Last week we were told that sophomore Kerwin Walton had decided to go through the NBA Draft process in order to receive the feedback associated with throwing your hat into the ring. Today, Walton has decided to enter the transfer portal instead of returning to Chapel Hill for another season.
Walton had a rough second season with the Tar Heels. His playing time diminished as Hubert Davis tightened his rotation up a few games into the season, and Walton became an option only when the games were largely already decided down the stretch. It was a far cry from the role Walton had as a freshman under Roy Williams, where he was a frequent starter with the ability to knock down threes almost at will.
Seeing such a large difference between year one and year two, it’s not completely surprising that Walton might want to see if there is more playing time for him out there. Next year’s team will be returning four of its starters and, while we hope they won’t be forced into being The Iron Five Part 2, they are likely to control the vast majority of the playing time available next season.
The move frees up a scholarship for next season. The Tar Heels were in a bit of a number crunch for scholarships when the season ended, with it looking at the time like there might not be room for players to decide to return even if they wanted to. Fortunately, all of that math has worked itself out with transfer portal decisions, and now Davis can try and have lighting strike twice with his selection for someone to fill that open spot. His Brady Manek move certainly paid off in spades, and he’ll now get a chance to find that last missing piece again as the team tries to run it back for another shot at the national championship.