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UNC Basketball: Louisville forward Jae’Lyn Withers to transfer to Tar Heels

We got another piece to the UNC roster puzzle in place on Tuesday.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 14 North Carolina at Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With several players going out in the transfer portal, we know that North Carolina was going to have several incoming players as well. We already knew of one in former Brown guard Paxson Wojcik, and on Tuesday, we got news of a second.

On Tuesday morning, Louisville forward Jaelyn Withers announced that he was coming to Chapel Hill to play for coach Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels.

The 6-8 forward averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Cardinals last season, finishing as their third leading scorer. Fairly relevant to the way that Hubert Davis seems to want to play is that Withers knocked down 41.7% on three pointers while attempting three per game last seasons.

The Charlotte product Withers has played three seasons in Louisville after redshirting in 2019-20. Statistically, his best season was his first one in 2020-21 under Chris Mack. He averaged 10 points on 54.9% shooting, and 7.7 rebounds per game.

One downside to this move is that Withers also averaged 2.2 turnovers per game last season, and 1.7 for his college career so far. Even with all the outgoings, this is a UNC team that already could be quite turnover prone. Part of that was because he had a big role on a very bad Louisville team, which is not going to do good things for that turnover count.

Another thing is that, well, he had a big role on a very, very bad Louisville team. Obviously coach Kenny Payne and all his teammates played a part in the Cardinals’ 4-28 record, but it’s not as if Withers was lighting things up as everything around him failed.

That being said, he could be a perfectly solid depth option. He already has shown the ability to go for double figures in the ACC. If we look up in November and Withers is set to play 30 minutes a game, that’s probably not ideal. However, UNC still has a bunch more scholarship to fill, and getting someone with ACC experience who can help space that floor a bit should be at least somewhat helpful. Plus in the words of some Tar Heels themselves, there’s more to come.

As mentioned, Withers is originally from the Charlotte area, and played for North Mecklenberg High School before playing his senior year for a school in Ohio. However before he did that, he was the Charlotte Observer’s Metro 4A Player of the Year.

There’s still a lot of time and a lot of scholarships left to fill for next year’s Tar Heels’ team, but with Withers on Tuesday, we got one more piece of the puzzle filled in.