The Roy Williams Era officially came to a close last night, as Day’Ron Sharpe became the final player to be selected during his time as Carolina’s head coach. After leaving UNC after just one season, Sharpe achieved his lifelong basketball dream, being selected in the first round by the Brooklyn Nets. Sharpe’s selection only added to UNC’s impressive NBA Draft success, as he became the 118th player selected, which is the most in the A. His first round selection gives the program 54 such selections, the second most in the NCAA, all while being the 34th pick under Roy Williams. Furthermore, Sharpe becomes the 16th former Tar Heel to play for the Nets.
Sharpe doesn’t figure to start for the Nets next season, who are in the midst of chasing a championship with their Big 3. Coming off that bench won’t be new to Sharpe, who only started four games last year for North Carolina. Despite that, he still averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds, while leading the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, and the ACC in offensive rebounds per game. With the Nets likely to deal De’Andre Jordan this offseason, they are looking for someone to help protect the rim, but more importantly control the backboards, as that inability was a big reason they lost to the eventual NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Sharpe's offensive game still has some ways to go, but he’s trimmed 25 pounds this summer and has shown the ability to stretch the floor and make perimeter shots. Brooklyn will be glad to know they drafted a big with exceptional passing ability, a rarity in today;’s game, as Sharpe is poised to be a contributor right away.