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UNC Basketball Recruiting Tracker Updated

Head spinning from all the offers, decisions, non decisions, transfers, it’s maddening. We’re keeping track of it all right here at Keeping It Heel.

Although it may appear that this is the off season, it’s far from that. In fact, this is one of the most exciting times of the year. Tis the season of recruiting. It’s July AAU season a historically hot time for college basketball recruiting. North Carolina coach Roy Williams and his staff has been extremely active since the season ended for Carolina.

Click HERE for our other recruiting tracker, breaking down the commits.  Thanks to the Tar Heel Times for providing us with the video highlights used.

Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

The Tar Heels have set their sites on the next two classes 2013 and 2014. This tracker will provide updates on who the Heels are looking at and track each players recruiting journey.

Roy Williams is aiming for a big haul in the 2013 class. UNC has already received commitments from point guard Nate Britt and power forward Isiah Hicks. While both Britt and Hicks were considered top 25 prospects when they committed to come to Chapel Hill. Each has improved their game tremendously since. Roy has already shown he can be a visionary on the recruiting scene.

Now it’s time to start reeling in the rest of the 2013 class and begin the process with the 2014 class.

Tracker Updated: July 17th

Class of 2013

SF Troy Williams Five Star Recruit 6-6, 190 Hampton, VA

Troy Williams is the nephew of AAU legend Boo Williams. For much of his basketball life he’s played with a chip on his shoulder, trying to establish himself outside of being just Boo’s nephew. Williams burst onto the national scene as a sophomore after playing a limited role his freshman season. A great scorer who can create his own shot anywhere on the court whenever he wants. Williams also is great at utilizing his length in the lane to finish at the basket. Very athletic and quick down the floor, paired with his finishing skills make him perfect for North Carolinas high octane offense. Williams is a streaky shooter who has range when his shot is on, he could stand to become a more consistent jump shooter.

Troy Williams has pushed his decision to an unknown date and has added four schools to his list. Carolina is still in the mix along with Kentucky.   Williams now says that UK and UNC are no longer in the lead for his services.  It is anyone’s guess at this point where Troy will land.

SF Jabari Parker 6-7, 215 Five Star Recruit Chicago, IL (BYU, Depaul, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas St, Kentucky, Michigan St, Missouri, UNC, Ohio St, Utah, Washington) Parker’s list is long with 13 schools still with a shot at the top player in the class. Parker has given no indication of when he will make his decision. He isn’t expected to make one soon and no news of any plans to cut his list have surfaced either. I have heard Parker lists off his teams in some interviews and the last one I heard about a month ago. I did not hear Duke or Depaul in that interview but listed them here because his official list on every national recruiting list still has both teams for now.

Finding something to criticize is a tough task when breaking down Parkers game. An extremely polished all around player, Parker has the look of a player ready to come in and dominate. Besides being the best player in the class, Parker’s year by year improvement has been marveled by scouts. Since entering HS, Parker has defined his body and appears in great shape, a knock against him as a freshman.

Parker can score and create for others anywhere on the court. He’s extremely explosive and likes to create off the dribble most in the half court. He’s terrific in the open court and likes to get out and run the break.

Parker listed UNC in his top 10 and plans to decide by November.  Parker’s parents have kept media and coaches at a distance.  They prohibited coaches from calling or texting their son and shut down his media access for a long period of time after he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  SI called Parker the next LeBron James though some view Andrew Wiggins of Canada as the best prep player in the world.

PF Julius Randle 6-9, 225 Five Star Recruit Plano, TX (Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, UNC, NC St, Ohio St, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas)  At 6-9, 225 you would normally pencil him in as a power forward and move on. His face up game resembles current Tar Heel James Michael McAdoo, his tweener status and three point shooting reminds me of Marvin Williams.

Roy Williams has been recruiting Randle for a long time and has a very close relationship with him. With Isiah Hicks already in the fold, Randle is the next player I see committing to Carolina. Randle played with join Hicks, Nate Britt and Troy Williams June 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Randle recently interviewed with Inside Carolina and spoke fondly of UNC once again. He revealed that he recently visited Chapel Hill during a break in the season. His coach also gushed about Roy Williams during his interview. Roy Williams continues to push hard for Randle and I’m still personally convinced Randle will be a Tar Heel before the summer is out.

Randle reiterated in comments about his upcoming visits that he could really see himself in Carolina Blue.  Randle remains the Tar Heels top target in the 2013 class.  The #2 rated prospect was the best player on the USA U-18 team that recently took home gold and he regularly dominated the competition.  He’s improved his range and jump shot and has become a much more efficient player with his back to the basket.  Randle has expressed a desire to make his college decision before his high school season.  But right now he’s just starting the process.

