Forward Garrison Brooks, who started in more than 100 games for North Carolina over the past four seasons, announced on Thursday on his Instagram account that he is transferring to Mississippi State.
Brooks’ father, George, is an assistant coach on the Bulldogs staff and also played there from 1992-94. Brooks originally signed with the Bulldogs as a senior in high school, but then asked out of his commitment and was later signed by the Tar Heels.
Brooks is taking advantage of a NCAA waiver that did not count last season against his eligibility. The 6-foot-10 native of Lafayette, Ala., was named the ACC’s preseason Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring at 18.8 points in conference-only games, finishing second in rebounding (9.0) and shooting 53.5 from the field as a junior.
Brooks was third on the team this season with 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
His senior year for the Tar Heels did not produce big numbers, but he was viewed as a leader just the same. Brooks once asked coach Roy Williams to stay out of the starting lineup so it would not appear as if freshman guard Caleb Love was being singled out when he did not start.
Brooks’ decision to transfer currently leaves a huge void for new coach Hubert Davis in the frontcourt. Rising junior Armando Bacot could possibly return, but he is seeking NBA feedback and if he likes what he hears he could decide to turn pro. Freshman forward Day’Ron Sharpe is putting his name in the NBA draft and will not come back. And just this week, freshman center Walker Kessler announced he is transferring to Auburn.