Losing David and Travis Wear to an unexpected transfer became less of a problem for North Carolina on Monday night when Alabama transfer Justin Knox committed to the Tar Heels.
Knox, who's played three seasons for the Crimson Tide, is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward who plans to graduate from Alabama this summer and enroll at North Carolina as a graduate student. Under the NCAA's graduate student waiver program, he should be eligible to play for the Tar Heels immediately if he chooses a degree program that Alabama does not offer.
"Everyone in the family is excited," said Darien Knox, Justin's uncle, who announced the commitment. "Everyone in the family is looking forward to Justin becoming a Tar Heel."
Justin Knox plans to make a statement to the media Tuesday explaining his decision. Darien Knox said both finalists, North Carolina and Georgia Tech, made Justin feel like family on his visits, and said North Carolina assistant coach Steve Robinson did an outstanding job recruiting Justin.
Knox averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game last season for Alabama, but decided to transfer in part because he didn't feel like he was fitting into the system after coach Anthony Grant's first season.
By providing immediate, experienced help in the low post, Knox should give the Tar Heels' fortunes a huge boost next season. The Wear twins' departure had left North Carolina with just two scholarship players - John Henson and Tyler Zeller - as true low-post players.