As of about 4:00 PM this Monday afternoon, North Carolina guard Caleb Love has officially entered his name into the transfer portal.
Coming out of high school, Caleb Love was one of the most coveted prospects in the Class of 2020. According to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, he was a consensus five-star recruit and a Top 15 player in the nation as well as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Missouri.
In late 2019, he committed to the University of North Carolina soon after an official visit to the University of Louisville. Chris Mack was able to get such a highly talented player on campus amidst the IARP cloud but was unable to secure a commitment from the Saint Louis product.
It is encouraging to see that Louisville was pursuing him in his high school recruitment and could reconnect with him now that he is in the transfer portal. After three seasons in Chapel Hill, Love averaged 14.6 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game. Last season was his most impressive scoring season as he averaged 16.7 points per game.
One of Louisville’s top needs is a high-quality guard, and if he were to return to his former ACC foe, he would join Skyy Clark and Trentyn Flowers in the backcourt with a potential return of El Ellis. Other notable guards Louisville has reached out to in the portal are Khalif Battle, Reese Dixon-Waters, and Dayvion McKnight.
But, exploring the option of Caleb Love is most definitely worth it because of the caliber of player he is. A player of his caliber doesn’t become available every day and adding him in a backcourt with Skyy Clark would form one of the most elite backcourts in the ACC.
Before Caleb Love committed to North Carolina in 2019, he narrowed his top schools to six and Louisville was one of them.
Nearly four years ago, Caleb Love narrowed his college choices down to six schools and one of those schools was the University of Louisville. In an interview with Rivals’ Corey Evans, he had this to say about the Cardinals program:
"Louisville: “They have just said that they want to put the ball in my hands immediately and they don’t have a real point guard right now, I think that they have a grad-transfer (Lamarr Kimble), he is going to be a senior, so they want for me to come in and be that lead point guard and lead them to a national championship and they said they are going to help me get to be a one-and-done so that is what I am intrigued about.”"
Coming into a Division I basketball program with his level of talent, it made sense that he planned on becoming a one-and-done player. But, after three years at North Carolina and he has yet to declare for the NBA Draft and he is planning on attending another college.
When Caleb Love announced he was coming back for a third season in Chapel Hill, The Athletic’s Brendan Marks had this to say about his decision:
Marks covers the Tar Heels for The Athletic and for him to say that he needed to improve his draft stock to first-round status means that the production on the court didn’t live up to the hype around him coming out of high school. Especially because he mentioned Louisville would help him become a one-and-done player.
If he needs to continue to improve his draft stock and continue earning money through NIL, then one of his former school finalists would welcome him with open arms into the fold. He would be a massive addition to this new-look Louisville team and would elevate the guard position exponentially.