UNC basketball counting on key transfers as Hubert Davis era begins

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Thursday, September 30, 2021
UNC basketball counting on key transfers as new era begins
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UNC has officially started practicing under Hubert Davis and a new era of Tar Heels hoops includes a few key transfers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC has officially started practicing under Hubert Davis. A new era of Tar Heels hoops includes a few transfers who should make an immediate impact.

Virginia transfer Justin McKoy grew up in Cary and played high school ball at Panther Creek. His dad, Alfonza, who died when McKoy was 1-year-old would be happy with his move.

"My screen saver is actually my mom and my dad, and he's wearing a UNC hat, and it's just a reminder that he would be proud of me and I always keep that with me every time," McKoy said. "My phone is something that I look at every day, so nice reminder."

Being in Charlottesville for two years helped McKoy become a solid defender. He's also there when in need of an energy boost.

"Some days you have those bad days or maybe the energy is off; maybe it's a rainy, cloudy day. Nobody is really feeling it," he said. "Having that spark to get everyone going is something that's really important, so I think that's something I can bring as well."

UNC fans already know what Dawson Garcia can do. The lefty scored 24 points to lead Marquette to a stunning win over the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill last season.

"It was cool to play in here, such a historic building, last year, but at the end of the day I came here because it was the best fit for me," Garcia said.

UNC was on Garcia's original list of schools. After Golden Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski was fired, Garcia rekindled his relationship with Davis and chose to join up with his former AAU teammate and fellow sophomore Kerwin Walton.

"I think he just really laid out what's realistic and me having a great opportunity to come here and help this team out a lot," Garcia said. "We're really talented here, so sky's the limit."

Lon Kruger's departure at Oklahoma led grad transfer Brady Manek to North Carolina.

"Realistically I'm not sure I should still be in college, but the COVID gave me another year," Manek said. "Now I get to play one more year, and I get to have a fun year."

Manek leaves the Sooners as No. 14 on their career scoring list. At 6-foot-9, Manek is a rare threat from the perimeter, something coach Davis gravitated to.

"He wants guys who are threats shooting in the big spots," Manek said. "That's why he got me, Justin and Dawson. We're guys that can be threats. We're guys that can space the floor if we need to."

The Tar Heels begin preseason play Nov. 5 against Elizabeth City State.