Following the exodus of five key players for the Tar Heels, Roy Williams has been hard at work on the recruiting trails, and has also been diving into the transfer portal. The result to this point has been five-star recruit Cole Anthony, four-star Anthony Harris, and former Charleston Southern player Christian Keeling. Williams had two key targets remaining on his list, and today he just managed to receive some good news from one of them:
William & Mary transfer Justin Pierce announced today that he will transfer to the University of North Carolina. This decision is coming on the heels of his three official visits to UNC, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Pierce’s decision to transfer now gives the Tar Heels six new players joining the team this fall, with four of those players being either five-star recruits or grad transfers.
The most notable trait that Pierce brings to the Tar Heels is versatility. While he is listed as a shooting guard, William & Mary used Pierce at the four spot his junior year. He finished the 2018-19 season averaging 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game, and shot at a 46.4% clip from the field. He was named Third Team All-CAA for the second year in a row, and was the second-highest scorer for the Tribe.
Much like Christian Keeling, who committed to the Tar Heels just last week, Pierce has had some experience against some Power Five teams during his college career. However, his experience hasn’t been as positive — against Virginia, Ohio State, Duke, and Louisville, Pierce scored 11 points total, and his highest shooting percentage was 33.3% against Duke his freshman year. While this isn’t a reliable predictor of his success with Carolina and playing in the ACC, it does tell us that he isn’t quite as polished when it comes to playing against quality opponents as Keeling.
Regardless, Pierce will give the team much-needed depth to close out what has been a very interesting 2019 recruiting season, as well as providing the team with a true wing player they sorely needed. He is a player that should be able to play at a few different positions on the floor, take defenders off of the pick and roll with solid efficiency, and has the ability to cut and slash his way to the rim. It will be very interesting to see what his role will be for the Heels, and what kind of production he is able to provide once he becomes acclimated to Roy Williams’ system.
What do you think of the newest Tar Heel? Let us know in the comments below.