By R.L. Bynum
Kerwin Walton always seemed to be a logical transfer candidate and it appears that his Carolina basketball career may be over.
The 6–5 sophomore, who last weekend entered his name into the NBA draft process, has additionally entered the transfer portal ahead of the 11:59 p.m. Sunday deadline to do so.
It gives the Tar Heels an available scholarship and the chance to bring in a transfer who they hope can have the sort of impact Brady Manek had. The stretch-four transferred from Oklahoma for his fifth college season and became a key reason why UNC made the Final Four.
Walton’s departure leaves UNC with 12 scholarship players for next season and the NCAA allows 13.
On a national podcast a couple of weeks ago, Armando Bacot said that he’s heard from some of the top players in the country who were interested in transferring.
“Some of the guys that have hit me up, you wouldn’t even believe — high-level guys want to come to UNC,” Bacot said on the podcast.
At the time, though, there were no available scholarships.
Don’t be surprised if UNC brings in an ACC player from an out-of-state school. There may be more attractive options at this point, though
“Best of wishes to my guy,” Bacot wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday about Walton. “One of the hardest workers I’ve been around.”
Walton was one of 247 underclassmen who submitted their names to the NBA but his decision to do that was more to get feedback from league officials, rather than really thinking that he’d be drafted. He has until June 1 to pull his name from the NBA list.
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.
Walton played only 26.1% of the possible minutes last season.
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.
Projected 2022-23 roster
|5th year||Leaky Black||3||6–8||200|
ACC pool photo