Larry Drew II Transfers Out of UNC
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Larry Drew II's tenure with the UNC Tar Heels (16-5, 6-1 in ACC) is over.
The junior guard announced this afternoon that he would be transfering, in the "best interest to continue my education and basketball career elsewhere," according to Drew.
He will be leaving a Tar Heel team that was just starting to gel together, having won their last two ACC games by 20 or more points.
While the news of Drew's transfer is unexpected, it is hardly shocking. The guard lost his starting spot to freshman Kendall Marshall after a horrid 20-point loss at Georgia Tech.
Even then, Drew's minutes did not decrease substantially, as he still averaged 19.3 minutes per game since he lost the starting job to Marshall, in great part due to his strong defensive play. Drew was also on the receiving end of a lot of disgruntled Tar Heel fans following last year's squad that failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.
The most shocking thing about Drew's announcement is the timing.
The Tar Heels have only nine conference games left, and have been playing their best basketball as of late. Furthermore, because the bulk of the season has eclipsed, Drew will only have one more year of eligibility left, and should he transfer to another Division I school, will have to sit out next season.
Will the Tar Heels Miss Larry Drew II this season?
While this is pure conjecture, some teammates appear to be blindsided by the news.
Fellow guard Dexter Strickland posted on his Twitter feed: "What in God's name is going on???????" and "Speechless!!"
Not exactly the kind of tweets you would expect to hear from teammates that had talked to Drew before the announcement. Even in Roy Williams's press conference today, he mentioned that he found out about Drew leaving the team through a phone call from Drew's dad, Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew Sr.
This points towards Drew being unhappy with the team, and with the consulting of his dad, deciding that it was in his best interest to leave.
Drew's transfer is somewhat uncharted territory for Roy Williams. He had three players transfer out in his 15-year tenure in Kansas, and has now had three players transfer out of UNC in the last year.
Oddly enough, all four players that have transferred in the Roy Williams era at UNC have been California products: Alex Stephenson (transferred to USC), David and Travis Wear (transferred to UCLA), and now Drew.
Drew will end up leaving UNC with a national championship ring from his freshman season. His final stat sheet will read: 96 games played, averaged 19.8 minutes per game, 39.1 field goal percentage and 3.9 assists per game to go with 0.7 steals per game.
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