Roy Williams got off to a hot start in the 2013 class with early commitments from power forward Isiah Hicks and point guard Nate Britt. North Carolina ranked #1 in class rankings for a very long time and still have one of the best classes so far in the country. How much longer that lasts is up to what happens in the next few months.
UNC looks pretty dug in with it’s offers in the class right now, despite having no commitments since last November. With offers out to big men Julius Randle and Kennedy Meeks, and perimeter prospects Troy Williams and Jabari Parker. Austin Nichols whom the Heels also had an offer out to recently cut his list and eliminated UNC.
Other players the Heels have recruited but did not offer have also cut Carolina. Wayne Seldnen recently cut his list down to six final teams and eliminated Carolina. Nick King made his decision known yesterday of a final four absent of UNC. Both players obviously got tired of waiting for an offer after keeping UNC on their lists for a long time with no formal offer.
The top priority of this class is #2 overall prospect PF Julius Randle. Randle and his high school coaches are high on UNC and have great relationships with Roy, but he is no slam dunk for Carolina, not by a long shot. Kentucky is the main contender in my view as Randle has been quoted several times in the last couple months talking about the possibility of a dream class in Lexington.
With the losses of Tyler Zeller and John Henson this season, and the expected loss of sophomore James Michael McAdoo to next years draft, the Heels need to restock inside. They must feel pretty good about both Randle and Kennedy Meeks, with Hicks in hand, Carolina needs two more bigs if they want to have sufficient depth over the next couple of years inside.
On the perimeter it looks like Carolina is okay if they strike out here, although it’s not ideal. UNC is swimming in perimeter depth in 2012 and no player is a slam dunk NBA prospect next season. The depth will continue through the 2013 season albeit potentially a bit lighter than the version we’re about to see this season.
The sheer depth on the perimeter this season may be a hindrance in the teams pursuit of perimeter stars in the 2013 class and yet another reason for the team to place focus on that area in 2014. UNC has two very good players in Isiah Hicks and Nate Britt in hand but it needs more if Roy Williams wants to field a national championship contender.
The last five offers Roy Williams has made have went to the class of 2014. The month of August has mostly been uneventful in terms of movement with top prospects. Expect that to change a little bit as we move into September. Even if Carolina doesn’t get another commitment before November, right now is crunch time and Roy Williams is all in.