Joel Berry confirmed that he has verbally committed to the University of North Carolina via twitter after completing an official visit to Chapel Hill this past weekend. Now that UNC head coach Roy Williams has his point guard in the 2014 class what does it mean for the rest of the class and Tar Heel recruiting going forward?
UNC now has terrific depth at the PG position for years to come with current freshman Marcus Paige and commitments in the next two classes with Nate Britt in 2013 and Berry in 2014. As talented as Paige is given his body type and less than stellar athleticism it’s safe to say that he is a 3-4 year college player (even more so when you consider how jumping to the NBA after two years has treated Kendall Marshall). Britt though a fine player is not necessarily an elite player headed into college, depending on what player ranking system you use he’s ranked between the 40’s and 60’s with a four star rating, in other words, indications are that he will be a 3-4 year player in college as well.
With Berry, a consensus five star prospect ranked #12 overall by ESPN in the 2014 class, he’s a player who I could see leaving after two years, I don’t see him leaving after his freshman season due to the sheer depth at the position. The Berry commitment means that UNC has their PG position covered through the 2015 season.
Nothing is more vital to Carolina basketball than having a big time PG to run the fast paced offense Roy Williams employs. Carolinas championship hopes were crushed when Marshall broke his wrist in March of 2012, with no depth at the position, UNCs hopes were thrown out the window, with the additions of Paige, Britt and Berry three years in a row Roy has ensured that his PG situation will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.
With the PG position handled the Tar Heels coaching staff can shift their focus on to other positions of need. With the 2014 class that means the perimeter. As it stands now J.P. Tokoto is the only player on the roster that is expected to be around in the 2014 season, UNC did not pick up any commitments from perimeter players in the 2013 class and even if they nab Andrew Wiggins chances are he won’t be around after his freshman season.
With Berry in the bag this early Roy and his staff will be able to shift their resources to the perimeter where they are greatly needed. As important as it was to land a top flight PG in the class, it might be even more vital that UNC starts collecting perimeter players ASAP due to just the sheer need for them.
UNC recently traveled to Texas for an in-home visit with Justin Jackson and have also offered Theo Pinson and Justise Winslow, Pinson was in attendance during the Miami game. The Heels have recently also been recruiting Rashad Vaughn whom I believe they are close to offering and other perimeter talents such as Grayson Allen, D’Angelo Russell and have been connected to Jalen Lindsey as well.
As much as they need perimeter players, before Berrys commitment it was clear he was the priority of the staff and it’s huge that Roy can now move those resources towards recruiting high end perimeter talent that the program needs.