The new year started with some good news as Hubert Davis was informed that he landed 2024 four-star prospect, James Brown who became the third commit of the 2024 recruiting class. Later that night though, Davis informed the fan base on his weekly radio show, that redshirt freshman big man Will Shaver will miss the rest of the 2022-23 season. Shaver is set to have surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot, after sustaining the injury shortly before Christmas.
On the surface, the loss of Shaver may not seem significant as he’s only played in three games this season, but this loss hurts for a couple of reasons. First, this stunts the growth and development of Shaver, who Davis praised for his performance in practice before the injury. Shaver enrolled in January of 2022 and redshirted while practicing every day with the team that would eventually play for the national championship. Following that experiment, Davis expressed that they would never do that again, as he feels it didn’t benefit the player like he had hoped. Even with enrolling early, Shaver still wasn’t ready to contribute on a nightly basis, hence the little playing time. Missing the rest of the season takes away his ability to continue into the type of player that can be relied on entering the next season.
Secondly, this injury all but ensures that Carolina will be lacking depth in the frontcourt once again. Davis starts two frontcourt players in Pete Nance and Armando Bacot, and the only other player now available off the bench is freshman Jalen Washington, who has played sparingly since coming off a serious knee injury. Jalen Washington is going to be a nice player at Carolina, but expecting him to be a nightly contributor just isn’t fair to him this season. This adds pressure to Nance and Bacot to play without fouling, just like Bacot and the now departed Brady Manek had to last season. The lack of depth hindered Carolina in the second half of the national title game, it will be interesting to see how the lack of depth will impact the team this season.
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