The college basketball season is still months away, but the 2015 basketball recruiting cycle is in full swing. A handful of elite prospects hold offers from the Tar Heels, but below are the guys I think Ol’Roy and his staff should pursue the hardest at this point and time.
PF Ivan Rabb: Now I’m well aware of the struggles Roy Williams has had with players from the West Coast. But if Carolina could snag this young man, the faithful would likely forget all about the issues of former Golden State Tar Heels Alex Stephenson,Larry Drew II and the Wear twins – who all transferred for one reason or another. Ivan is considered to be the best big man prospect in 2015 and some rankings have him as the number one player in the class. The Oakland native is really skilled and he has the athleticism to match.
Rabb was on campus May 19th for an unofficial visit and according to all reports, he enjoyed his stay. It’s a good chance that Ivan will attend “Late night with Roy” and if so, Carolina could have a chance to seal the deal. Most insiders see Arizona as the leader for Rabb but it wouldn’t surprise me if UNC reeled him in.
SF Brandon Ingram: Just a couple of months ago, it seemed to be no doubt that Brandon would be a Tar Heel. Well, after the enemy from Durham offered him a scholarship, his recruitment seems to be wide open. The slim small forward from Kinston, North Carolina can score from anywhere on the court. He’s not a “great” shooter but he shoots the rock good enough to keep the D honest. Brandon’s lack of strength could be a bit of an issue, but with his athleticism, he will hold his on the boards and on defense until he bulks up.
Ingram has continued to say there is no leader in his recruitment but something tells me UNC has a leg up on the competition, considering how many trips Brandon has made to Chapel Hill for unofficial visits. When it’s all said and done I believe Brandon will commit to Carolina and he would be a nice replacement for Justin Jackson if he’s a one and done.
SG P.J. Dozier: Over the last couple of seasons UNC has stacked the roster with point guards and wings, but the shooters have been missing. Let me start by saying P.J. isn’t a “pure shooter,” however, this kid can make shots and make them by the bunches. He a streaky shooter so Dozier will have his ups and downs, but when he’s going good, he can shoot the ball as well as anyone in this class.
According to Dozier, UNC is one of the teams who is in constant contact with him, so the chances of the Heels landing him are pretty good. P.J. may feel the pressure to stay at home and play for South Carolina (Columbia is his hometown,) but when the smoke clears I expect him to sign with UNC. In fact, he could be the first commit of the 2015 class.
C Diamond Stone : This young man is just a breath of fresh air to me. Diamond is 6’10 240 lbs and he plays that big. In my opinion, Stone has the best post game of any big in the class and his mid range game is coming along as well. If I could have any big man in this class, it would be Diamond because I see some Sean May in this guy. Roy has been on Stone for a while and Carolina seems to be right in the mix for his services. As much as I would like to see this young man in Carolina Blue, I just haven’t got a feel for his recruitment mainly because of the next guy.
SG Malik Newman: If UNC wants to land the aforementioned Diamond Stone, they had better turn the heat up on Malik Newman. The sharpshooter from Jackson, Mississippi has made it known that he and Stone will likely be a package deal. Carolina has offered both players, but to me Newman hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in playing for the Tar Heels. But Malik says everyone still has a chance to land him. If Coach Williams has real aspirations of grabbing arguably the best player in the class, he will not only have to beat out some of the other big boys in college basketball but he will also have to convince Malik’s buddy Diamond that UNC is the best program for him as well. That’s a task no doubt. However, it’s not mission impossible and well worth the try.