UNC gets release for Padgett

According to sources close to the situation, North Carolina has officially entered the race for Kansas transfer David Padgett. Sources confirmed that "a few days ago" UNC formally requested a transfer release from KU for Padgett and received it Wednesday.

Padgett has already officially visited Louisville and UCLA -- and now UNC has permission to pursue the rising sophomore post player.

A source who wishes to remain anonymous said early Wednesday, "I think he'll be released today. North Carolina called and asked for the release. They want him bad."

Bill Grigsby, a commentator for the Kansas City Chiefs radio network, reportedly spoke with Kansas head coach Bill Self Wednesday morning at a golf tournament. He asked Self, "Where's [Padgett] going?" and Self replied - "North Carolina."

Padgett, a 6-foot-10 big man out of Reno, Nev., played in 31 games last season with 19 starts. He averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 19.2 minutes per contest. In addition, he shot 53.1 percent from the field and blocked a team-high 43 shots -- the second-most rejections by a KU freshman in school history.

He was the No. 4 prospect in America after his senior season in high school and signed with the Jayhawks when Roy Williams was still the head coach in Lawrence. Padgett's runner-up choice at the time was North Carolina.

Speculation about UNC's involvement with Padgett has run rampant since the announcement on April 15 that he was leaving the Jayhawks program. Previously it was thought that Kansas was not going to release the freshman to North Carolina.

According to NCAA rules, as a transfer Padgett would have to sit out a year and be eligible for the 2005-06 season.

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