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How does North Carolina replace GG Jackson?

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GG Jackson de-committed from North Carolina. Where does the UNC basketball program turn next in the class of 2023?

It was rumored. It was talked about. It was rejected as click-bait. It was accepted with resignation. And then…it actually happened: GG Jackson de-committed from North Carolina.

It’s high time to be finished talking about Jackson. He de-committed. He’s gone. It’s over. It’s time to move on.

However, one aspect of Jackson’s de-commitment we do need to consider, and the big question going forward is, “Where do Coach Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels turn next in the class of 2023?” With Jackson’s de-commitment, Simeon Wilcher is the only remaining recruit in the class for UNC.

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In addition to the newly-vacated scholarship left behind by Jackson, I believe Carolina will have three other scholarships available to hand out ahead of the 2023-34 season. Let’s look at the math together. Each DI men’s basketball team has 13 available scholarships per season.

We know for certain that the Tar Heels lose Leaky Black and Pete Nance, who will both be out of eligibility. That leaves 11 players on the current roster who could theoretically return – Armando Bacot, Justin McKoy, Puff Johnson, Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Dontrez Styles, D’Marco Dunn, Tyler Nickel, Will Shaver, Seth Trimble, and Jalen Washington.

Keep in mind that, while Bacot and McKoy are seniors this season, they could utilize COVID eligibility next year.

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I project that McKoy will use his COVID year, but that Bacot (along with Love) will leave to pursue professional opportunities and that at least one player will transfer. Those losses bring the scholarship count from 11 down to eight. Add in one for Simeon Wilcher and you arrive at a total of nine scholarships accounted for, meaning there are four available.

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How will Coach Hubert Davis and his staff fill those spots? On a recent episode of Locked On Tar Heels, I chatted with Sports Illustrated’s Director of Basketball Recruiting, Jason Jordan to gain more insight.

Beyond the players Coach Davis has already offered as positional replacements for Jackson in the class of 2023, Jordan proposed more names in the class, who, while they play different positions, would be great additions to the Tar Heel roster. Here’s what Jordan had to say about each.

As Jordan said, “I don’t think they’ll leave any bullets left in the gun, that’s not really Hubert’s style.”

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