I really don’t have any type of list right now,” Randle told SNY.tv recently. “At the end of the summer I’ll probably sit down and see what colleges I’m really interested in and see where I want to take officials and go from there.”

The 6-foot-9 Randle lists Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Baylor and Texas as schools with mutual interest in him.

SF Nick King 6-7, 210 Five Star Recruit Memphis, TN (Arkansas, Auburn, Georgetown, Marquette, Memphis, Miami, Mississippi, UNC, Oklahoma St, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia) King has received some attention from Carolina, but he has not been a priority of the team and does not have an offer.

King is a great spot up shooter with consistent range and a sweet stroke. A solid defender who could use some work on his handle and his mid range game. King also needs to work on creating offense off the dribble. He thrives when fed the ball in spots he’s comfortable in but sometimes struggles finding his own offense.

Speculation ran ramped that King would be the next offer. With Troy Williams pushing his decision and adding schools to his list. UNC has yet to add a perimeter player in the 2013 class, King a top 10 prospect could be the perfect fit. Carolina has looked at him extensively this summer but has yet to offer.  I suspect that Wayne Selden is the guy that Roy Williams will offer next, not King, whom so many fans want in Chapel Hill.

SG Keith Frazier 6-5, 180 Five Star Recruit Irving, TX (Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Florida St, Memphis, Missouri, UNC, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA) Frazier hasn’t received an official offer from UNC yet.   As of late the interest from UNC seems to have cooled.  Roy Williams has been focusing more on big men in the class of 2013 and players like Troy Williams, Jabari Parker and Wayne Selden have received far more attention than has Frazier.

Frazier is a big time shooter with excellent three point range. His athleticism is also a big time strength, Frazier can create his own shot and is terrific finishing at the basket. Can sometimes settle for too many jump shots, to take his game to the next level he needs to get to the basket more and utilize his athleticism. A decent defender but far from elite, he could stand to bulk up a little bit and work on his fundamentals, especially his lateral footwork on the defensive end.

I personally like the idea of Frazier in Chapel Hill versus King. King is rated a little higher but that doesn’t mean much when all is said and done most of the time. More than likely they will be similar players. At least up until this point, UNC has shown more attention to King in the recruiting process. They have looked at Frazier who has kept them on his list so anything is possible.

PF Austin Nichols 6-9, 205 Four Star Recruit Memphis, TN (Auburn, Butler, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Mississippi, Missouri, UNC, Oklahoma St, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech)  Duke, Tennessee, Auburn and Louisville have made an offer to Nichols.

Nichols is a skilled big man with a solid mid range jump shot and athleticism. He has excellent footwork and can pass well out of the double team. He needs to put on a lot of weight, at just 205lbs, he’ll get pushed around at the next level. How he performs this AAU season and during his senior year will is key. I see Nichols as a bit of a project coming into college but a very worthwhile one at that.

Nichols was officially offered by Carolina on April 30th.   Nichols father recently came out and listed UNC as one of the five schools showing his son the most attention in the recruiting process.  Duke whom Nichols had called his “dream school” early in the process was not listed amongst those schools.  UNC is going after several big men in the 2013 class pretty hard and Nichols’ stock is rising as he has a terrific AAU season.  Nichols was one of the last cuts of the USA team but observers said he played very well in camp.

C Kennedy Meeks 6-9, 275 Four Star Recruit Hyattsville, MD (Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgetown, NC State [and] Louisville” )

Meeks was offered by UNC in late April after they watched him at the EYBL event.  Like Joel James last season, Meeks is going to have to prove he can drop some weight and keep it off. At 275lbs the concern for Meeks on a team like Carolina would be his stamina. Right now I’m not 100% confident Meeks could play major minutes for Roy Williams. I had the same concerns last AAU season about Joel James and he proved he could get into shape by dropping close to 50 lbs. Meeks doesn’t need to lose quite that much but he certainly needs to drop a few waist sizes.

If he can drop the weight, Meeks could be a monster. A terrific rebounder, he’s great at creating space and taking over his area of the paint. He’s already developed an excellent low post game and his style of play translates well not just to the college level but maybe more so on the pro level. His athleticism and ability to run the floor are severely limited by his weight and wide frame. He looks like a football player on the court.

Meeks recently trimmed his list and has said that UNC is going after him hard.  He has looked very good this AAU season and has surprised scouts with his passing skills.  He’s working hard on his conditioning and it’s starting to show.  Meeks still has a long road ahead and needs to work hard if he’s going to be an impact player at the next level.

C BeeJay Anya 6-9, 275 Four Star Recruit Hyattsville, MD (Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke, Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas)

Anya has offers from everyone on his list with the exception of Carolina. Anya is an interesting player, his skill set is attractive in that he’s a true low post scorer with great hands and an advanced post up game. A very good rebounder with long arms who defends pretty well.

