Updated: Mar 16
As expected, the opening to the transfer portal in college basketball has already produced some big names. With the Tar Heels season having concluded, they are wasting no time identifying targets.
One player the staff has already contacted is Towson transfer guard Nick Timberlake. Jake Weingarten of StockRisers reported earlier this afternoon that the Tar Heels and Oregon Ducks are the latest teams to reach out to him, while Butler is taking an in-home visit with him today. Xavier will also sit down with him via Zoom tomorrow night as they prepare for the NCAA Tournament.
Timberlake earned All-CAA first team honors for the second straight season this year with the Tigers. He finished third in the conference in scoring with a career-high 17.7 points per game, shot a career-high percentage overall (45.5%) and three-point percentage (41.6%) and led the conference in free throw percentage at 84.6%. This was a part of what has been a steady progression from him in his time at Towson, which has seen him improve in just about every major category year over year.
Bringing him into the backcourt would give the team a proven perimeter shooter, something they are badly in need of after the woes they had this season. With it being just a few days since the official opening of the transfer portal, there are still some questions about what exactly the backcourt will look like, but it seems all but a certainty that Caleb Love will be moving on. If that is the case, a guy like Timberlake could fill that role and become that consistent perimeter threat either as a starter or off the bench.
The biggest concern is that he is a guy coming up from the mid-major level. While we have seen guys come up from that level and have some nice success, Tar Heel fans remain scarred by the experiences in 2019-20 with Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce, who transferred up from that level and struggled mightily. While that is a legitimate concern, it shouldn't mean keep the staff from seeing if he would be a fit for what they need as they rebuild a fractured program.