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Top hoops transfer target Love heading to Arizona

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love, the best available player in the portal, announced his commitment to Arizona on Tuesday.

Love, who visited the Wildcats’ campus over the weekend, initially committed to Michigan after leaving Chapel Hill. However, he decommitted two weeks ago after an admissions issue related to credits transferring.

The St. Louis native will start immediately in the backcourt for coach Tommy Lloyd and Arizona. For the past few weeks, the Wildcats have been in pursuit of a dynamic guard who could create his own shot, and Love should fill that role. He will step in alongside returnees Pelle Larsson and Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley in the backcourt.

Arizona also recently added San Diego State transfer Keshad Johnson, one of the best defensive players in the portal. He will help replace All-American Azuolas Tubelis in the frontcourt in a smaller, more versatile lineup.

A 6-foot-4 junior guard, Love averaged a career-high 16.7 points last season, shooting 37.8% from the field and contributing 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

The former five-star recruit boosted his stock during North Carolina’s run to the national championship game in 2022, averaging 18.8 points in six NCAA tournament games. He scored 30 points and made six 3-pointers against UCLA in the Sweet 16, then had 28 points against Duke in the Final Four.

Instead of entering the NBA draft, Love returned to the Tar Heels for another season, alongside three other starters from the 2022 title-game team. But after opening the season ranked No. 1, North Carolina proceeded to finish 20-13 and miss the NCAA tournament.

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