Head spinning from all the offers, decisions, non decisions, transfers, players reclassifying, adding and cutting from their list, it’s maddening. We’re keeping track of it all right here at Keeping It Heel.
Tracker Updated: January 14th
The focus of the Tar Heels 2014 class is to stack up on perimeter players. Without a commit from any wing position players in the 2013 class and only J.P. Tokoto in the 2012 group the program will be down to just one in 2014 from the current roster giving incoming freshman who play the shooting guard or small forward spots a good chance at early playing time and even a starting position.
Class of 2014
PG Tyus Jones 6-0, 175 Apple Valley, MN Jones is rated as the #1 PG in the class and is a consensus five star prospect.
Jones may be a tough get for Carolina who has Marcus Paige and Nate Britt already committed in the 2012 and 2013 classes. Meaning Jones would likely be looking at a role off Carolinas bench as a freshman, something he may not want to do as the top point in the class.
I love Jones’ game, when I watch him, I can’t help thinking about Tony Parker the entire time. He’s very mature and has a high basketball IQ and makes very few mistakes on the floor. Not a big time scorer and he doesn’t wow you with his athleticism on the court, he’s the perfect, steady leader who does it all on the court. Jones was offered by Carolina on August 3rd.
Jahlil Okafor and Theo Pinson joined Jones for a quick visit to Chapel Hill on October 20th and Roy has since been to Minnesota to watch Jones square off against Rashad Vaughn in early January.
PF Trey Lyles
Lyles has insisted that Indiana is still #1 on his list as he opens things back up. Kentucky, Syracuse, Illinois, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA, Duke and Georgetown according to sources, are all after the Indianapolis top prospect. Lyles is a very advanced player for his age and has a very diverse and well rounded game.
Lyles can face up and take it to the basket himself and has a nice mid range jumpshot from 17 feet in. He’s also a terrific traditional big man in the post and a great mix of post moves. An outstanding athlete, the 6-9 Lyles often leads the break and even sets up the offense in the half court for his high school team.
Lyles hosted UNC on an in home visit on September 19th but since his recruitment has been cold on the Tar Heels front. UNC has yet to offer the talented Lyles.
SG Theo Pinson 6-5, 180 Greensboro, NC
Pinson is a great talent on the court with a lot of versatility. An excellent mid range shooter with range, Pinson is a consistent scorer and can fill it up in a variety of ways. A very good ball handler who can lead the break and create shots for himself and teammates. Pinson also thrives getting to and attacking the basket.
He needs to bulk up a bit and tighten up his game on the defensive end to thrive at the college level. A consensus five star prospect the local prospect was offered a scholarship in July by Roy Williams.
As noted above, Pinson joined Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor in a visit to UNC on October 20th. Many believe Pinson is Duke bound citing his childhood ties to the program. While that may be true three of his last five visits have been to UNC (9/29, 10/20 and 1/10). UNC will look to go heavy with perimeter players in this class and Pinson has been a top target all along.
SF Justise Winslow 6-6, 210 Houston, TX
Winslow is the number 2 rated SF in the 2014 class, very explosive to the rim he is an advanced ball handler that gets to the rim in a hurry. He runs the floor well and can lead the break himself, unique skills for his size with a high basketball IQ. Winslow is a good fit in Carolina and despite his advanced skills he still has a lot of upside. Justise is yet another lefty that has drawn Carolinas attention. Winslow has an offer from UNC and is one of several players who received an offer from Carolina this July.
Since being offered in July, not much has emerged in terms of Winslows interest in UNC, the Heels watched Winslow in an open gym on September 11th and Roy Williams was also in attendance for a game that saw Justin Jackson and Winslow go head to head in early January. Jackson and Winslow have kicked the tires on a package deal.
PG Joel Berry 6-2, 180 Orlando, FL from Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, FL is being looked at by Carolina. Berry is the first ever sophomore in the state of Florida to be named Mr. Basketball. Berry is one of the top PGs in the class and has been quoted as saying that Carolina is his dream school.
UNC officially offered Berry just days after offering top 2014 PG Tyus Jones. Berry is now weighing 11 total offers. Berry is one of two PGs with an offer from Carolina along with Tyus Jones.
Berry had to sit out with a knee injury that required surgery but even him being out of the lineup didn’t stop Carolina from sending representatives down to Florida on two different occasions to visit with him. Berry was visibly excited after the most recent visit when Roy Williams told him he wanted him to be his point guard. Berry is a top target that the team has been all over since the day they extended an offer.
Berry will visit Chapel Hill on January 19th in a much anticipated visit in which UNC will undoubtedly try and obtain a commitment.
C Jahlil Okafor 6-9, 270 Five Star Recruit Chicago, IL (Arkansas, Connecticut, DePaul, Florida, Florida St, Illinois, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan St, Nebraska, UNC, Ohio St, Syracuse, West Virginia)
This kid is an absolute monster, In my view he’s the cream of the crop in the entire class. A big time center who plays extremely well with his back to the basket. Advanced footwork, solid fundamentals and several nice, go to post moves make him elite inside. A very good rebounder and defender with the size and strength to be truly special.
The perceived knocks I’ve heard on Okafor are fine with me mostly. He’s not very good at facing the basket, I like versatility but I prefer my centers inside, battling the other bigs. He has no jump shot and isn’t the best passer out of the post.
