Two UNC basketball players entered the transfer portal Wednesday

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The saga of two highly touted but seldom-used players at North Carolina came to an end Wednesday.

Dawson Garcia and Anthony Harris announced Wednesday that they had entered the transfer portal.

“Congratulations to all of Tar Heel Nation on a great finish to the season!” Garcia wrote on Twitter. “With all that has happened with my family this past year, I have decided to stay in closer proximity to them. Thank you Tar Heel Nation for accepting me into your family … all the best!”

Garcia, a 6-foot-11, 235-pound center from Prior Lake, Minn., transferred to UNC from Marquette and started 12 games for first-year head coach Hubert Davis. He appeared in 16 games, averaging 9 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Garcia’s last game with the Tar Heels came against Wake Forest on Jan. 22 when he scored seven points in 18 minutes off the bench. On Feb. 10, Davis announced that Garcia would miss the remainder of the season so he could stay in Minnesota and be close to his grandmother, who was dealing with an illness.

Harris, a sophomore guard from Virginia who called his time at UNC an “honor,” had not played for the Tar Heels since scoring 5 points in a Jan. 8 win against Virginia. The school announced Jan. 21 that Harris would be unavailable to play for the remainder of the season but that he’d continue practicing with the team.

“I love coaching Dawson and understand his primary concern right now is his family’s health and welfare, and his focus continues to be with them as it should be,” Davis said in a statement in February. “We miss him being part of our program and wish him and his family well and look forward to his return to the game at the appropriate time.”

Brady Manek was inserted into the starting lineup in Garcia’s place as UNC made a run to the national title game, where they fell to Kansas.

Garcia had his best game as a Tar Heel against Purdue on Nov. 21, scoring 26 points in 33 minutes.

North Carolina’s frontcourt for next season does have some stability, despite Garcia’s departure. While Manek is out of eligibility, Armando Bacot, who had 31 double-doubles last season, announced Wednesday afternoon that he’ll return to the Tar Heels next season.

Davis also has freshman Jalen Washington (6-9, 210) arriving on campus next season. Will Shaver, a 6-10 center, enrolled in January. He’s not expected to be an immediate starter.

Triangle players who have entered the transfer portal

Player

Previous school

New school

Dawson Garcia

UNC

N/A

Cam Hayes

NC State

LSU

Jaylon Gibson

NC State

Winston-Salem State

Manny Bates

NC State

N/A

Thomas Allen

NC State

N/A

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