Will Roy Williams Add To The 2012 Class it’s hard to say and one that I’ve had to go to war with recently on Twitter. Ever since Nerlens Noel dropped the Tar Heels from his list and cancelled and previously scheduled visit out of thin air. The perception has been that Roy will not add to UNCs 2012 recruiting class. I believe that could be wrong. The trio of Kendall Marshall, John Henson and Harrison Barnes made very quick decisions to go pro. The Final 4 hasn’t even started yet for crying out loud. It’s doubtful that Roy knew much earlier than the rest of us what they were doing. Sure he probably had a better feeling than us, his perspective is much better but it’s not like he could go on a recruiting frenzy anyway. I’d hate to think with the way the team stands now that Roy is going to stand pat.
With just ten scholarship players on the roster counting the four incoming freshman. The Heels have three to give and there’s no reason to think Roy is only looking at the 2013 and 2014 classes right now. UNC was one of the first known schools to contact UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi. Looking at the roster it only makes sense that Carolina add depth at two positions. Point guard and power forward. With freshman Marcus Paige coming in as the starting PG now that Marshall is gone, the Heels will again have just one pure floor general. Returning senior shooting guard Dexter Strickland will once again be the top backup at the point for Carolina. The Heels will have a very Stillman White like third point guard in preferred walk on transfer Luke Davis who sat out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will serve as the all cases emergency PG much like White was supposed to do for UNC this year, until that role became primary backup, then starter.
Inside the Tar Heels need to add some depth immediately. With the departures of Henson and senior Tyler Zeller, UNC will be thin down low, a reality that hasn’t been true in Chapel Hill in quite some time. Keep in mind, all this is assuming that James Michael McAdoo comes out of this home weekend with his mind still where his father thinks it is, returning to Carolina for his sophomore season. Landing Alex Oriakhi who was a five star recruit coming out of high school and had a stellar sophomore season before taking a lesser role as junior would be huge. Oriakhi is a very good defender and rebounder, he could help anchor the Heels defense and steady them on the boards. Maybe more importantly, he would provide them with a senior leader on the floor to help develop the young McAdoo and freshman Brice Johnson and Joel James.
Adding to the 2012 class isn’t about whether or not the class is good or not. It is very good as it stands right now. PG Marcus Paige is the best PG in the entire class and will have no problem starting from day one. Brice Johnson and Joel James are both ready to play defense and rebound. Both will need development running the floor and posting up offensively. JP Tokoto may be in the middle of a clogged rotation at the wing positions. With several returning players at both the shooting guard and small forward positions, like PJ Hairston this year, Tokoto may have a hard time getting on the floor his freshman year. In time, each of these four star recruits should shine for Carolina. UNC should have a good team again assuming McAdoo comes back, I think he’ll be a star. Look for bigger and better things from Reggie Bullock, PJ Hairston, and Desmond Hubert this season.
But despite all the potential and promise one fact remains. The Tar Heels learned a harsh reality by not having enough natural point guards on the roster this season. They are in the same exact position this year. Paige may be great, Strickland may be healthy all year, Luke Davis may prove to be a solid player. Or it might come crashing down and UNC could be caught with its pants down again. Same problem with the interior. Even with McAdoo and Oriakhi, James and Johnson aren’t ready to be the sole backups just yet. The Tar Heels don’t need to panic, they just need some reinforcements.