Power forward Anthony Bennett the seventh rated prospect in the 2012 class has yet to even take his recruiting visits yet alone commit to anywhere. The North Carolina Tar Heels are losing Tyler Zeller and John Henson to the NBA. Roy Williams went after senior transfer Alex Oriakhi the second he was granted his release from Connecticut. As it stands now, the Tar Heels are set to start James Michael McAdoo, a budding star and one of two freshman Joel James or Brice Johnson inside, with sophomore Desmond Hubert having an outside shot. Which begs the question, why doesn’t UNC throw it’s hat into the Anthony Bennett race?
Over the course of the off season I’ll support the reasons why I feel like Carolina will be vastly underrated this upcoming season. One of those reasons, although the perimeter is obviously much deeper and should be the strength of this team. The big guys will be just fine inside. Will the additions of Johnson and James give the Tar Heels as much as Zeller and Henson did? Of course not, but McAdoo sure looks like he’s going to be a star. I’ve followed the incoming freshman duo for a couple years now ever since they’ve been on the Heels radar. More than anything, they are great examples of how we evaluate talent at UNC. The improvements in both their physical makeup and their games, especially offensively have been considerable in the last year.
My trust and faith in Roy and his talent evaluation also indicates to me that the Heels may need more inside given the pursuit of Oriakhi. Typically jumping in this late in the game isn’t a very good strategy. Kids that haven’t made their minds up by now at least have a very short list and have had extensive visits with schools, too dug in this far along for UNC to come waltzing in. But that’s not the case with Bennett. He had home visits in Charlotte with Florida, Oregon and UNLV and is also considering Kentucky and Washington. He’s obviously not in a hurry to make a decision, there looks to be room for Carolina to sneak in and at least get a look from Bennett.
Landing Anthony Bennett one of the top players in the class would be huge for UNC. Like I said above, ultimately I believe the Heels will be fine. But they will also be extremely thin inside. Behind McAdoo, Hubert and the two freshman, UNC is looking at walk on Jackson Simmons. Again, they weren’t going after Oriakhi for nothing, they could definitely use some more help in the paint. I say bring the kid in, take him to the Carolina Museum and see if you can’t sell him on the idea that we couldn’t offer him earlier because we had no idea everybody was going to bolt and we don’t overextend ourselves with scholarships. Roy has just enough with four big men set to be in Carolinas rotation, an injury could be devastating, just like the point guard position was this season.
So Tar Heel Nation, do you think the Heels should be after Anthony Bennett or should we stand pat with what we have? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section (for help click HERE)