Brandon Ingram’s stock rising; will make decision by end of April


This week the top high school basketball talent has descended on Chicago, Illinois for the annual McDonald’s All American Games. The nation’s best players will participate, but one player has stuck out during the first two days of practice in Chicago.

Kinston’s Brandon Ingram has impressed many NBA scouts and media during the first couple of days in Chicago as he’s arguably been the best player in practice. Ingram’s ability to hit jumpers from all over the court and his frame have helped his stock rise so far this week.

Brandon Ingram has dominated the first couple of days at the McDonald’s All American Games.

The 6-foot-8, 180 pound small forward is still undeclared and has his list narrowed down to six schools as he begins a packed April full of All-Star games including the Nike Hoops Summit in Oregon and Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn. But Ingram’s decision is coming.

“I plan on making a decision by the end of this month (April),” said Ingram at Tuesday’s media day. “I’m good at where I’m at right now. A couple of coaches are making some in-home visits and we will go from there.”

Among those coaches making final in-home visits to Ingram is North Carolina’s Roy Williams who has had Ingram as a top target in the 2015 class after offering him in his sophomore year. Ingram also said that he thinks his stock raised after coach Williams offered him. Williams has visited Ingram a few times over the recruiting process and in February, Ingram took an unofficial to North Carolina. A report out Monday also stated that Ingram would have committed to UNC but the academic scandal has played a role in his recruiting.

The Tar Heels are still in the running for Ingram but they have some competition including in-state schools Duke and North Carolina State. Ingram has also drawn interest from Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA.

With two schools like Duke and Carolina battling to land you, it’s an exciting time for Ingram.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Ingram. “You realize that you’re being recruited by Hall of Fame coaches. They both are great coaches. It’s all about fit and being able to develop to be a player at the next level after college basketball.”

While Ingram grew up a Duke fan, he does have a tie with the Tar Heels as the high school he attends is home to former Tar Heels in Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Bullock. “They would love for me to go there,” said Ingram. “They don’t pressure me at all. Reggie tells me wherever I go he will support me 100% and Jerry tells me the same thing.”

Landing Ingram would be a major boost to a Tar Heels team that almost pulled off the upset on number one-seeded Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen. The team is expected to return all five starters next season and be one of the top teams in the ACC if not the entire country if it does happen.

With Ingram waiting until the end of April to make his decision, one has to think the decisions of players going pro or coming back has something to do with it. I asked Ingram if UNC returning all five starters plus a solid bench would impact his decision and he gave an answer that should make Tar Heel fans happy.

“I think that’s a plus,” Ingram said. “The veteran guys coming back and have been through everything and seen everything, they know what to expect. I think that is a plus for any program that brings back veterans.”

If all five Tar Heels do come back, the team will feature three senior starters, a junior and a freshman. But where does Ingram fit in? A kid with his talent would instantly improve a team as he should be able to make an impact the second he steps foot on campus.

“I like to play transition,” Ingram said. “I think I’d fit in very well. I can be that shooter that comes in and plays right away.”

If the Tar Heels can land Ingram in its 2015 class, next season could be a very special year in Chapel Hill.