Puff Johnson entering the transfer portal, the fourth player deciding to leave UNC’s program

By R.L. Bynum

After battling injuries during most of his three seasons at Carolina, Puff Johnson announced Wednesday that he is entering the transfer portal

He is the fourth UNC player to enter the portal, joining Justin McKoy, Tyler Nickel and Dontrez Styles. Those players only got 11% of the minutes last season, combining to make only 28% of their 3-point attempts.

“I am grateful to be a Tar Heel,” he said in an Instagram post. “My time in Chapel Hill has taught me lessons that extend far beyond the basketball court. I have given 100% to the university on and off of the court. A heartfelt thanks to Coach [Roy] Williams for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at Carolina. I also want to thank Coach [Hubert] Davis and the entire UNC staff for giving me the opportunity to play under their leadership for the last two years. To my teammates, thank you for always being by my side and for being my brothers.

“Most importantly, thank you Carolina Nation for embracing and supporting me throughout my time here,” he said. “I will always love you, but the time has come for me to enter the transfer portal and take that next step as a basketball player. Thank you all for respecting my decision. I will always be a Tar Heel!”

Johnson figured to be penciled in to start at the 4 spot in the last offseason before Pete Nance decided to transfer to UNC from Northwestern.

His brother Cam had two productive seasons at Carolina after transferring from Pittsburgh but Puff, a four-star recruit out of high school, could never get into a consistent groove in Chapel Hill.

Puff Johnson, who scored 200 points in 65 games, scored in double figures six times, led by his 16 points and two 3-pointers in the Tar Heels’ 84–74 victory at N.C. State on Feb. 26, 2022.

In the 2022 NCAA tournament, he scored 11 points in the first-round 95–63 victory over Marquette and the 72–69 championship-game loss to Kansas.

UNC roster

Here is a rundown of the Tar Heels’ scholarship players from the just-completed season, with their class should they return next season listed. UNC has two available scholarships.

4Sr.RJ DavisPG6–0175
0Soph.Seth TrimblePG6–3192
13Soph.Jalen Washington46–10225
55th yearArmando Bacot56–11235
Incoming transfers
5th yearCormac Ryan (Notre Dame)36–5195
5th yearPaxton Wojcik (Brown)36–5200
JuniorHarrison Ingram (Stanford)36–7230
SeniorJae’Lyn Withers (Louisville)46–9220
ESPN rankIncoming freshmen
10 (Class
of 2024)
Elliot Cadeau (5 star)PG6–0175
27Simeon Wilcher (4 star)26–3185
64Zayden High (4 star)46–9225
Eligibility over
Leaky Black36–9205
Pete Nance46–11230
Outgoing transfers
Caleb Love (Arizona)26–4200
Dontrez Styles (Georgetown)46–6210
Tyler Nickel (Va. Tech)36–7220
Justin McKoy (Hawaii)46–8220
Puff Johnson (Penn State)36–8200
Will Shaver (UAB)56–10260
In transfer portal
D’Marco Dunn36–5190
ESPN rank2024–25 freshman class
5Ian Jackson (5 star)26–5180
37Drake Powell (4 star)36–5185
48James Brown (4 star)56–9225

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