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Nassir Little thinks he was held back by ‘hesitancy’ at North Carolina

Nassir Little

Coming into his freshman campaign at the University of North Carolina, Nassir Little was considered a potential top-five pick. As the 2019 NBA Draft quickly approaches, though, Little finds himself not even guaranteed of being selected in the lottery, following a wildly inconsistent season that sparked far more questions than answers about his future at the next level.

Asked why he failed to live up to expectations during his lone season at Chapel Hill, Little alluded to he and the coaching staff failing to conjure a concrete role for the talented forward to play.

“Hesitancy,” he said, per 247 Sports, as the chief justification for his struggles. “Not being sure of what I wanted to do at UNC. The coaching staff didn’t really understand exactly what my role was early on, especially in the offense, (which) created a lot of hesitancy which didn’t allow me to play like myself.”

Little averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes per game off the bench for the Tar Heels, shooting 47.8 percent from the field and just 26.9 percent from three. Beset by a lack of comfort with the ball in his hands, Little never quite found a position at North Carolina, toggling between both forward sports.

It will be interesting to see where he plays in the NBA, too, after measuring in at just 6-foot-6 in shoes at the NBA combine. Don’t be fooled by his relative lack of height, though. Little, with a wingspan over 7-foot-1 and weighing 224 pounds, could be an effective small-ball four given his physical tools.