With legendary coach Roy Williams retiring and a significant portion of last year’s team transferring or heading to the league, the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball program is in for a major rebuild heading into the 2021 season.
Fortunately for the Heels, the newly-sparse roster just got one step closer to filling out on Friday afternoon. Taking to Twitter, former Oklahoma standout Brady Manek announced his decision to transfer to Chapel Hill.
“New Beginnings…” he wrote.
New Beginnings… pic.twitter.com/pLZG87zEEB
— brady manek (@BradyManek) April 16, 2021
Manek was a four-year starter and double-digit scorer for the Oklahoma Sooners from 2017-21. Through 122 games in Norman, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. As a competent shooter (37.4% from three), he also has the ability to stretch the floor for the Heels as he heads into his fifth year of eligibility following last year’s void COVID-19 season.
Landing an experienced big man like Manek is a much-needed get for North Carolina.
After boasting one of the best front courts in the nation last season, the Tar Heels essentially have zero post depth heading into 2021. Freshman standout Day’Ron Sharpe is set to be a first-round NBA Draft pick, sophomore forward Armando Bacot plans to test the draft waters and senior anchor Garrison Brooks/freshman five star Walker Kessler both announced their transfer decisions.
With the talented 2020 front court completely disbanded, the tallest player remaining on the roster was 6-foot-8 guard Leaky Black. Joining the roster as the new tallest player on the team, Manek will be invaluable to the Heels as a veteran post presence.
This isn’t the only major get for UNC this offseason. Since he was hired as the new head coach of the program, former longtime assistant Hubert Davis has now landed two big-name transfers. Last week, Virginia Cavaliers forward Justin McKoy announced his commitment to Davis’ squad. At 6-foot-8, the rising-junior will also add some post depth.
With some open scholarships still remaining on the North Carolina roster, expect Davis to keep dipping his hand in this year’s rich transfer portal.
“Things have changed. Kids have changed. The game has changed. We have to adapt. We have to get better,” Davis said, per InsideCarolina. “… We’ve got to go to the transfer portal and find big-time players that want to be a part of this unbelievable program that can play right away and be big-time players out there on the floor.”