairing nicely with the traditional bruiser and All-American candidate Armando Bacot. In all likelihood, Hubert Davis will forthwith use him on the perimeter, instantly becoming a cog in the multi-threat offensive scheme. Nance will certainly take his three-pointers - not at the same clip as Manek, but will do it with some relative reliability.

One thing is for sure, Hubert Davis is bullish on him.

“I can't imagine for a moment Pete and his family not being a part of this program, and not being a part of our life,” said Hubert Davis on Jon Rothstein’s College Hoops Today podcast. “The impact that he's already had on our team, on the court and off the court, has just been indescribable. And he's going to have an unbelievable, incredible season. I am very, very thankful that he decided to come to North Carolina and I get an opportunity to be around him and coach him every day."


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