5th Tar Heel to win ACC Freshman of the Week

On Saturday night we had the ‘Walker Kessler Game’ with the Tar Heels comeback win against Florida State University. Tar Heels came out on top over the Seminoles, who led by 16 points in the first half, but up steps Walker Kessler. Kessler had 20 points with 8 rebounds, he also recorded his most minutes. WALKER WAS ON FIRE!

Today he was awarded Co-Freshmen of the Week alongside Jay’Lyn Withers from Louisville. That now makes a record breaking five different Tar Heels to win the award this season: Day’Ron Sharpe (Jan 4th), RJ Davis (Jan 18th), Caleb Love (Jan 25th & Feb 8th) and Kerwin Walton (Feb 22nd). This achievement is a UNC and ACC record, breaking the record held by four different players to win the award at Wake Forest in 1978-79.

http://www.twitter.com/UNC_Basketball

Last week, Kessler averaged 15 PPG and 6 RPG against Marquette and Florida State. His game against Marquette tied his season-high of 10 points from 5-6 shooting. On Saturday, Walker was feelin’ it with 20 points from a whopping 9-10 shooting. Kessler also racked up 8 rebounds, 4 blocks and an entire Tar Heel Nation chanting his name. The game against the FSU was the first game that UNC had been allowed fans into the Dean Smith Center and boy did they shout his name!

Walker came to Chapel Hill as a five star recruit out of Newman, Georgia. Kessler was named High School Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr Basketball for the state of Georgia. He helped his High School to their first basketball state title in the school’s 120 year history. We knew Walker was going to be good… but did we understand how good?

Kessler has been averaging 11.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG over the last 5 games while averaging only 13 minutes a game. Just over one month ago I wrote a piece on the UNC Bigs and Kessler was low down on the rotation, now it looks like he is going to see more playing time. Will we see Walker get more minutes leading up to cementing our spot in the NCAA Tournament?

Originally tweeted by Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) on February 28, 2021.
ACC FRESHMEN OF WEEKMPGPPGRPGAPG
DAY’RON SHARPE19.69.967.961.35
RJ DAVIS22.48.092.262.09
CALEB LOVE27.910.092.393.65
KERWIN WALTON20.08.131.481.87
WALKER KESSLER7.84.132.780.26
2020/21 Statistics for the ACC Freshmen of the Week (source: basketball.realgm.com)

Carolina Basketball started the 2020/21 season with the second best recruiting class in the country according to 247 Sports. What is going to be the Future of UNC? How many of these award winning freshmen will we see in the NBA?

There have been many discussions about Walker dominating in the NBA one day, will he declare early? Or will we continue to see him dominate in Chapel Hill?

Personally, I feel we are going to see Walker for many years to come at UNC and he’s just going to get stronger, smarter and a force to be reckoned with in College Basketball.

Follow and tweet me on Twitter at @georgewharmer.

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