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UNC Women’s Basketball: Transfer Portal Update

The Heels lost two key contributors to this year’s squad after the season concluded

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Greensboro Regional - North Carolina v South Carolina William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

While a lot of attention has justifiably been paid to the NCAA transfer portal on the UNC men’s basketball side of things, the Tar Heels are losing a couple of significant contributors to this year’s team on the women’s side as well. After their season ended with a last-second loss to eventual Elite Eight participants Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32, Courtney Banghart’s team had two players announce their intentions to enter the transfer portal: forward Destiny Adams and wing Kennedy Todd-Williams. Adams’ announcement can be found here and Todd-Williams’ can be seen here.

Adams, a sophomore, was a key reserve for a Tar Heels team that was pretty light on post presence throughout the season. She was usually the first big off the bench and offered solid interior defense and a whole lot of grit. She averaged 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in about 17 minutes per game. She did come second on the team in both blocks and steals despite playing backup minutes, providing post presence for a team that needed it. She had several big moments this season, including 23 points in her first career start against South Carolina State early in the season and an absolutely huge performance at home against N.C. State, where she scored all eight of her points, including two three-pointers, in the fourth quarter to stave off the Wolfpack while collecting a career-high 9 rebounds as well, all in a tidy 20 minutes. She announced her entry into the transfer portal on the 22nd of March, presumably looking for a place where she’ll have the opportunity to start — UNC’s got a lot of young, highly-billed talent coming in at the post position(s). As of this writing, she has not announced a new destination.

Todd-Williams’ departure is more puzzling, and honestly, a big part of the reason this article hasn’t been published sooner is that I’ve been waiting (hoping) for any clarity as to why one of the Heels’ most impactful players of the 2022-23 season would not only transfer, but do so fairly immediately after the season ended. She owes nobody an explanation, of course, but curiosity is a heck of a thing. The junior shooting guard from Jacksonville, NC was an every-game starter the last two years and particularly elevated her game this year, with a much-improved jump shot inside and outside the arc that carried the Heels through several games throughout the season, including clutch shots against Iowa State, Duke, Virginia Tech (albeit in a loss), and many more. She also got more consistent on defense and was a stronger driver to the rim, and all that culminated in an All-ACC Second-Team nod as she was second on the team in scoring average, led them in three-pointers made, and was the only Heel to start every game. She announced her transfer the day after Adams did, and like I alluded to at the beginning of this paragraph, people on the outside are mostly unsure why. She seems to have the support of her teammates on social media, for what that’s worth, and there’s really no point in speculating further. All we know is that she’s told R.L. Bynum (who’s just unmatched when it comes to covering UNC women’s ball) that it wasn’t about potential NIL money. On Wednesday, she announced that she’d be joining the Ole Miss Rebels, who had a pretty similar season to UNC but did manage to make it to the Sweet 16.

The Heels only had 12 scholarship players last year out of a possible 15, so with these two departures combined with the graduations of Eva Hodgson, Ariel Young, and Malu Tshitenge (who has a COVID year of eligibility but was honored for Senior Night), the Heels’ roster will return just 7 players. The incoming first-year class is four players strong and led by five-star center Ciera Toomey, so that leaves three potential spots for players from the transfer portal. Courtney Banghart clearly isn’t afraid to play a little shorthanded, but it’s worth keeping an eye on all the same. We wish Kennedy Todd-Williams and Destiny Adams all the best at their next stops and thank them for their time as Tar Heels.