Today it was reported that junior wing Puff Johnson plans to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. Johnson is now the fourth Tar Heel to enter the portal following in the footsteps of Tyler Nickel, Justin McKoy, and Dontrez Styles.
The announcement was first reported by Joe Tipton with On3.com. Johnson gave a statement with his announcement:
“I am grateful to be a Tar Heel. My time in Chapel Hill has taught me lessons that extend far beyond the basketball court. I have given 100% to the University on and off of the court. A heartfelt thanks to Coach Williams for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at Carolina. I also want to thank Coach Davis and the entire UNC staff for giving me the opportunity to play under their leadership for the last two years. To my teammates, thank you for always being by my side and for being my brothers.
“Most importantly, thank you Carolina Nation for embracing and supporting me throughout my time here. I will always love you, but the time has come for me to enter the transfer portal and take that next step as a basketball player. Thank you all for respecting my decision. I will always be a Tar Heel! – Donovan “Puff” Johnson.”
Johnson finished his junior season averaging 4.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game. Hubert Davis utilized him as much as he could off of the bench, but injuries struck Johnson against this season much like the seasons before. When he has been healthy, Johnson has been a game-changer at times during his Carolina career. His production during last year’s NCAA Tournament was notable in helping the Heels get all the way to the national championship game against Kansas. Now that he is in the portal, Davis loses his most important sixth man, which some could argue is the worst loss yet.
Now that four Tar Heels have entered the portal, it’s hard not to start sweating when it comes to the remaining roster. Hubert Davis honestly can’t afford to lose anymore pieces unless he plans to attack the portal himself in ways that we haven’t seen so far. Could he managed to grab four players? Sure, but also we’ve seen how hit-or-miss bringing players from other schools has been. The situation will also get much worse if there are anymore exits, and we all know there’s at least one more player that seems likely to make his announcement in the near future. This is what the new NCAA looks like, but it doesn’t have to look this bad when it comes to how many players leave your program. Davis needs to hit a home run in the portal, or I fear that next season will be a mess.
What do you think about the newest Tar Heel to enter the transfer portal? Let us know in the comments below.