Jae'Lyn Withers Announces Decision on UNC Tar Heels Future

Senior forward Jae'Lyn Withers announced he'll return to UNC for the 2024-25 season as the Tar Heels remain an NCAA Tournament favorite.
Jae'Lyn Withers will return to the Tar Heels for the 2024-25 season
Jae'Lyn Withers will return to the Tar Heels for the 2024-25 season / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Tar Heels got a piece of good news on Thursday when senior forward Jae'Lyn Withers announced he'd utilize his extra year of eligibility and return to North Carolina for one more season.

Withers averaged 12.4 minutes per game in 2023-24 with 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds a contest on 53.5% shooting. UNC is already returning several key guard players, including reigning ACC Player of the Year RJ Davis, but were thin in the frontcourt with Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram both leaving the program.

Even if Withers can't fill the shoes of those two players, he can still be an impactful player with four years of college experience already under his belt.

UNC News: F Jae'Lyn Withers Returns to Tar Heels for 2024-25 Season

Hubert Davis still has work to do to flesh out the roster. That being said, Withers returning is one less spot to fill for a team currently tied for the fourth-best odds to win the NCAA Tournament (+1600) at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Withers' best game of the season was likely in UNC's tournament-opening win against No. 16 Wagner. He had 16 points on just seven shots with 10 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season. By adding three assists and a steal, Withers showcased the kind of versatility Tar Heels fans hope to see with an expanded role.

The first three years of Withers' career were spent at Louisville, where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his freshman year. He hasn't reached those numbers since, but projects as a player who can stuff the box score when given the opportunity.

It's unclear whether or not Withers will earn a starting role, though he should be expected to at least compete for one as we approach next season.

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