Tar Heels still hold top spot in latest ESPN Top 25 rankings

Tar Heels still hold top spot in latest ESPN Top 25 rankings

The transfer portal is still an active one here in the Summer as teams look to make additions for their 2022-23 college basketball season.

For the UNC basketball program, they had a few departures to the portal but have yet to land a player after Matthew Mayer opted to go to Illinois. Despite that, UNC still returns four of their five starters from a year ago and that’s good enough for a few publications to rank the Tar Heels as the No. 1 team going into next season.

ESPN dropped their updated way too early top 25 for next season and while some teams moved up or down, the Tar Heels stayed put at No. 1:

After a tremendous April that saw the Tar Heels bring four of five starters back and land elite high school junior GG Jackson, it was a quieter month of May for Hubert Davis’ program. Kerwin Walton did enter the transfer portal, which could hurt UNC’s perimeter depth, but he played just five minutes at the NCAA tournament and had DNPs in six of the Tarheels’ final 10 games. It appeared that Carolina was going to pick up a key transfer, but former Baylor forward Matthew Mayer opted for Illinois over the Tar Heels. Do they look elsewhere to find a more experienced forward? Northwestern transfer Pete Nance remains in the portal, but he has yet to withdraw from the NBA draft. The combination of Puff Johnson and Dontrez Styles isn’t a bad fallback plan at all, however. The duo won’t offer the shooting of Brady Manek but would provide versatility, athleticism and some defensive solidity.

I should also note that ESPN does think Puff Johnson will be the starter to replace Brady Manek but that’s also contingent on the transfer portal and if UNC somehow lands another player.

This is a common theme this offseason as CBS Sports also put the Tar Heels on top of their early rankings. And that’s going to continue into the Summer.

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