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UNC Basketball: Will Shaver to enroll early in January 2022

The class of 2022 center will get a head start in Chapel Hill instead of going to prep school.

North Carolina Introduce Hubert Davis Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Class of 2022 center Will Shaver, who had initially made plans to transfer out of Oak Mountain (Birmingham, AL) High School and into a basketball prep school for his senior season, will now enroll at UNC in January, and redshirt during the spring semester.

Carolina is prepared to accept Shaver’s matriculation at that time, as Hubert Davis’s squad only has 12 scholarship players on the roster for this upcoming season. NCAA rules only allow 13 scholarship players at a time, and redshirts take up a slot just the same as an active player.

This is the best possible outcome for Shaver, who was only a few credits shy of graduating anyhow. Redshirting will allow the freshman to enter Jonas Sahratian’s strength and conditioning program immediately, and he’ll be able to attend and participate in practices. Shaver will get a jump on fellow incoming-freshmen Seth Trimble and Jalen Washington by running sets in Hubert Davis’s new offense and playing pick-up year round with the team.

Whatever prep school Shaver attended otherwise would not necessarily prepare him to play the Carolina Way (whatever that may look like going forward) as well as Coach Davis will. Expect Shaver, who is not as highly ranked as his other Class of 2022 commitments, to look a little more comfortable in the offense at the beginning of the 2022-23 season.

Early entries are much more common in football, where top recruits want to get a jump on the playbook during spring practice, before heading into summer workouts. Traditional enrollees miss out on both sessions and come in fresh during the fall, and at that point are well behind their peer competition that enrolled in the spring.

Don’t expect to see too many players emulating Will Shaver’s plan going forward. With fewer scholarships available than football, basketball teams cannot afford to have open slots occupied by redshirts. But this unique opportunity will be an interesting test case that many programs in college basketball will monitor going forward.