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Saturday January 23rd

Graduate transfer forward Justin Pierce picks UNC

The former William & Mary forward averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season.

Head coach Roy Williams answers questions during a press conference on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Buy Photos Head coach Roy Williams answers questions during a press conference on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Next year's North Carolina men's basketball team is finally complete.

Graduate transfer Justin Pierce, formerly of William & Mary, added to what has already been a busy recruiting cycle for head coach Roy Williams' team, announcing his commitment to the Tar Heels on Thursday on his personal Twitter account.

"I'm excited to announced that I am a Tar Heel!" Pierce wrote on Twitter. "North Carolina gives offers me the best opportunity to chase my dreams on and off the court."

In his junior season at William & Mary, Pierce averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, earning third team All-CAA honors. 

Pierce announced his intention to transfer from William & Mary after longtime head coach Tony Shaver, himself a former Tar Heel, was dismissed from the program.

The 6-foot-7 forward will bring a versatility the Tar Heel frontcourt would have been missing next season. Pierce is a do-it-all big man with capable 3-point range, shooting 32.4 percent from beyond the arc last season and 41.6 percent the year prior. He could see significant playing time after the departure of Luke Maye, a player who also tended to stretch the defense from the front-court.

On Twitter, Pierce said he'll also pursue a master's degree in business administration, or MBA, while at UNC. After his playing career ends, he hopes to work in an NBA front office.

Pierce joins Christian Keeling of Charleston Southern as the second graduate transfer to spend his final season of eligibility in Chapel Hill. Those two will arrive in addition to the nation's sixth-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports, highlighted by five-stars Cole Anthony and Armando Bacot. Four-star Anthony Harris and three-star Jeremiah Francis are also a part of the class.

The 2019-20 North Carolina basketball team will look very different from the team that lost to Auburn in the Sweet 16 last season. With the addition of Pierce, there will now be six newcomers to replace six departing players for the Tar Heels.

"I'm excited to join the family and to compete for a national championship next year!" Pierce wrote on Twitter.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

@matt_chilson

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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