Things have been falling into place nicely for the North Carolina Tar Heels on the recruiting front over the last month. Although the team has not secured anymore commitments, the landscape has shifted pretty dramatically and in my view it favors UNC in almost every single way.
I’ve received many questions about the Noah Vonleh reclassification and how that will affect Carolinas recruiting strategy, specifically if it hurts or helps the status of top target Julius Randle. While many have started to believe that Randle is favoring Kentucky, I don’t believe that is true at all. UNC had a great visit with Randle, one that he admitted topped the one by UK. Randle is no slam dunk that many thought he once was, but if I were forced to bet my own money, I put Randle in Carolina Blue.
Vonleh meanwhile lists UNC in the top three programs going after him the hardest. Vonleh was the first confirmed offer made by UNC when he was still apart of the 2014 class. Some feel his reclassification complicates things, I believe it gives UNC a nice nudge in the process, even if Noah doesn’t end up playing his college basketball in Chapel Hill.
Randle has openly flirted with the idea of a “dream class” at Kentucky, with Vonleh now a real possibility for the Tar Heels in 2013, he could have his dream class at UNC if he wants it. On the other side of the coin, Vonleh’s game is similar to that of Randle’s and Julius may feel more inclined to make his decision before Vonleh, especially if the Tar Heels land another commitment in the class.
I’ve also heard a lot of talk about the number of scholarships left and the reclassification of Vonleh and the potential future reclassification of Andrew Wiggins, could hurt the Heels. That’s not something I’m buying either. Yes the Heels on paper look like they have a full roster in 2013, but it won’t go down that way. James Michael McAdoo will not come back for his junior season, the fact that he flirted with the NBA Draft after his less than stellar freshman campaign is all the proof you need.
Anybody thinking the Tar Heels are going to bring back all three of their top perimeter stars (Reggie Bullock, PJ Hairston and Leslie McDonald). They all won’t go pro but at least one or two will have a breakout season and declare for the draft, count on it. As it stands now, the Heels can bring in two more scholarship players if everyone comes back. I’m betting on at least four incoming freshman in the 2013 class with a good possibility that number will grow to five.
With PF Isiah Hicks and PG Nate Britt already in hand, I expect the Heels to bring in one, maybe two more big men, leaving open the possibility that BOTH Randle and Vonleh could become Tar Heels, that’s not what I expect to happen, but the window is open. I also see Roy Williams bringing in a perimeter player in the class.
I’ll discuss that as well as some class of 2014 analysis in Part II later today.