Roy Williams also told Okafor that he is one of two people in Chicago with his office number, the other, Michael Jordan.
As noted above, Okafor joined Tyus Jones and Theo Pinson in a visit to UNC on October 20th. Although the Tar Heels main priority is to collect perimeter players and secure a top point guard in the 2014 class they are going hard after Okafor. The top rated center in the 2014 class Jahlil Okafor stated recently that the program he is hearing most from is North Carolina.
SF Justin Jackson 6-6, 175 Spring, TX
Jackson is an athletic wing with a high basketball IQ, Jackson is a very good shooter and can get to the basket. At 6-6 and decent strength, he could end up evolving into a PF by the time he reaches college ala John Henson (I realize I use Henson in comparisons a lot, he’s a bit of an enigma if you think about it, more on that down the line). Defensively he’s solid and holds his position well. Jackson is the latest perimeter player in the 2014 class to receive an offer from Carolina. Among the three wings UNC has offered, Jackson is the best shooter in the group.
Jackson is probably the favorite out of all the perimeter players with an offer to commit to Carolina. He has been a fan of the program for quite some time and has been coming to UNC basketball camps each summer since eighth grade. Jackson recently cut his list down to six schools in a tweet Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M, UNC, Virginia, and Washington.”
He has an in home visit on the 16th and visited Carolina for Late Night with Roy this year. He and Justise Winslow have also kicked the tires on a package deal.
SF Jalen Lindsey 6-6, 180 Nashville, TN Whenever I watch Jalen Lindsey play, made for Carolina is all that runs through my mind. I never really end up making a very good analysis of his game. His athleticism is off the charts, he’s great on the break and a sportscenter highlight dunk special waiting to happen. Lindsay grew up a Tar Heel fan
“When I was growing up it was always North Carolina [who I liked],” Lindsey told NRS. “They’ve always had a real good history, a lot of good players who have went there and that really inspired me. I really like [head] coach [Roy] Williams and I’ve always liked the team, period.”
While most fans of the program hear those words and want an offer to Lindsey, the fact is the Tar Heels are simply going after the cream of the crop right now. With three offers out and several other players being looked at it’s likely that UNC will wait to offer and only offer him if it becomes necessary.
PF Isaac Copeland 6-8, 190 Charlottesville, VA Copeland is receiving a lot of attention from the North Carolina Tar Heels. The four star power forward out of Charlottesville, VA does not have an offer yet fromRoy Williams and the Heels but they have been watching him closely. Copeland visited Chapel Hill in August and described his visit as amazing. Roy and assistant coach Hubert Davis also stopped by to watch Copeland during a game at The Miller School in Charlottesville, VA.
Copeland is a four star prospect who doesn’t create the type of excitement other big men such as Jahlil Okafor in the class but he represents the type of player Carolina can build around. UNC is set up very well in the post for the next several years with two high quality big men coming to the program in the 2012 and 2013 classes.
I spoke with Isaac in early September and here’s what he had to say about his visit to Chapel Hill:
My visit was nice I liked every thing I saw and so did my family. I can really tell that UNC’s program has a lot of tradition and is proud of that tradition. Also former players are still active in the program which is something I thought was cool as well. For the rest of my conversation with Isaac click HERE.
Copeland fits the type of character and is a nice fit in Carolinas style of play and I expect him to receive a formal offer from UNC soon. He currently has offers from Appalachian State, Boston College, Buffalo, Charlotte, East Carolina, Fairfield, NC State, St. Joseph’s, Virginia, West Virginia, West Kentucky, Winthrop Houston, Tulsa, Auburn, and Rutgers.
SG D’Angelo Russell 6-4, 180 Montverde, FL While ESPN has Rashad Vaughn as the top SG in the class, others have Russell as the top guy. Russell can really shoot the basketball and is very smooth, reminds me a lot of Wayne Ellington. Not very physically imposing but possesses a high basketball IQ and a ton of talent and potential to grow his game.
UNC has been down to Florida twice to watch Russell play most recently on January 4th. He plans to visit Carolina along with Missouri, Florida, N.C. State, Ohio State and Louisville soon.
SG Rashad Vaughn 6-6, 200 Minneapolis, MN Vaughn is the #1 shooting guard in the 2014 class according to ESPNs rankings. Vaughn is a big guard with the potential to play both wing positions at the next level. He has a nice handle and can get to the rim with ease and use his body to finish in the lane. He has a nice jumper with three point range but could stand to improve his shooting ability at the next level.
UNC watched Vaughn when he scored scored 51 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a spectacular performance. Head coach Roy Williams and assistant C.B. Mcgrath also represented the Tar Heels again January 5th as Vaughns team Cooper faced Tyus Jones‘ team Apple Valley in Minnesota. Vaughn does not have any visits scheduled to UNC or any other schools right now for that matter but he has been quoted as saying that the UNC coaching staff has told him they plan on coming to visit him more often and want to get him on campus in Chapel Hill.
As for an offer, although the Heels haven’t made one yet Vaughn seems to think they were going to do so on their last visit to Minnesota but Roy had to leave. They have discussed a scholarship offer but in typical Roy Williams fashion to do so he needs time to sit down with the kids parents to lay it all out. Look for a scholarship offer to Vaughn to become official in the near future.
Baylor, Kansas, North Carolina, Syracuse, Iowa State, Maryland, Kentucky, Louisville and Florida are among the schools showing Vaughn the most interest.