as such Josh Reeves Ryan Schmidt from GoHeels Productions Nance’s house To set up all the camera angles and lighting that would make one of his first Tar Heel interviews look good, the latest Tar Heel alumni transfer was asked if this sounded familiar.
Nance was, after all, a radio and television major at Northwestern, a school with a popular media school. He proceeded with multiple tricks that only a clever interviewer would know, then grinned.
He said, “Yes, I’ve done this before.”
He actually has, and that’s exactly what makes him so valuable in the Tar Heels 2022-23 boot. Nance is not an unproven freshman and will need to adjust to college basketball. He’s an honorable mention by the All-Big Ten selection who has started every wildcat game for the past two years and has averaged 14.6 points per game as a senior. That last year at Evanston, he made a pair of doubles against Maryland, including a monster performance of 28 points and 14 rebounds, scored 20 points against Ohio State, and made 21 points against Illinois.
Yes, he’s done this before.
Despite the flashy stats, what he didn’t do was play in the NCAA Championship game. After leaving Northwestern University, he went through the NBA draft preparation process before deciding to return to college for another year. When choosing his new home, the opportunity to play in the post-season was an important consideration.
“As a kid growing up, that’s what you love to watch,” Nance said. “The NBA is great. But there’s nothing quite as exciting as these NCAA championship games. I grew up watching Tyler Hansbro, Ty Lawson, and Danny Green at those games. It’s a really special experience that a college basketball player doesn’t have. I hope we can get there. And I’m really excited to work towards that goal.”
As you already know, Nance is by no means an “average college basketball player.” He grew up in a basketball family, with father Larry playing 13 seasons in the NBA and older brother Larry Nance Jr. entering his eighth year in the NBA. His sister, Casey, played at Dayton and ranks in the top 10 in program history in rebounds and blocked shots.
So there was no shortage of basketball knowledge about the Nance family when Pete was growing up. This is why Tar Heel fans will immediately notice Nance’s advanced understanding of some of the game’s nuances.
“Scoring is a key component in basketball,” he says. “But what can I do without the ball in my hand and how can I be effective in any other way than scoring? Whether that means going into the offensive glass, being a good passer, being a good arbiter, being a good rebel, or being A good defender. People think it’s all about scoring, but there are so many sides to that. My dad allowed me to discover my own game in so many ways, and I’m very grateful to him for letting me discover what my path would have been.”
This included plenty of reunions with his new teammates as the Tar Heels prepare for their first official day of training on Monday. In those sessions, Nance proved to be an accomplished shooter and scorer, as well as a capable defender and scored around the edge. However, what is most noticeable is the way he communicates – constantly talking and encouraging his teammates.
He feels like a player at home, even a few weeks after he made his decision to come to Carolina. A large part of this modification was a new relationship with Hubert Davis.
“Coach Davis and I are addicted to basketball,” Nance said. “We talked about basketball for an hour straight talking just about the plays or the different ways of doing things. I feel like I tried to get a good idea of the way Coach Davis likes to do things, his style, how a coach likes that. I’m trying to learn that and convey better. What I can do is within the limits of knowing what I experienced in college basketball and share that knowledge with anyone else.”