When Travis and David Wear decided to transfer from North Carolina within two months of the Tar Heels losing leading post scorers Deon Thompson and Ed Davis to graduation and the NBA draft, coach Roy Williams found himself desperately in need of frontcourt help for a team suddenly missing 68 percent of its low-post scoring.
Needing a player who could come in and play immediately, Williams’ options were limited by the NCAA’s transfer policy, which usually requires basketball players to sit out a season after transferring between two schools in the same division. Williams was further restrained by a lack of available recruits so late in the season.
But NCAA rules state that a player can receive a transfer waiver allowing him to play immediately if the athlete is transferring to a graduate program not offered by his previous school and the previous school gives its consent.
Enter Justin Knox, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound behemoth looking to leave Alabama after a junior season in which he averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“There weren’t a heck of a lot of choices,” Williams said. “Guys like that don’t walk up and down the street in front of your door all the time.”