Jabari Parker announced his final five list of Stanford, BYU, Duke, Michigan St and Florida. Parker cut Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina in one fell swoop which caught a posters attention in the Keeping it Heel forum, when’s the last time those three powerhouses were eliminated at the same time?
Julius Randle, who is considered by most the #2 prospect in the 2013 class also cut UNC Tuesday. That was both bad and unexpected news for the Tar Heels who made Randle their priority in the class. The Parker announcement is the polar opposite of Randle’s, not surprising and not all that bad in my view.
Noah Vonleh, another super recruit just reclassified from the 2014 class to 2013. He named UNC as one of three programs pursuing him the hardest. Vonleh was the top target of Roy Williams and the Tar Heels in the 2014 class before his reclassification and he could be the saving grace now that he has moved to the 2013 class.
Parker was never a great possibility for Carolina, although they were apart of his top ten list, Duke and Michigan State were always the favorites here with Stanford and BYU with outside shots at landing his services. Roy advised Randle to be as upfront with as early as possible with the programs he didn’t see himself going to which ultimately led to him cutting down his list and eliminating both UNC and Duke from his list so that those programs could move on.
Spending time and resources coveting prospects you do not have a realistic chance at landing doesn’t do the program any good. UNC has offers out to Vonleh, Kennedy Meeks and Troy Williams with Isiah Hicks and Nate Britt committed. Moving on from Parker will allow them to focus squarely on Vonleh as the #1 priority and it also tells Williams that he is the only target among perimeter players left at this point.
I like the prospects of landing Vonleh better now with Randle out of the picture. Both versatile forwards who like to play the small forward position in addition to the power spot. Both players are versatile enough that they are not defined or held down by a position. Both are also smart enough to know that if they went to the same program, the chances of both of them being able to play some SF are next to none. Maybe with Randle out of the picture, Carolina looks more attractive to Vonleh.
Same principle with Troy Williams. UNC has an already crowded perimeter group and will have the same situation in 2013 even if a player or two decides to go pro after this season. Being the only perimeter target in the class means more playing time in 2013 and beyond. Williams couldn’t have liked the possibility of going to the same program as Jabari Parker who would clearly see much more playing time before Williams would.