UNC Basketball 2022-2023 Player Preview: Tyler Nickel

UNC Basketball 2022-2023 Player Preview: Tyler Nickel

Freshman Tyler Nickel will be looking to make an impact on the UNC basketball program during his first year on campus.

College basketball fans across the country know that North Carolina is bringing back a ton of returning players from last year’s team that went all the way to the National Title Game. What many folks outside of Chapel Hill don’t realize is that the UNC basketball program is also bringing in a deep and talented freshman class.

One key member of that recruiting class is Tyler Nickel. The Elkton, Virginia native was a four-star recruit and is ranked as the 80th overall prospect in the 2022 class.

What kind of an impact will Nickel have in his first season as a Tar Heel? Find out below as our player preview series rolls on.

High School Career

While he might not be the highest-rated recruit in Carolina’s freshman class, Tyler Nickel had the most decorated high school career. The 6-foot-7 forward finished his career as the highest-scoring player ever in the history of Virginia high school basketball.

Nickel averaged 35 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists during his senior season, and was voted a first-team all-state player all four years of his high school career.

While there are some concerns about the competition he faced in high school, Nickel has proved that he is a scorer that can shoot the ball from outside, which is obviously a valuable skill at the college level.

What To Expect in 2022-2023

UNC is loaded at the wing position this year, which will make it a challenge for Nickel to earn minutes on the floor. With Caleb Love and Leaky Black practically locked into starting roles at shooting guard and small forward, it appears that any impact Nickel is going to have will come off the bench.

Junior Puff Johnson projects to be Carolina’s “sixth man”, as he will probably split time between playing the three and the “stretch” four position, and behind him are a variety of wings that bring different skill sets to the game.

Donrez Styles is one of the most athletic players on the roster, while Justin McKoy provides a defensive presence, and D’Marco Dunn could also see key minutes as well. Luckily for Nickel, he does something very important at a level higher than any of these three players.

The man can shoot the basketball. Look for Nickel to be one of Davis’ top options off the bench in games where Carolina is struggling to put the ball in the basket or needs to extend the defense to give Armando Bacot room to dominate in the post.

While Nickel will likely have a much bigger role on teams later in his Tar Heel career, his scoring ability will give him a shot to make a significant impact on this year’s squad.

Bold Prediction

My bold prediction for Nickel is that he will be a part of the team’s rotation in March. I think Hubert Davis will utilize different players off the bench in games based on what is needed, given their various skill sets.

With Nickel’s scoring progress it will be very tempting to put him in the game anytime the starters are struggling from outside. I think that if he can improve on defense his ability to shoot the ball will make him someone that Tar Heel fans want to see in the game as an offensive boost off the bench.

I also would not be shocked if Nickel has a breakout performance late in the season in a very meaningful game. Along with the ability to shoot the ball, confidence is something that every team needs come tournament time. Nickel clearly checks both of those boxes.

Check out our previously released 2022-2023 UNC basketball player previews below:

The Biscuit Boys |

Follow us @KeepingItHeel on Twitter and like our fan page on Facebook for continued coverage of UNC basketball news, updates, and recruiting.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *