Alabama transfer to join Heels

Tide forward will help inside

Staff writerMay 25, 2010 

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Alabama's Justin Knox (40) battles for position with Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins during the quarterfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

ANDY LYONS — Andy Lyons - Getty Images

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CORRECTION

The first name of the uncle of UNC transfer basketball player Justin Knox was incorrectly reported in a story published Tuesday on the Sports front. The former Alabama forward's uncle is Darien Knox.

****** Losing David and Travis Wear to unexpected transfers became less of a problem for North Carolina's basketball team on Monday night when Alabama transfer Justin Knox committed to the Tar Heels.

Knox, who has 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 Damien 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 today explaining his decision. Damien Knox said both finalists, North Carolina and Georgia Tech, made Justin feel like family on his visits, and he said UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson did an outstanding recruiting job.

Knox averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes a 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' departures had left North Carolina with just two scholarship players - John Henson and Tyler Zeller - as true low-post players.

In addition to providing a big, physical presence, Knox has a chance to be an asset to the program in the classroom. He was chosen the Southeastern Conference men's basketball scholar-athlete of the year as a sophomore.

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