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Walker Kessler commits to Auburn after transferring from UNC

The former UNC big man has decided he’ll be staying closer to home next season.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Virginia Tech North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman big man Walker Kessler has decided he’ll play for Bruce Pearl at Auburn University next year. Kessler announced the decision on his instagram page after finalizing his decision between Auburn, Gonzaga, and a return to Chapel Hill.

Rumors were plentiful on the internet in the last 36 hours or so that Kessler may be on a path to return to UNC for his sophomore season, but those rumors proved to be unfounded. Clearly Kessler was displeased with how his freshman season went and was provided an opportunity to hear new head coach Hubert Davis out on what his plan for the 2021-2022 Tar Heels might be. Ultimately the pitch wasn’t enough.

Kessler is a native of Fairburn, Georgia, just outside of the bulk of the Atlanta suburbs, which means he’ll be staying close to his family when he suits up for the Tigers next year. He was said to be on Auburn’s campus for a visit yesterday that must have sealed the deal.

Auburn struggled last year, going 13-14 overall and 6-11 in the SEC. The downturn comes on the heels of a 25-6 and 30-10 season in 2019-2020 and 2018-2019, respectively.