By R.L. Bynum
After quite the flurry of Carolina men’s basketball activity on Wednesday, there are still more decisions to be made that will have an impact on Coach Hubert Davis’ ability to bring in players from the transfer portal.
With Leaky Black deciding on Friday to use his extra season of eligibility, Carolina is at the 13-player scholarship limit and won’t bring in an transfers if Caleb Love and everybody else returns.
The best news on Wednesday was Armando Bacot’s decision to return for his senior season.
During the first stop of the Iron Five Barnstorming Tour in Gastonia on Wednesday, Love told Inside Carolina that he expects to decide his future within the next two weeks.
“I’m just getting feedback from NBA teams and seeing where I would land in the draft — whether that’s first round, second round, wherever that is — and just making the right decision for me,” Love told Inside Carolina. “If it’s not meant for me to go this year, then I’m going to come back. I’m taking it day by day, getting all the feedback that I can, and then I’ll make a decision.”
The deadline for players to put their names into the NBA draft process is April 24.
Exiting the program so far are Dawson Garcia (who was never going to return to UNC and is headed to Minnesota) and Anthony Harris via the transfer portal and Brady Manek, who has no remaining eligibility. The roster is at the 13-scholarship limit, though, because of the addition of incoming freshmen Seth Trimble, Tyler Nickel and Jalen Washington.
Will any other spots open to allow Davis to bring in the sort of impact transfer that Manek became during the Tar Heels’ 29–10 season that ended with a loss to Kansas in the national championship game?
It wouldn’t have been a surprise if Kerwin Walton joined Garcia and Harris in the transfer portal after going from a key perimeter shooter during his freshman season to not cracking the rotation for most of his sophomore season. But reports are that he will return to UNC next season.
His 3-point shooting prowess wasn’t as valuable since UNC had so many other good shooters last season, making it tough to get playing time given his deficiencies on the defensive end. To get more playing time, his defense will have to improve.
Two players who didn’t get a tremendous amount of playing time as freshmen were Dontrez Styles and D’Marco Dunn.
Styles, who scored a huge corner overtime 3-pointer in UNC’s second-round NCAA win over Baylor, has always been a Carolina fan, loves playing for UNC and isn’t going anywhere. He played 175 minutes compared to 94 for Dunn, though. Could Dunn decide he has better opportunities elsewhere? There is no indication that that’s the case, though.
It will be a fluid situation that plays out until the end of the month and possibly longer.
Potential 2022–23 UNC roster
|5th year||Leaky Black||3||6–8||200|
Photo via @UNC_Basketball