What’s up Tar Heel Nation!? It is a big week in basketball recruiting with the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game on Wednesday April 3rd. Wow everyone thinks a one dollar McDouble is a good deal, coaches consider their recruits being named to this honor is an even better deal. With the Carolina name, it is almost guaranteed that a commit to UNC will make the game, for good reason too! Carolina has had legends play in this event and I am positive it will continue for years to come. This year the Tar Heels have two commits playing. Both are solid under radar type players coming to Chapel Hill and could both make an instant impact. They are Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks.
Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks are both top 100 recruits on multiple sites. On ESPN Isaiah Hicks is a five star recruit sitting at the number 17 spot in his class and is the number eight ranked power forward overall. Hicks was ranked in the top 10 and committed early in 2011 during his junior year. Hicks was a top 10 player at that time but his rank has slow declined due to the emergence of other great players and his decision to stop playing as much AAU. Hicks has continued to remain a five star player to his talent and is said by ESPN Recruiting Insider Dave Telep to have one of the highest ceilings of the power forwards in the class. Isaiah has had a monster senior season where he topped it off with a 4A high school state championship. In the game Hicks recorded an unheard of stat line with seven blocks, thirty points, and THIRTY FOUR REBOUNDS! Yes, I said it, THIRTY FOUR REBOUNDS! Hicks is a long body with a great understanding of the game, he is a great mismatch type of player that isn’t afraid to pull up when needed. Hicks is on the east roster and some potential guarding match ups could be against Duke Commit Jabari Parker (6’8 combo forward) and Kentucky commit Marcus Lee who has the most identical game to Hicks out of the participants. Hicks will be able to assert himself Wednesday night and prove to be one of the top prospects in his position.
The other commit is Kennedy Meeks. Meeks is the number 41 ranked prospect overall and the number four center in his class. When Meeks committed to the Tar Heels back in November he was rated as a five star center at 21st overall. For some reason Kennedy Meeks dropped which is most likely for his weight issue. Standing at 6’10 285 there is concern that Meeks won’t be able to run the floor as well some of the other big men Carolina has. But I have two counters for everyone with doubts. First when on a specific work out plan and on a certain diet it is way easier to lose weight than having to gain weight, second, Meeks can make up running the floor with his outlet pass. Meeks can clear half court with a over the head outlet pass with minimum effort and can easily throw it the majority of the floor to hit an open man in transition if needed. Kennedy like Joel James is a true center and could be a fearsome one two punch for the Heels in the next years to come. For the McDonald’s game Wednesday night, look for Meeks to post up against the many power forwards the west has especially Julius Randle. Randle has the edge overall but if Kennedy can keep up on the defensive end Kennedy could keep up in numbers and points.
The potential Meeks and Hicks have is endless. I believe these two players joined by point guard Nate Britt could make an instant impact and help the Heels get back to their natural dominance. With the possibility of landing number one overall recruit Andrew Wiggins and UNC’s big three staying the Heels could have a legitimate shot at the national title next year. So to all Carolina fans out there tune in to ESPN Wednesday night April 3rd at 9:30 PM eastern time to see the new faces of the Carolina program!