Jan 12, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams talks to his players during the first half of the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

What Joel Berry's Commitment Means to UNC Recruiting

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.


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Tags: Joel Berry North Carolina Tar Heels

  • http://twitter.com/DSteele_23 Dereck Steele

    Huge score to get Berry! Like him more than jones as the top pg! I have a feeling Jackson, Pinson or Vaughn needs to be next! Got a good feeling about Jackson just based on some tweets I’ve seen

  • Jarrod

    I’m really wanting to know why you keep assuming PJ Hairston won’t be around for the 2014-2015 season. He is just a sophomore. Are you assuming he’s going pro before then? In my opinion he’s gotta get a lot more consistent to make an early jump.

    • http://twitter.com/bryanfino89 Bryan Finlayson

      Players go early to the NBA based on how the league projects them and the league projects them based off of potential. Hairston is a physical beast with a jump shot. Tons of potential.

      • http://twitter.com/DSteele_23 Dereck Steele

        amen…if u watch college bball anybody knows thats the truth

        • Jarrod

          Hairston has below average ballhandling skills, he struggles to finish at the rim at times, he is terrible at finishing through contact, he is average at best defensively, all of which he would have to do on a nightly basis in the NBA. Is the potential there, of course. But he’s got a looonnnnng way to go. If Wiggins comes to Carolina and starts over PJ, I bank on Hairston being there four years. He’s proven to be very inconsistent in his current role. If PJ starts next year and improves a lot in the process, of course he’s probably gone. I just dont think its a safe assumption to say he won’t be there at this point.

          • Keeping_It_Heel

            have u watched him lately? He’s driving to the basket, finishing through contact and playing terrific defense

          • Jarrod

            Terrific is a stretch on the defensive comment…He is improving on the ball and he does a good job of hedging at the top of the key when he has to, but I wouldn’t go as far to say terrific. Against Florida State he was phenomenal on the offensive end…Against Maryland he was almost non-existent, turning the ball over by driving into traffic and making bad decisions. Passing up open shots to put the ball on the floor. I appreciate him trying to work on that aspect of his game, but Again, it’s inconsistency. And he almost NEVER finishes through contact let’s be honest. You give him an open lane or somebody he can elevate over then he can finish at the basket, otherwise, not so much. Compare him in transition to a guy like Strickland and you see what I’m saying. He would have to drastically improve that aspect of his game at the NBA level. On top of all of that, not to take anything away from his jump shot because he clearly has a great one, but he’s only a 33% shooter from 3 this year. He has a lot of improving to do, that’s all I’m saying. I’m a huge fan and at times he looks like our best player (aka FSU), but at other times he’s almost a non-factor. On a positive note, he is a phenomenal rebounder off of the wing.

    • Keeping_It_Heel

      PJ thought about going pro after his freshman year which we all know wasn’t impressive at all. To assume he will be here for his senior year just doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Jarrod

        Respect your opinion…Don’t know why he wouldve thought about going pro last year lol. My thoughts are above. By the way I checked the 2013 Mock Draft and PJ isn’t in it. Clearly the 2014 Mock Draft could change, but it’s got Hairston at 36 right now which isn’t exactly screaming “leave early.”

        • Keeping_It_Heel

          I’m pulling that from Roy talking about JMM when he was thinking of going pro and he said something like I looked into it for JMM and PJ who was also interested in seeing what his stock was and could have left us after only one year also. not an exact quote but that’s close to what he said. I just don’t see PJ here as a senior, especially after Dex graduates and he gets a shot at big mins and a starting spot next year. Believe me I hope I’m dead wrong and he stays as a senior, would really help us out.

          • Jarrod

            Couldn’t agree more as far as hoping he stays, and I think the chances of him staying as a senior clearly go down if we don’t get Wiggins. I’m just not 100% sold yet. Potential is definitely there though. If anybody can keep guys like JMM and Hairston around a while it’s Roy. IDK how we kept some of those guys off of the 05 and 09 squads around for more than 2 years lol.