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Men's, women's basketball repair rosters ahead of 2023-24 season

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Incoming first-year Elliot Cadeau makes a no-look pass in a game against Gill St. Bernard’s School. (TNS/ Tom Horak)

As the men's and women's basketball teams navigate recruiting and the transfer portal heading into next season, here is a look at how the rosters are shaping up.

Men’s basketball

After losing nine of its 13 scholarship players from last season, the UNC men’s basketball team has undergone some serious reconstruction over the offseason.

Head coach Hubert Davis has been tasked with replacing seven transfers — the largest amount leaving UNC ever. While the transfer portal took away half of the Tar Heels’ roster, it has also provided the solution Davis needed to put together a top-25 caliber team.

Transfers

With the departure of every wing from last year’s team, there was an emphasis on adding shooters and versatile wing players from the portal.

The first addition was Brown graduate transfer Paxson Wojcik. Within two weeks of UNC reaching out, Wojcik committed.

As a senior, Wojcik averaged nearly 15 points and over seven rebounds per game, an impressive feat at just 6-foot-5. Wojcik will contribute particularly as a shooter.

Speaking of three-point marksmen, Notre Dame transfer Cormac Ryan — who averaged 12.3 points per game last season — will be joining Wojcik on the wing. In 2022, Ryan set a school record for three-pointers in an NCAA tournament game, shooting 7-for-9 from deep against Alabama.

Following two seasons at Stanford, Harrison Ingram became the third McDonald’s All-American on the Tar Heels’ roster for 2023-24. Known as a “point forward”, Ingram is a great passer, especially when playing out of the post with his back to the basket.

The final portal player is Jae’Lyn Withers from Louisville. Withers adds depth to the UNC frontcourt while adding another option to help stretch the floor.

First years

The most recent addition to the roster is first-year guard Elliot Cadeau, who recently announced his decision to reclassify and join the Tar Heels’ 2023 class. Even after reclassifying, Cadeau is ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the class of 2023, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. The Tar Heels will rely on Cadeau’s passing ability to help run the offense from day one.

Zayden High is the second incoming first-year. The four-star big man will help provide relief for Armando Bacot and Jalen Washington inside.

Women’s Basketball

Despite some tough departures to the portal, the UNC women’s basketball team looks to mix in some highly talented new additions in with some of its main contributors from last season like Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby.

First years

Head coach Courtney Banghart has put together a stellar recruiting class — headlined by Ciera Toomey, the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2023, according to ESPN. At 6-foot-3, Toomey will be the Tar Heels’ most intriguing addition. Her interior play alongside Ustby should make for an impressive frontcourt.

Banghart added three more four-star recruits: guard Reniya Kelly, forward RyLee Grays and forward Laila Hull. The class is rounded out by incoming walk-on Sydney Barker.

Transfers

UNC lost Kennedy Todd-Williams and Destiny Adams to the portal, but the Tar Heels added Iowa State transfer Lexi Donarski, former Boston College Eagle Maria Gakdeng and Indya Nivar from Stanford.

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Donarski averaged 12.1 points per game for the Cyclones last season. The 2021-22 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year may prove to be the team’s best two-way player and likely slide into a starting role for UNC.

After two seasons at Boston College, Gakdeng made the intra-conference move to UNC. She averaged 11.3 points per game last season and has made waves with her interior defense, averaging 2 blocks per game over her career so far. The 6-foot-3 center will compete for a starting spot in an already solid frontcourt.

Transferring after her first year at Stanford, Nivar, a North Carolina native, rounds out the roster for UNC.

@BenMcC33

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com