UNC Basketball: How have transfers done after leaving North Carolina?

Jan 25, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Garrison Brooks (10) shoots the ball during the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Garrison Brooks (10) shoots the ball during the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /

UNC Basketball has seen several players transfer out of the program in the last 5 years. How have those players fared after departing Chapel Hill?

Since the transfer portal opened on March 13, the UNC Basketball program has seen four players enter the portal. Justin McKoy, Tyler Nickel, Dontrez Styles, and most recently, Puff Johnson. Many Tar Heel fans have expressed that they are concerned with so many players entering the portal and are upset because they believe North Carolina is losing valuable talent.

At the moment, it’s easy to overreact and believe a valuable asset is walking out the door. Truly these things don’t play out until a few years down the road when we can look back and say whether a player panned out or not. However, let’s take time and look back at some of the players who have left Chapel Hill since the Tar Heels last won a National Championship in 2017 and how they fared at their new destinations.

Seventh Woods (UNC 2016-2019)

Seventh Woods came to Carolina as a four-star recruit and was ranked No. 1 in the state of South Carolina. He played in 94 games as a Tar Heel, only starting once, and averaging 8.5 minutes per game. Woods averaged 1.7 points per game.

After spending three years in Chapel Hill, Woods left for South Carolina where he played in 18 games and started in 13. Averaging 19 minutes a game for the Gamecocks, Woods scored 5.4 points per game.

His tenure in Columbia was short-lived as he transferred to his third school, Morgan State. He played in 22 games and started in 18 there averaging 18 minutes a game and scoring 4.7 points per game.

Woods never panned out to be the athletic talent everyone thought he would be when he first committed to UNC with his spectacular YouTube highlight videos.

Andrew Platek (UNC 2017-2021) 

Andrew Platek came to UNC as a three-star recruit who was labeled as a “three-point specialist”. He spent four seasons at Carolina, playing in 127 games as a Tar Heel, starting only 11. He averaged 10.5 minutes per game and 2.7 points per game. He shot 46-154 (29.8%) during his career from beyond the arc.

Platek left Chapel Hill for Sienna University in 2021 where he played for two seasons. He played in 37 games for the Saints, starting in 35 of them. Averaging 23.5 minutes per game, Platek averaged 9.5 points per game while shooting 73-173 (42.1%) from three-point range.

Garrison Brooks (UNC 2017-2021)

Garrison Brooks came to Carolina as a four-star recruit and played very impactful minutes for UNC. In his four seasons, he played in 133 games, starting in 108. Brooks was a fan-favorite and had his best season as a Tar Heel his junior year when he averaged 16.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 53.5% from the field.

When he left UNC for Mississippi State, where his dad was on the coaching staff, Brooks started in all 34 games for the Bulldogs averaging 10.4 points per game. His shooting fell off to 45.8% and his rebounding decreased to 6.6 rebounds per game.

Jeremiah Francis (UNC 2019-2020)

Francis was a three-star recruit who some thought could be a role player for UNC. He only stayed in Chapel Hill for one season, playing 13.6 minutes per game in 16 games. He only averaged 3.3 points per game.

He went to the University of New Mexico and spent two seasons with the Lobos never really improving much. He played in 33 games, starting in 12 averaging 15 minutes per game. He only averaged 4 points per game during his time with the Lobos.

He transferred to a third school for the 2022-2023 season. Division II, Emmanuel College. He played and started in 21 games averaging 29.2 minutes per game. He scored 8.3 points per game for the Lions.

Anthony Harris (UNC 2019-2022)

Anthony Harris played for three years at UNC. He played in only five games due to recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in high school. When he did return his freshman season, he tore his ACL again and was out for the season.

During his time at UNC, he played in a total of 35 games, averaging 11.4 minutes per game and 3.5 points per game. He was ruled out for the season in January of 2022 due to academics.

Harris transferred to Rhode Island after the 2022 season but was never cleared academically and missed the 2022-2023 season.

Walker Kessler (UNC 2020-2021)

Walker Kessler came to UNC as a five-star prospect ranked 22nd nationally by 247Sports. He only stayed in Chapel Hill for one season, playing in 29 games and averaging 8.8 minutes per game while never starting.

He averaged 4.4 points per game and shot 57.8% from the field averaging 0.9 blocks per game.

Kessler transferred to Auburn for the 2021-2022 season. He started in all 34 games, averaging 25.6 minutes per game. He brought a lot to the Tigers. Giving them 11.4 points per game on 60.8% shooting, 8.1 rebounds per game, and 4.6 blocks per game.

This is arguably the best player to ever leave Chapel Hill and has increased success at another program. UNC didn’t play him enough his freshman season, or use him the way he thought he would be used, and Auburn took advantage of the portal.

Kerwin Walton (UNC 2020-2022)

Another four-star recruit was tabbed a “three-point specialist” when he committed to UNC. Kerwin was a late commit for the Tar Heels in the spring of 2020. He played in 60 games, starting in 21 in Chapel Hill. He averaged 17.1 minutes per game and scored 5.8 points per game.

In his freshman season, he was 58-138 (42%) from beyond the arc. When his minutes dropped his sophomore season, so did his three-point shooting to 23-65 (35.4%).

Walton left after the 2022 season for Texas Tech where he hoped to find more playing time. Unfortunately for him, he averaged even fewer minutes per game in Lubbock at 12.8 minutes per game. Giving the Red Raiders 3.6 points per game, and shooting 23-56 (41.1%) from beyond the arc.


After looking at these, really there is only one major player that has transferred away from Carolina and had success, and it is Walker Kessler. Kessler was a highly touted recruit, we all knew when he didn’t get the playing time his freshman season, he was likely leaving for somewhere else.

However, none of these other guys have really done much at their new school, or if they have, they aren’t playing the same level of competition they would be facing in Chapel Hill. So while we can hit the panic button on McKoy, Nickel, Styles, and Johnson hitting the portal, is it really necessary?

Could they go somewhere, get the playing time they weren’t getting in Chapel Hill, and perform well? Absolutely. Is there any way to know that? Not unless you have a time machine and can send us to the future to tell us. There is obviously more concern now with the uncertainty of the 2023-2024 roster and there being four open roster slots, but just as players can leave Carolina by entering the portal, players can come to Carolina via the portal.

There’s also no guarantee that a player coming into Chapel Hill has the same success as Brady Manek or Cam Johnson. But there’s nothing saying they won’t either.

The transfer portal is the new age of college basketball and it’s here to stay, rather we like it or not. Every year we’re going to see somewhere between 1-3 guys transfer out of any given program for a number of reasons. The most obvious we want to point to is playing time, but it could be because of a coaching change, a change in a style of play, a change in a player’s role, or even family reasons and moving closer to home.

I wish anyone who enters the portal well. They were Tar Heels and always will be, even if they don’t finish their career here. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason may be. However, for the time being, why don’t we just all take a deep breath, relax and see how this off-season plays out for Coach Davis and his staff without over-reacting about who’s leaving?

Next. UNC Basketball: Puff Johnson plans to enter transfer portal. dark

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