Chapel Hill, North Carolina – North Carolina guard Caleb Love He returns to school for his junior season, choosing not to participate in the NBA draft process after rising to the national prominence in the NCAA Championship. The St. Louis, hometown native announced the decision Sunday.
Love said in Video shared on social media. “Playing for the greatest fan base in the world, playing with the most amazing teammates I could ever imagine and playing for coaches who support me and challenge me in every way is all a blessing that makes me feel very fortunate…
“I had returned.”
Love — whose name is engraved in March Madness lore with a 3-pointer dagger above the outstretched hand of this year’s ACC Defensive player Mark Williams with 25 seconds left to lift UNC off Duke in the Final Four — joins the team of great first man Armando Bacot and All-ACC defender, Leaky Black, who announced their comeback last week, then RJ Davis did so on Saturday. With four junior players returning from a team that made it to the National Championship game, UNC is expected to be the top 5 team in pre-season polls for 2022-23.
“Caleb’s passion for this team and program is what motivates and propels him to win a national championship and ultimately have a long and successful career in the NBA,” UNC Technical Director Hubert Davis said in a statement. Great shots in stress situations. He is one of the most talented players in my life and I am very excited to coach him for another season.”
Love averaged 15.9 points per game on 37.1% ground shots and 36% off the 3-point streak. He averaged 3.6 assists per game and hit 86.3% of the foul streak. UNC was 14-0 when he had five or more passes. He received Honors from All-ACC and was named to the Final Four and All-East regional teams.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound combo guard was equal parts choppy and captivating in his sophomore season, suffering intense ups and downs but always ready to take — and make — major baskets in a time of crisis. He scored 14 points in the last 2:23 of regulation and overtime to lead UNC to overtake Syracuse at Senior Knight, dropping a triple LED with 7.2 seconds to play. Loew scored a corner kick and made two free throws in the last 31 seconds to secure a home win over Louisville. He also drilled a 3D beacon with 36 seconds to play in Clemson before driving and heading to Brady Mannick for the winning basket with 3.1 seconds left.
Love was better in the NCAA Championship. He opened the event with 21 first-half points against Marquette, tying the school record for most three-pointers in a single game (6) in doing so, then was an elite in a Sweet 16 win over UCLA, scoring 27 of his career-high 30 points after the first half . The combo keeper then scored 22 points after the end of the first half in the Final Four win over Duke.
One of the key areas for Love to improve would be to finish at the edge. The sophomore scored 38% with two shots during the season, but that percentage dropped to 34% in ACC play.
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