Former Northwestern forward Pete Nance committed to North Carolina on Saturday as a graduate transfer, potentially giving coach Hubert Davis a key piece for another Final Four run.
Nance, a 6-foot-10 forward, averaged 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot 45 percent from 3-point range last season. He mostly played at center for the Wildcats, but at UNC he’d likely play power forward in a frontcourt teamed with senior Armando Bacot.
Nance’s ability to shoot from the perimeter should help UNC stretch defenses in the same manner that forward Brady Manek did last season.
He’ll add another veteran presence to the frontcourt. Aside from Bacot, Will Shaver, who enrolled early and joined the team in January; and Jalen Washington, who is still rehabilitating a knee injury, are the Heels’ other bigs, and neither of them have experience. Washington isn’t expected to participate in 5-on-5 full court play until school starts in the fall semester.
Nance has a strong basketball pedigree. His father Larry Nance Sr. is a three-time NBA all-star who has the distinction of being the first NBA dunk contest winner in 1984. His brother, Larry Nance Jr., currently stars with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Nance accepted the Tar Heels’ 13th and final scholarship slot that became open when guard Kerwin Walton entered the transfer portal. Walton announced this week that he is committed to Texas Tech.
Carolina returns four starters from last season’s team that lost to Kansas in the national title game. In his press conference on Wednesday, Davis said he liked the team he had even if they did not add another player. Rising junior Puff Johnson, sophomore Dontrez Styles and senior Justin McKoy could each have bigger roles after playing sparringly last season. Nance’s addition means Carolina won’t be forced to play small with Johnson, Styles or McKoy playing the 4 spot.
This story was originally published June 18, 2022 1:17 PM.