The knocks on Anya are concerning. His work ethic has been questioned by more than a few. His athleticism and ability to run the floor are also major concerns. I’m not too sure Anya’s style fits UNC very well. He’s not all that tall (6-8 or 6-9 depending on who you listen to) and he can’t really run the floor. Roy Williams history doesn’t have many, if any, players recruited with known work ethic problems. In my view, Anya is on the Heels radar but don’t expect an offer unless he proves the critics wrong in more than one area, especially his work ethic.

Anya recently narrowed his list to six, and Carolina remains despite no official offer. Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke, Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas.  Still without an offer yet from UNC, Anya is amongst a group of big men Carolina has looked at, but is likely waiting to make an offer.  With offers to Meeks, Nichols and Randle, Roy Williams likely wants to wait on some decisions before he makes his next offer.

Johnathan Williams III

6’8”, 208 lbs. is the #17 ranked player in the nation and #5 power forward.   Williams currently has offers from Arkansas, Florida, Memphis, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas with interest from Carolina and Kentucky amongst others.

Williams is a very interesting prospect.  Very similar to Randle, the southpaw big can face up like a guard with an exceptional handle.  Many have compared Williams versatility to that of Lamar Odom.  Williams can initiate the offense as a point forward, comfortable pushing the ball in transition and creating for his teammates in the half court.

Williams’ game is very similar to #2 overall prospect and probable superstar Julius Randle.  Although Williams isn’t nearly as polished of a prospect as Randle, he may be even more versatile.  But those similarities, along with having three offers to 2013 big men are the main reasons why Williams has yet to receive an offer from UNC.

Carolina has stayed in touch with Williams for a while now and have been in attendance at a couple of his game over the last year or so.  Interest is mutual as Williams who does not necessarily have an official list, has mentioned Chapel Hill as a possibility throughout his recruiting process.

Wayne Selden

Selden is a very powerful player who is relentless attacking the basket.  He’s great at using his body to absorb contact and finish at the basket, he gets to the free throw line a lot and shoots a high percentage.  An efficient offensive player who takes high percentage shots and can create from anywhere on the floor.

Selden has a good motor and is very good in transition. With offers out to Troy Williams and Jabari Parker along with a stacked perimeter, UNC is in no hurry to make anymore offers to perimeter players in the 2013 class.  They have showed more interest recently in Selden than other perimeter players like Nick King or Keith Frazier. 

Personally I think Selden would be an excellent fit in Carolina.  His aggressive offensive style would blend well with Roy Williams high octane offense.  I would prefer both Parker and Williams in Chapel Hill over Selden but if they decide to go elsewhere, Selden would be a great alternative. Selden is currently weighing offers from Pittsburgh, Boston College, UConn, Providence, Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, Florida, UCLA, Virginia and Kansas with some interest from Duke and North Carolina.

Jermaine Lawrence

Roy Williams was in attendance for the Reebok Breakout Challenge that featured Lawrence but has yet to make an offer. Lawrence is rated as a top 20 prospect and a top ten big man in the class of 2013.  Lawrence has freakish athleticism and runs the floor almost as well as any big in the class.  He looks like a terrific fit for UNCs up-tempo, fast break offense.  He possesses tremendous leaping ability and rises to the rim in a hurry. Defensively he plays the passing lanes well and is a very good help defender.

He does a good job of carving out his area in the paint.  He needs to put on a little bulk for the next level and refine his post game a little bit.  His half court offensive game has exploded over the last year where he has a great shot.  With three point range and the touch on his game and ball handling skills he reminds me more of Kevin Durant than a traditional big man and may be better served playing the perimeter than inside the post.

Lawrence is considering offers from: Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kansas St, Louisville, Manhattan, Marquette, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, SMU, St. Johns, Syracuse and UNLV.  He has received interest from many other schools who have yet to offer including: Baylor, Indiana, Iowa St, Miami, UNC, UCLA, Virginia and West Virginia.

Marcus Lee

Lee is a 6-9, 220 power forward/center out of Antioch, CA was recently quoted as saying that North Carolina along with several other teams are going hard after him. Lee is a great athlete who can run the floor as well as any big man in the country.  He’s overflowing with upside but is very raw right now and isn’t a player you would look to, to make a big impact his freshman season.

With exceptional length to go along with his athleticism he specializes now as a shot blocker and help defender. He reminds me of Brice Johnson a little bit, he needs to develop a post up game, right now, he doesn’t have a go to move with his back to the basket.  A terrific finisher who’s a quick riser, could use some strength at the next level.

 

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