Expert Suggests UNC Basketball Is in Two-Horse Race for Giant Transfer

UNC basketball is battling another ACC school for a former Kentucky center.
UNC basketball head coach Hubert Davis vs. Louisville
UNC basketball head coach Hubert Davis vs. Louisville / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The UNC basketball staff is scrambling to find another big or two to solidify the program's 2024-25 roster. That's no secret.

It doesn't appear as though former Vanderbilt forward Ven-Allen Lubin's visit to Chapel Hill this week will yield a commitment. And Illinois transfer Coleman Hawkins, the highest-ranked player on the Tar Heels' active portal radar, has given himself reason to lean toward remaining an early draft entrant by impressing scouts at the ongoing NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

That leaves Ugonna Onyenso, No. 180 overall and No. 29 among centers on the 247Sports transfer rankings. The 7-foot, 245-pound giant out of Kentucky, boasting a 7-foot-5 wingspan, entered the portal and declared early for the NBA Draft in April following his promising sophomore campaign, in which the 19-year-old battled back from a summer foot injury to average 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in only 18.8 minutes per game.

On Thursday, 247Sports college hoops insider Adam Finkelstein chimed in with what he's hearing regarding Onyenso's draft decision and college recruitment, suggesting that the Tar Heels and Louisville now look like the primary options in light of the Nigerian talent not getting an invite to participate in five-on-five combine scrimmages:

"It does now seem that his earning potential is going to be much, much higher in college basketball...North Carolina still needs a big. They are trying to replace Armando Bacot. They have not been able to do so yet...Another program that is considered among his biggest options is Louisville. We've seen Pat Kelsey make some notable additions...He too needs a rim protector...Keep an eye on North Carolina and Louisville for Ugonna..."

247Sports' Adam Finkelstein

UNC basketball has six returning players on tap for next season, along with three incoming freshmen and one transfer addition thus far in former two-year Belmont sharpshooter Cade Tyson.

Stay tuned to All Tar Heels on SI for more UNC basketball news.

Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on