Content provided by KIH Recruiting Insider, John Finlayson.
What a big week for North Carolina recruiting on the basketball front. This week will be dedicated to Roy Williams and his staff’s recruitment efforts.
On Friday night UNC landed the commitment of the number two center in the country with Kennedy Meeks (highlight reel of the week). Meeks at 6-9, 275 is a big body that will secure the paint and be a dominant force when it comes to rebounding the ball. Meeks also has the best hands of any big man in the country. He is a natural passer and has great touch around the basket. With a big man like Meeks inside with his rebounding and passing ability, look for Meeks to hit guards open for three with the outlet pass as well as being able to catch passes inside for a layup or dunk attempt. To paint a broad picture for you, he’s built like Sean May and his passes (for a big man) like Kendall Marshall. Meeks is a big win for the Tar Heels and makes their class very strong coming into 2013.
With the commitment of Meeks, he joins Isaiah Hicks (6-8, 210) the #9 power forward in the country and Nate Britt (6-1, 165) the #11 point guard in the country. Those three make a great class, but the Heels are still in the mix for top prospect Andrew Wiggins. We all know how good this kid is and we also know how many schools want him. Kentucky and Florida State are the presumed leaders but with Kentucky already having star players Andrew and Aaron Harrison and James Young committed, I can’t imagine that being appealing to a guy looking to contribute a lot of minutes. Regardless of Kentucky’s depth all the experts still say he will start over anyone at the position and Coach Calipari seems to get anyone he wants which means that you cannot count the Wildcats out even though I think him going there is unlikely. Florida State doesn’t seem like a program that Wiggins will end up at. Good players like Wiggins want to have a legitimate Championship run and Florida State’s defensive minded system isn’t the best fit for Wiggins who is a certain one and done. Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse, and UNC are the other schools that are in serious contention. Not much has been said by Wiggins on this list, but coaches have mentioned that he is open to other schools. At this point, Wiggins will not make a decision till the spring, but I think the Heels have as good a chance as any of landing him.
People are speculating the possible class for 2014. I believe that Justin Jackson right now is the best chance of committing to UNC early. He has been coming to UNC basketball camp since he was a child and even went to late night with Roy in October. Jahlil Okafor is probably the second best chance of coming to North Carolina. He was very impressed by all of the big men UNC has produced and says he enjoys talking to Roy Williams. Roy also said Jahlil is one of two people from Chicago to have his personal office number with Michael Jordan. The only concern with Jahlil is the package deal with Tyus Jones. I feel like Jahlil fits in to the UNC system and Jones is more a fit for the Duke system. Joel Berry is the other PG UNC has offered who claims he has been a lifelong Tar Heel fan, but hasn’t made any indication of where he stands. I would like to see UNC get Dante Exum. The top player in Australia is a 6-4 combo guard who is already connected to the UNC family. Dante’s father Cecil Exum was born in North Carolina and played along side Michael Jordan at UNC for the 1982 championship. He is a lanky athlete who can handle the ball and play solid defense. Tyus Jones mentioned he was the hardest player he guarded recently in his blog. Otherwise in 2014 it is wide open for Roy Williams.
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Highlight Reel of the Week: Kennedy Meeks