Tar Heel For a Year: Justin Knox Headed To UNC

C. V.Contributor IMay 24, 2010

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 13:  Justin Knox #40 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dunks the ball around Josh Tabb #25 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the quaterfinal round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 13, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

There is a new Tar Heel headed to UNC next Fall with the intent of impacting the program immediately. Justin Knox is the 6'9", 245 pound senior forward coming to Chapel Hill from the University of Alabama and bringing with him some welcome collegiate game-time experience. Knox was a starter for the Crimson Tide in 17 games last season during which he averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes.

Before today, Knox's transfer decision had come down to two ACC schools, Georgia Tech and UNC, both of which can produce talented basketball teams. This is the quote released Monday by his uncle, Darien Knox: "Justin Knox has given UNC head coach Roy Williams his pledge to attend graduate school and play his final year of eligibility depending upon the pending NCAA Graduate Transfer Waiver." His uncle also added, "It will be an honor to become a member of the Tar Heel family. Go Tar Heels!"

If all goes according to plan Knox will finish his undergraduate requirements this summer at Alabama and begin a graduate program at UNC this Fall. The plan (under NCAA regulations) is to find a graduate program at UNC that is not also offered at Alabama so that Knox can come in and begin to play immediately following enrollment.

The addition of Knox should have fans, coaching staff, and players all breathing a sigh of relief and sleeping a little better at night. There is no reason to believe that he will not have an immediate influence on the court. After the unforeseen departure of the Wear twins the Heel's front court began to look a little thin, only returning Tyler Zeller and John Henson.  

With Knox in the mix the Tar Heels will have another true post player in their front court rotation. While it would have beenand still ispossible for incoming freshmen Harrison Barnes to step into the post, his game is best played from the wing position.  

Given the Wear twins seemingly impromptu departure, Knox's decision to transfer to UNC could not have come at a better time as the pool of available, talented, high school, senior big-men had already dried up.  

On paper Knox looks like a tit-for-tat trade with the Wear twins who had a combined per game average of 6.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 20.5 minutes.

As mentioned earlier Knox does only have one year of eligibility remaining, which opens up his scholarship after this season, and gives the Heels a chance to look for some long term post talent in the future.