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Heel Tough Blog: Should Carolina be Interested in Syracuse Transfer?

Isaiah Vazquez - Getty Images

After seeing four players exit the program over the last two weeks, Carolina has received some good news for next season, as both Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis have announced they are returning for the 2023-24 season, giving Hubert Davis at least two known starters for next season. Reserve big man Jalen Washington, who was rumored to possibly be seeking a transfer, is also back, adding much needed depth to Carolina’s frontcourt. While Caleb Love has yet to announce anything about his future, the expectation is for him to exit the program, whether through the transfer portal or seeking a pro basketball career.

With Carolina losing its entire frontcourt to either graduation or the transfer portal, there is an obvious need of wing players for next season. Hubert Davis and his staff have already started addressing that need, expressing interest in multiple wing players, and have already met with Nick Timberlake from Towson. With that though, assuming that Carolina loses Caleb Love, they also need to add a guard to the roster as well, and earlier this week, a potential target entered the transfer portal.

Joseph Girard III, has spent the last four seasons playing in the ACC, at Syracuse. For his career, he’s averaged over 13 points, and is a career 36% shooting from behind the arc, while also adding almost 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game as well. When his coach Jim Boeheim “retired”, Girard was a guy that could enter the portal, but given his New York background, it was a long shot that if he left Syracuse, it would be for the NBA, and not for another college. Well yesterday, Girard announced that he’s not only declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft, but that he will retain his one year of college eligibility, and with that enter the transfer portal. This past season, Girard averaged over 16 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists, and shot 40% from the field, 38% from the three-point line, and 86% from the foul line. Hubert Davis has long wanted to play with three guards on the floor, and while that is possible with Davis, D’Marco Dunn, and Seth Trimble, I think it's safe to say all would feel more comfortable with an experienced player in the backcourt.

If Carolina were to add Girard, he would bring experience, and stability to the backcourt. It would allow not only R.J. Davis to play off the ball, but it would allow Girard to also play off the ball, allowing them to play freely without the basketball. The only major concern about adding Girard is that he’s only 6-1 so Carolina’s backcourt would be smaller than it has been with Love in Chapel Hill, but that’s something that could be overcome with multiple wings added to the lineup.

Carolina has added players from the transfer portal from the ACC before in Justin McKoy, and while McKoy is back in the transfer portal, he never was the player at Virginia that Girard has been at Syracuse. It’s unknown at this time if Carolina is interested in Girard, but with all that he's accomplished in the college game so far if he doesn’t go pro, he would be a logical addition.

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