Cliff Omoruyi chooses Alabama: What's next for UNC basketball program?

The UNC basketball program missed out on another big man target in the transfer portal. What's next for the Tar Heels?
Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Harry How/GettyImages

Cliff Omoruyi made it official on Sunday: the former Rutgers big man will be joining the Alabama Crimson Tide.

This is another tough loss in the transfer portal for Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball program, as they miss out on yet another top available big man.

Now that the options are dwindling down, the question remains: what's next for the Tar Heels?

What this means is that Jalen Washington is likely the UNC basketball program's starting center heading into the 2024-2025 season. With three available scholarships to work with, it's very likely that North Carolina will look to add another big that can compliment the rising junior.

Washington is likely ready to take on a bigger role. He's waited in the wings behind Armando Bacot and earned the opportunity. The issue becomes the depth behind Washington, as the current on-roster options at the center position are very scarce.

Sure, Jae'Lyn Withers and even Zayden High could potentially see minutes at this position in a smaller lineup, but it isn't the ideal situation as they are both better suited to play the "four" position. Freshman James Brown could also factor in, but it will remain to be seen if he's ready to fully be thrown into the fire this fall (or will he see limited minutes like High did this past season).

Omoruyi's choice of Alabama is a tough blow for the Tar Heels, considering that he was the last of the big men the program was reportedly pursuing via the transfer portal. However, it isn't the end of the world, as there are still plenty of options available and room for Hubert Davis and his staff to work with on this upcoming roster.

To be fair: if this recruitment came down to NIL money, is Omoruyi really a guy that fits what the UNC basketball program is trying to build?

The easy answer is No.

The question all Tar Heel fans want to know now is: how will the UNC basketball program pivot following this news, as they still have a few holes to fill on the 2024-2025 roster?

If we had to guess, Hubert Davis and company have a plan.