Bullock arrived in Chapel Hill just two summers ago. He referenced Justin Watts and Tyler Zeller as players who took him under their wings and taught him the ropes. Understanding what a whirlwind the first few weeks of college can be for a freshman, Bullock plans to play the role of teacher this time around.
“With me being in a starting role and knowing what coach wants, I can just definitely pass that information on to J.P. [Tokoto], on to Marcus [Paige], on to all the guards,” Bullock said on Thursday. “How coach likes for his defense to be played, how he wants players to get to the boards, how he just wants players to help run his team and just listen to what he has to say to be able to go out on the court and perform the way he wants us to perform.
“It definitely starts with me, Dexter [Strickland] and Leslie [McDonald] just passing the information along that we’ve learned from the many years of playing here.”
Bullock led the Tar Heels in three-point shooting last season, nailing 38.2 percent of his looks from deep. However, the sharpshooter stands to learn a thing or two from the newest member of the Tar Heel coaching staff, Hubert Davis. Davis ranks second in NBA history in three-point accuracy, knocking down an incredible 44.1 percent during his 12 seasons as a professional.
“Coach Davis, he’s a great person,” Bullock said with a smile. “I’ve known him since my eighth grade year. In middle school he came and talked to my middle school basketball team, so I’ve known him for a while. He’s a shooter. I’m a shooter, so he tells me a lot what I need to work on with my shot and he’s just been helping me a lot offensively on my basketball game.”
In addition to his shooting prowess, Bullock was also considered by many to be the top perimeter defender on the team last year. Nonetheless, Bullock refuses to rest on his laurels and is working hard this summer to develop his game further, especially considering the personnel losses of North Carolina.
A recent source of debate among Tar Heel supporters is the participation of players in the annual N.C. Pro-Am every July. Last summer, McDonald tore his ACL during the event. Considering his own history with knee injuries, some wonder whether or not it is a wise decision for Bullock to play in the Pro-Am this summer.
“I haven’t really thought about [playing summer ball] but if I do play in one, it’ll probably be the N.C. Pro-Am at [N.C.] Central,” Bullock said. “There’s no really thought in it, because injury can happen anywhere, so I haven’t really put much thought into it. If players go out and play, just be safe and have fun while you’re out there.”
Speaking of those injuries, Bullock offered high praise on McDonald’s return to the court.
“I hope Dex comes back like Leslie has because Leslie is shooting lights out,” Bullock said. “His game has extended so much. He’s getting to the basket, he’s knocking the 3-ball down, he’s being a leader and his ball handling has gotten a lot better.”
Regardless if Bullock decides to play in the Pro-Am, he still has the benefit of new NCAA rules that allow two hours of practice per week over an eight-week period in the summer.
“We’re definitely going to go through a lot of growing pains,” Bullock said. “That’s why I’m glad that we can get these hours that we can right now during the summer to be able to gel together, and with the freshmen coming in, we're still going to be able to get some hours in and just listen to what Coach Williams says.”