The NCAA Basketball transfer portal gave us another big name before the weekend, this time with the addition of North Carolina big man Garrison Brooks. The preseason ACC Player of the Year is part of what seems like a major shakeup with the Tar Heels, who have a new head coach in Roy Williams.
Brooks was a starter in his first two seasons but was more of a role player in the offense, averaging 7.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg as a sophomore. But the 6’11 big man broke out in a major way as a junior, going for a team-leading 16.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg in 35 mpg. He was the only thing that went well for North Carolina that year and Brooks was awarded All-ACC honors.
This past season had plenty of expectations for Brooks but between injuries, inconsistencies, and a ton of frontcourt depth competiting for minutes, the senior’s numbers took a major dip. He averaged 10.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg in 28 mpg and was the starter throughout, although an argument could’ve been made that five-star freshmen Walker Kessler and Day’Ron Sharpe were better players off the bench.
So far this offseason, Sharpe has left for the NBA Draft, while Bacot is weighing his pro options. Most notably, Kessler entered the portal earlier and became one of the biggest free agents. New head coach Hubert Davis has been trying to keep him but the reality is that Kessler and Brooks can’t play together.
Who knows how it went down but Brooks made the move to become a free agent himself. And his junior campaign shows how talented a frontcourt scorer he can be. Look for there to be a lot of power conference suitors for his services. Here are eight that I have in mind.