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Heel Tough Blog: Heels Contact Northern Colorado Transfer


Yesterday was a busy day around the Carolina Basketball program, as Caleb Love announced his decision to enter the transfer portal, becoming the sixth Tar Heel to transfer out of the program this off-season. While Carolina lost another player yesterday, they also landed their first commit of the off-season, as Brown transfer Paxson Wojcik committed to Carolina, after taking a visit over the weekend. Today, Towson transfer Nick Timberlake will be on campus, and Northern Colorado transfer, Dalton Knecht might be right behind him, as Carolina officially made contact with him yesterday.

Knecht has spent the last two seasons at Northern Colorado, after playing two seasons at the junior college level, at Northeastern. Last season, Knecht averaged 20.2 points, and 7.2 rebounds, on 48% shooting from the field, and 38% shooting from behind the three-point line. While Knecht had a spectacular season individually, the Bears as a whole struggled, going 12-20 on the season, and 6-12 in the Big Sky conference. His efforts did earn him All-Big Sky honors for the 2022-23 season.

Knecht stands at 6-6 but is listed as a guard, but given his size, you would imagine he could play the wing wherever he ends up. Even though Carolina has lost Caleb Love to the transfer portal, the wing is the position in need, after seeing Leaky Black graduate and losing Justin McKoy, Tyler Nickel, Dontrez Styles, and Puff Johnson to the transfer portal. It's too early to tell the plans of Hubert Davis for incoming transfer Wojcik, but you can’t rule out a potential three-guard lineup, and a backcourt consisting of R.J. Davis (6-0), Paxson Wojcik (6-5), and maybe Dalton Knecht (6-6), would be a much bigger backcourt than what we saw this year.

Even though Knecht is a Big Sky transfer, multiple schools have already made contact with him, including Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State, and Illinois, among other power six conference programs. Outside of a transfer from Louisville, all the transfers that the Tar Heels have contacted so far, come from the mid-major level, and with that, comes concerns. Back in the 2019-20 season, Roy Williams rebuilt the roster with transfers in Justin Pierce (William & Mary), and Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern), and even though they were highly coveted, it didn’t translate on the court, as both struggled to adjust to the ACC level.

One of the reasons you may be seeing this approach to the transfer portal is that it was evident after the season came to an end, Carolina needed a culture change after a disappointing 2022-23 season. Hubert Davis made it known that he wasn’t happy with all the outside distractions, and those frustrations boiled over after the season and played a role in so many players exiting the program. This may be an attempt to still get the type of talent into the program that Carolina needs to win, but also have the type of kids, that Hubert Davis wants in his program, as he wants kids 100% committed to the program itself, and not concerned about NIL opportunities, or allow player’s families to have an outside influence on what’s going on, inside the program.

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