Caleb Love is headed to the Pac-12.
Love, North Carolina's leading scorer last season, announced Tuesday that he is transferring to Arizona. Love put his name into the transfer portal in late March following three seasons with the Tar Heels. He initially committed to Michigan, but that fell through reportedly due to an admissions issue.
That snag with Michigan put Love back on the market and he eventually landed with Tommy Lloyd and the Wildcats following a weekend visit. Love becomes the third transfer addition of the offseason for the Wildcats. Arizona also added ex-Alabama guard Jaden Bradley and former San Diego State forward Keshad Johnson.
The three transfers are expected to be major contributors for the Wildcats, who also return Pelle Larsson and Kylan Boswell in the backcourt and Oumar Ballo at center.
Arizona was in pursuit of a transfer guard after Kerr Kriisa transferred to West Virginia and Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard chose Gonzaga. It was a winding few months in the transfer market for the Wildcats, but they were ultimately able to land a commitment from Love, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Caleb Love led UNC in scoring, but was volume shooter
Love averaged 16.7 points per game last season at North Carolina, but did so on just 37.8% from the field, 29.9% from 3 and while averaging 15.1 field goal attempts per game. Love took 88 more shots than any of his teammates and also struggled with turnovers, but there’s no denying his ability to put the ball in the basket.
Love, who holds career averages of 14.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, was an integral part of North Carolina’s run to the national championship game in 2022 as a No. 8 seed. Love hit a massive 3-pointer in the final minute of UNC’s win over rival Duke in the Final Four. That game ended up being the last in the legendary coaching career of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Notably, Arizona is scheduled to face Duke in Durham next season on Nov. 10.
Love ended up averaging 18.8 points per game during that NCAA tournament run, including a 30-point performance in the Sweet 16 win over UCLA and 28 points in the historic win over Duke.
UNC went on to lose in the national title game to Kansas. Rather than declare for the NBA draft, Love announced a return for his junior season and the Tar Heels were projected to be one of the best teams in the nation. Instead, UNC went 20-13 overall and missed the NCAA tournament altogether despite returning four starters. In the process, UNC became the first preseason No. 1 team to miss the tournament since the field expanded in 1985.
Love announced he was entering the transfer portal on March 27. Less than two weeks later, he pledged to Michigan. However, a few weeks ago it was widely reported that Love would not be able to suit up for the Wolverines. CBS reported that Love “did not have the adequate amount of transferable credits to easily clear the admissions bar at Michigan.”
That put Love back on the transfer market and Arizona quickly pursued and landed his services.
Arizona went 28-7 during the 2022-23 season, finishing second in the Pac-12 regular season standings before winning the conference tournament. The Wildcats earned a No. 2 seed but were upset by No. 15 seed Princeton in the first round. Princeton advanced to the Sweet 16 while Arizona was left reeling and looking to reconstruct its roster heading into the 2023-24 campaign. Love will likely be a key part of that.