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The Daily Tar Heel

Analysis: Transfers aim to make their mark on UNC men's basketball

20210929_McGinnis_mensbballpractice-7.jpg
Graduate student forward Brady Manek (45) runs with the ball at the UNC men's basketball practice on Sept. 29 at the Dean Dome.

The North Carolina men’s basketball team is looking to get off to a hot start as the beginning of the season rapidly approaches. 

It will be the team’s first season with head coach Hubert Davis as the helm, marking the beginning of a new era for the program without Roy Williams in the picture. As Davis and the recruiting team have been preparing for the season, three key transfers have joined the Tar Heels to reinvigorate the winning culture of North Carolina basketball.

Brady Manek

Brady Manek, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, has potential to make an impact on this young UNC team. Manek worked up an impressive resume during his time as an Oklahoma Sooner, becoming the program’s 14th-leading scorer and making the fifth-most 3-pointers in team history.

Manek has racked up eight career double-doubles, averaged 5.6 rebounds per game and shot 37.5 percent from three in the 2020-2021 season. Aside from his stats, Manek also brings four years of college basketball experience to the Tar Heels. His veteran level of knowledge is bound to bring great leadership to the team and further enhance the talent of the players around him.

Dawson Garcia

Garcia is a sophomore who spent his first college season at Marquette, where he made the Big East All-Freshman team and led the conference first-years in scoring and rebounding. He managed to score over 20 points in six games during his first year, shooting 48 percent from the floor and over 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. 

Garcia also has the bonus of being a former AAU teammate of current Tar Heel Kerwin Walton, whom he already shares chemistry with on the court. He is a skilled young player with a high ceiling, and his accurate shooting from behind the free-throw line has potential to send the Tar Heels in the right direction.

Justin McKoy

Justin McKoy is another transfer who has some experience on the court. McKoy spent two seasons with Virginia, where he averaged about 10 minutes per game. 

Out of the 19 games that McKoy played, he started only four. He made the most of his opportunities when he was on the court, shooting 9-16 from the floor and averaging 5.3 rebounds per game over his last four games.

McKoy also flashed some potential as a reliable free-throw shooter, shooting 80 percent from the line. Realistically, McKoy figures to fit into the UNC as a depth piece, but should an opportunity arise for him to stay on the court, he could be a breakout player for the Tar Heels.

Hubert Davis’ squad has potential to make some serious noise in the ACC this season with the talent they have acquired and developed. 

The new transfers like Manek and Garcia could supplement the already decorated skill sets of long-time players like junior forward Armando Bacot and senior wing Leaky Black, while also adding new talents to the team.

Manek’s 3-point shooting prowess and Garcia’s offensive ceiling are bound to help the Tar Heels put up points, and McKoy will be waiting in the wings for an opportunity to showcase his own talents.  

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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