The sky is falling! Roy Williams has lost his recruiting touch! The University of North Carolina does not get the recruits they go after anymore because they are not an elite destination anymore! Kentucky and their head coach Jon Calipari is a much more attractive destination and Coach Cal is outsmarting and out recruiting Roy! These are all things I’ve heard over and over again when discussing recruiting with fans of UNC. They are all wrong, here’s the reality of the situation.
The sky is not falling, UNC is still one of the elite destinations in college basketball, Carolina is still the best college basketball program in the nation. So what’s the reason why prospects such as Austin Nichols, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle have eliminated UNC from consideration? Why hasn’t Troy Williams and Kennedy Meeks committed yet? Why is Noah Vonleh’s high school coach saying that UNC is not one of the top four schools gaining his attention right now?
Simple, UNC cannot guarantee kids the biggest thing that they want when choosing a program right now, playing time. Roy Williams does not build a program the same way Calipari does. He builds depth by mixing players who project to stay in school 3-4 years along with a few sprinkled in top prospects who could potentially leave after a year or two.
Even in a “rebuilding” year like this upcoming season, the Heels have plenty of depth. When most programs lose four first round picks to the NBA Draft, they need to start all over, not North Carolina. When prospects in the 2013 and 2014 classes look at UNC as a potential destination, this is what they see.
PG – Marcus Paige(So.), Nate Britt(Fr.), & Luke Davis (Jr.)
SG – Leslie McDonald(Sr.) & PJ Hairston(Jr.)
SF – Reggie Bullock(Sr.) & JP Tokoto(So.)
PF – Brice Johnson(So) & Isiah Hicks(Fr.)
C – Joel James(So.) & Desmond Hubert(Jr.)
The lineup above assumes that sophomore James Michael McAdoo will not be back for his junior season. That’s a pretty big assumption, McAdoo very well could become one of the top players in college basketball this season and head off to the NBA. He also could end up with an injury or a disappointing season and come back to Chapel Hill for his junior season.
Prospects look at the roster above and they don’t see opportunity. Carolina fans are assuming that McAdoo will leave and that after a successful season, a couple others will leave along with him. It’s foolish to expect prospects to assume that and wager their futures on the unknown. A program like Kentucky can offer guaranteed playing time to several prospects each and every year, other programs without the depth that Carolina enjoys can also offer prospects a comfortable spot in their rotation.
Lastly, Carolina fans need to realize that not only is this team a very good team especially for one considered in a “rebuilding” phase, they also have two very good prospects already committed in 2013.