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Heel Tough Blog: Which Big Men Should Tar Heels Target Next?

The Tar Heels missed on their top remaining center target on Sunday, as Rutgers transfer Clifford Omoruyi chose Alabama over them. He is the fifth target at the position to head elsewhere, meaning the team now has to reset and find some new targets if they are wanting to add a big man out of the portal this offseason. Here’s a look at some guys who we think the staff should now turn their attention to.



Ugonna Onyenso C/Kentucky

Kevin C. Cox- Getty Images

This is the most obvious player to target right now in the portal, especially after Omoruyi appears to have taken his spot at Alabama, the school he was crystal balled to last week. He isn’t the sure starter that the other guys the team has targeted in this transfer window are, but he would give the team one of, if not the best rim protector in the country. He averaged 2.8 blocks per game this year in just 18.8 minutes per game, easily the best block rate of anyone in the country who played double-digit minutes. While he only averaged 3.6 points per game, he would be a nice counter to what Jalen Washington will provide when he’s on the floor.



Coleman Hawkins PF/Illinois

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Hawkins is one of a handful of bigs that entered the portal while also keeping his name in the draft and his stock is not quite what it was before the season. He is seen as a late second rounder or undrafted on nearly every draft board right now meaning he has work to do to make sure he will be in the NBA next season. If he is to withdraw, this would be a good fit for the Tar Heels from a production and attitude standpoint. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this past season and has the ability to stretch the floor as well. More importantly, he plays with a very similar fire to what we saw from Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan did this season, something that helped put this team over the top in multiple games this season.



JT Toppin PF/New Mexico

Sam Wasson- Getty Images

Toppin is another player who is in the draft that the Tar Heels should be monitoring. While he is a bit undersized at 6'9, 210 lbs, he showed this past season as a freshman that he is capable of thriving at the five spot. He averged 12.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on the way to second team All-Mountain West and co-Freshman Player of the Year honors in the conference. Toppin doesn't appear on a single two round mock right now, which means, barring an outstanding showing at the combine, he will likely be available in the portal at some point here.



Great Osobor C/Utah State

Mitchell Layton- Getty Images

Osobor is another smaller option he played bigger than his size and provides some scoring inside. This past season was his first as a starter and he broke out to average 17.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and shooting 57.7% from the field on his way to being the Mountain West Player of the Year. He is a solid rim protector, as well, averaging 1.4 blocks per game. It’s hard to imagine that he would be nearly as effective as he was last year with Utah State, but it still might be worth bringing his talent and experience in to pair with Washington.


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