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UNC Basketball: Dawson Garcia will not return this season

The Marquette transfer will stay home with family.

NCAA Basketball: Furman at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the season, Dawson Garcia was part of a huge transfer recruiting class that would change the look of the post at Carolina in Hubert Davis’ first stint. He had the size, 6’11”, to stand in the post with Armando Bacot but had the range to shoot from deep. That combined with Brady Manek would usher in a new era of offense for the Tar Heels that would bring them closer to where basketball had evolved.

The start of his time had its highlights for sure. He was lights-out against Purdue, scoring 26 points with nine of them being from three, and also had 22 against Elon and 20 against Furman. But when the calendar turned to 2022, problems started to pop up for Garcia. First, he missed time due to COVID, and then in his first game back against Boston College, he was in the game only two minutes before a concussion sidelined him again. He would come back to play three more games, but after Wake Forest he was absent again, this time due to family medical concerns.

Now, Carolina has announced those concerns are severe enough that Garcia won’t return to the team for the rest of the 21-22 season

To say Garcia has been snakebitten in his only season so far at Carolina is putting it mildly. The potential had been on full display, but he kept hitting speedbumps that would keep him from being able to put up more Purdue-like games. The Tar Heels have arguably suffered in his absence, as Brady Manek is the only other post player to get regular minutes, and this combined with the news that Anthony Harris is out for the rest of the year has cut into an already thin rotation.

There’s no word on whether Garcia will be back next year or if this will be it for him in Carolina blue. Respecting Garcia’s privacy, there’s no other word on what the extent of the family medical issues are, and hopefully him being close will at least help those who are going through difficult times.

We’ll see if the news of this being it for Garcia affects how Davis handles the rotation from here. Arguably Brady Manek has been stretched further than he was expecting, and with some talent in the form of Dontrez Styles and D’Marco Dunn sitting on the bench, now would appear to be the time to try and work them back into some regular minutes. The worst part of the Tar Heels’ schedule is over in the sense of having to play a game seemingly every other day, and they should have adequate practice time to work more players in.

Our first look at what this may mean will be this Saturday against a struggling FSU team. In the meantime, well-wishes out to Dawson Garcia and his family. Basketball is but a game and family is the most important, and we hope he is able to provide some comfort through the struggles his family is going through at this time.