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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Lose Third Forward to Transfer Portal

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

The opening to the transfer portal was a chaotic one for the Tar Heel football program back in December and some wondered if there would be similar chaos when the basketball portal opened.  So far, that answer has been yes, with the Tar Heel frontcourt taking the brunt of it. 

Sophomore forward Dontrez Styles said in his weekly Tuesday interview with ‘The Bryan Hanks Show’ on 960TheBull in Kinston that he was mulling his options on his future. He said that he would make his decision within the next week following a trip to Orlando to think things over. On Friday afternoon, he released those future plans.

As first reported by Joe Tipton of On3 Sports, Styles will be entering the transfer portal following a sophomore season where he wasn’t the major factor many thought he would be. Styles played in just 15 games this season, half the amount of games that he saw action in as a freshman. He played just 5.9 minutes per game in those fifteen outings, averaging 1.4 points per game on 7-for-19 from the field and 3-for-9 from behind the arc. For his career, Styles finishes with 1.8 points on 41.9% from the field overall, 22.2% from behind the arc and 1.3 rebounds per game in 45 career games.

This move from Styles means the Tar Heels are down to just one Stretch 4/Wing player on the roster. The team was already scheduled to lose grad seniors Leaky Black and Pete Nance prior to the portal opening on Monday. Since then, though, the duo of Tyler Nickel and Justin McKoy have entered the portal and now Styles has followed. That leaves Puff Johnson as the only scholarship veteran at the Stretch 4/Wing and will force 2023 signee Zayden High to play a major role when he probably would benefit greatly from.

It now becomes obvious that the team must be able to find at least one transfer, possibly two, at the position. The Tar Heels are in desperate need of a two-way wing, something they haven’t had since the departure of Cam Johnson, but they now need some depth there as well. Styles’ departure almost certainly means there will be a lot of three guards lineups this season, especially with who the team has been targeting in the transfer portal and the prep level players that could be joining the team for next season.

The amount of turnover that the roster has already seen may seem concerning, but it is probably the best thing for a program that is in need of an overhaul. Now it’s on Hubert Davis and his staff to find the right players in the portal to help neutralize these losses and improve the roster.


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