This offseason for college basketball is going to be unlike any we’ve seen. With seniors able to return for a fifth year because of COVID and transfer rules having changed, it’s likely that there will be more moving parts than we’ve ever seen between now and when we see the Tar Heels on the court again.
The first domino to fall was freshman big man Walker Kessler announcing that he will be entering the transfer portal. Kessler showed huge promise coming off the bench for Roy Williams this season, but a myriad of factors likely led to his decision to seek out a new team for his sophomore year.
One thing is glaringly certain: these freshmen didn’t have a chance to experience Carolina the way that others before have been able to. It’s a huge selling point for the team and the university and factors outside anyone’s control kept them from being normal freshmen at a place we all know to be excellent. Playing time or concerns about how he’d be used in the future could play into his decision, although we will likely never know to what extent.
Rumors began circulating on social media before the jerseys had been laundered after the loss to Wisconsin Friday night. If they are to be believed, Kessler leaving will just be the first of what could be several departures. The good news is that the transfer portal works both ways and UNC will hopefully be able to bring in a kid who didn’t get what he wanted from his freshman experience elsewhere for what should be a much more normal season.