In a surprising decision, Baylor transfer Matthew Mayer announced last night that he will be transferring to Illinois after it was believed that UNC was the favorite to land the two-way player. Mayer was believed to be the best player to replace Brady Manek who exhausted his college eligibility while helping the Tar Heels reach the 2022 national championship game.
This now leaves Hubert Davis and his staff in a little bit of a predicament, as they’ve now missed out on two transfers that when they entered the portal, UNC was believed to be the favorite (Terrance Shannan & Matthew Mayer), the good news is that the portal is still very deep, so there are still options open to them.
Pete Nance is a four-year player from Northwestern, who is currently deciding whether or not to stay in the NBA Draft or to transfer. He has started all but one game over the last two seasons, and this past season he averaged 14.6 points on 50%. The 6-10 forward is also a career 36% shooter from behind the arc, despite now shooting the deep ball as frequently as Manek or Mayer. Nance may not be able to stretch the floor like UNC was able to do with Manek or had they landed Mayer, but he would fit nicely alongside Bacot and could slide down to the center position when Bacot exits the game. Nance has until June 1st to pull out of the NBA Draft.
One element of the transfer portal that we're still getting used to has to be schools recruiting players from rival schools, and after missing out on Mayer, UNC could very well do the same. Keion Brooks has played 3 seasons for Kentucky, and after initially entering the NBA Draft and the transfer portal, he officially withdrew from the draft and will seek a transfer. At 6-7, Brooks is more of a wing player than a stretch four, but he has scoring versatility, as he averaged 10.8 points. His three-point shooting leaves a lot to be desired, as he only shot 22% this past season, and is a career 23% shooter from behind the arc. Since Brooks played during the pandemic, he has two years of eligibility left, which would help Hubert Davis when putting together his roster for the 2023-24 season, if Brooks were to commit to UNC.
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