Could Matthew Mayer be the perfect Brady Manek replacement?
North Carolina has had virtually a perfect offseason since falling to Kansas in the National Championship game last month.
The Tar Heels are bringing back all 4 eligible starters from last year’s team and secured a commitment from 2023 5-star forward GG Jackson.
However, there’s still one big item on the agenda: Replacing Brady Manek.
Manek was an integral part of UNC’s offense last season, especially in the NCAA Tournament. His ability to stretch the floor and play off of Armando Bacot opened up the court significantly for his teammates. He’s now out of eligibility and won’t be returning to Chapel Hill.
That leaves a rather important role to fill for Hubert Davis, who will presumably attack that need in the transfer portal. The Tar Heels now have an open spot due to Kerwin Walton’s departure.
Enter Baylor forward Matthew Mayer, who went into the transfer portal just ahead of the May 1 deadline.
Mayer and Manek have a lot of similarities. Both spent 4 years at a Big 12 school before entering the portal and mostly make an impact by shooting 3-pointers.
Mayer isn’t quite as accurate from long range — 34.5% in his career — but he makes up for that with a little more athleticism and ball handling than Manek had.
Two things are clear about Matthew Mayer
– His hair is feathered and lethal
– He's got some moves pic.twitter.com/9EXbMeYVFy
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 27, 2021
— Barstool SicEm (@BarstoolSicEm) January 30, 2021
Matthew Mayer was on a different level today pic.twitter.com/wmgDKzsMSb
— Barstool SicEm (@BarstoolSicEm) February 16, 2020
He’s also shown up in big games before. He played an important role on Baylor’s 2021 title team and scored 12 points in the Bears’ semifinal win over Houston.
Ironically, he almost helped knock out North Carolina in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. He scored 10 points against the Tar Heels as Baylor rallied from a double-digit deficit to send the game to overtime.
It’s worth noting that Mayer has entered the NBA Draft. He could choose to take that route rather than playing another season of college basketball. But if he does decide to follow Manek’s route to Chapel Hill, it could make for a seamless transition.