By R.L. Bynum
The 283 players who have filed as early-entry candidates to the NBA Draft includes a player from Carolina, but not one you would expect.
Kerwin Walton, a 6–5 wing who played sparingly down the stretch for the Tar Heels as a sophomore, submitted his name before the Sunday deadline and appears on the list that the NBA released late Tuesday night.
Walton, one of 247 underclassmen to submit their names, obviously has little chance of being drafted but will get feedback from NBA teams about what he needs to do to improve his game.
Unlike recent announcements from teammates that included videos posted on social media, Walton quietly made this move with no social-media announcement.
Walton, who has until June 1 to remove his name, averaged 3.4 points and shot only 37.3% from 3-point range after shooting 42% from 3-point range and averaging 8.2 points as a freshman.
After being one of the few good perimeter shooters during his freshman year, he had competition for playing time from plenty of outside shooting threats last season. That made playing time tough to come by because of his deficiencies on the defensive end.
He played 411 minutes as a sophomore after playing 608 minutes as a freshman. After playing 18 minutes in the Feb. 16 home loss to Pittsburgh, he never played more than seven minutes the rest of the season while scoring five total points and didn’t get any action in the Final Four.
Walton’s season-high was 14 points in the 94–83 win at College of Charleston on Nov. 16. He scored in double figures three times last season after doing that 10 times during his freshman season, scoring a game-high 19 in a 99–54 Feb. 20 home win over Louisville and a team-high-tying 18 in a 91–73 March 3 home win over Duke.
ACC pool photo