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Caleb Love To Arizona: How’s That Going To Work?

What an interesting destination for the up-and-down guard

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North Carolina v Duke
 NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 02: AJ Griffin #21 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket against Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half in the semifinal game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Handout/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Is it us, or does Caleb Love to Arizona just seem weird?

If you missed it, Love originally planned to transfer to Michigan but was denied admission when too many credits didn't transfer and on Tuesday, news broke that he would be in Tucson where, by the way, former UNC assistant Steve Robinson is now (Robinson was a major factor in Love’s becoming a Tar Heel).

He’ll compete with 6-2 Kylan Boswell and 6-3 Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley for minutes and maybe some others we’re not as aware of.

ACC fans who got used to watching Love jack up insanely stupid shots from all over the court might wonder: why would Tommy Lloyd want to take him on?

The first answer is obvious: he’s a very talented player. He lacks discretion, he doesn't always play defense and he can shoot your team out of a game.

But talent?

Talent he’s got.

And that’s a draw for any coach. The fact that it didn't work well in Chapel Capel Hill?

Well look at it this way: Lloyd sees a talented player. What if he concludes that he’s just been poorly coached?

This is kind of third-rail stuff for UNC. The tough part is that Hubert Davis is an immensely likable man. It’s hard to find Duke fans who can’t stand him. We’d guess even a lot of State fans are okay with Hubert (as a side note, pretty much everyone calls him Hubert).

But a lot of people have questioned his coaching, including a lot of UNC fans. The Final Four drive was admirable obviously. The rest of his short career?

Not so much, and one of the real shortcomings was failing with Love.

Try this as a thought experiment: imagine if Duke’s early interest had led to Love playing for Mike Krzyzewski. What do you would have happened if the UNC version of Love had come to Duke instead? And if he was casual on defense? Jacking up 24 shots in a game?

Yeah, that would have ended well. The Love we saw at UNC would never have been allowed at Duke.

Here’s what we think is happening: Lloyd has done his homework and he realizes that Love should be an NBA prospect -but he’s not. And the reason he’s not is because he’s been poorly coached.

After three years in Chapel Hill, Love, in many ways, still looks like an AAU player on both ends of the court.

What if Lloyd met with Love and told him that he thought he could help him get to the NBA? What if he told Love that he was going to coach the hell out of him this year and push him in ways that he’s never been pushed? And what if Love knows he needs that to reach his potential?

In short, if Lloyd can get Love to buy in, and if Love accepts a more assertive style of coaching, this could be a great match.

But here’s the other side of the coin.

What if Lloyd does pull a great season out of Love? What if he suddenly starts to show discretion and effort? What if he turns out to be an okay defender or even superior on that end?

In short, what happens in Chapel Hill if Love suddenly reaches his potential?

Take that one step further: what if the Tar Heels struggle again and Love excels?