Heading into May 1, the final day of the 2022-23 transfer portal cycle, it appeared as though North Carolina's roster for the 2022-23 season was set. Dawson Garcia and Anthony Harris had announced plans to transfer and the Tar Heels had all 13 scholarships accounted for.
But then, on the last available opportunity to transfer while being able to play immediately in the 2022-23 season, Kerwin Walton announced plans to enter the transfer portal.
Our tendency is to quickly move to "what's next?" before stopping to appreciate what's been.
With that in mind, before rushing to figure out what Walton's transfer will mean for UNC, let's thank Walton for what he's meant to the program.
Walton played an integral role on Roy Williams' final Tar Heel team, starting 20 games and playing in 29 total. The Minnesotan's sharpshooting was sorely needed on a team that otherwise lacked it. Walton ended the UNC freshman three-point shooting curse and became the best freshman three-point shooter in Carolina's prolific history.
Unfortunately, Walton was relegated to a bench role in his sophomore year with the turnover to a new coaching staff. The chief reason for that was Walton's defensive inabilities, combined with Coach Davis' desire to have Caleb Love and RJ Davis on the court at the same time.
While the Carolina family and coaching staff will be eternally grateful for his contributions, Walton's departure does open up a scholarship to be immediately utilized if Coach Davis desires to do so.
The biggest question mark this offseason will be, "How does Hubert Davis replace Brady Manek?" This open scholarship gives the Carolina head coach an opportunity to go out and snag someone who can hopefully do just that.
As a freshman, Walton averaged 20.9 minutes and 8.2 points per game, while making 42.0% pf his 138 three-point attempts. In 2021-22, those numbers fell to 13.4 minutes and 3.4 points per game while making just 35.4% of his three-point attempts.
Best of luck to Kerwin Walton as he makes plans for what's next in his collegiate experience.