Brandon Ingram: Which shade of blue is this blue chip?


On the recruitment of North Carolina product Brandon Ingram. Ingram will pick his school on Monday in his hometown of Kinston.

Brandon Ingram is the latest blue chip high school player present on UNC’s radar. Ingram hails from Kinston, North Carolina, home of former Tar Heels, Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Bullock. This young man is a home-grown talent that is on the brink of stardom. At 6’9″ 180 lbs., Ingram has the size and skill set of an NBA shooting guard and small forward. He has experience playing point guard in high school.

Kinston is a rural area located in the eastern part of North Carolina. Kinston High School basketball represents the heartbeat of this town. Ingram’s humble upbringing gives rise to his style of play. He takes 1,000 shots a day. Ingram eats, drinks and lives basketball. Basketball is his life. This young man is hungry. He aspires to be the best at what he does – playing basketball.

In the past week, Ingram has had visits from several of the top coaches in the college basketball. This list includes John Calipari-Kentucky (April 17), Bill Self-Kansas (April 18), Mark Gottfried-N.C State (April 20), Mike Krzyzewski and Jeff Capel-Duke (April 21), and Roy Williams-UNC (April 22). Everybody wants this guy, but sadly enough, many coaches and schools will be disappointed.

Several days ago, Ingram stated in a conversation with ESPNU that UNC received allegations from the NCAA on April 17. Roy Williams denied this rumor, as did UNC football coach Larry Fedora and UNC athletic department spokesman, Steve Kirschner. Prior to this occurrence, last month Ingram admitted that he would have committed to UNC last fall, if it was not for the NCAA potential violations that loom UNC.

Here’s the skinny on him (no pun intended): he is viewed as a one-and-done basketball player. Ingram is “that” good. It is obvious that Ingram likes Carolina. If this is true, then Ingram will most likely choose Duke because a) he can player immediately and start due to their freshman trio (Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor) going pro; and b) they are fresh off a national championship that included four freshman leading the way (the other freshman is Grayson Allen, who is staying at Duke).

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North Carolina may have some leverage when you consider their track record of recruiting from Kinston. Stackhouse played two spectacular seasons in Chapel Hill, culminated by being an all-American first teamer, a Final Four berth and a long NBA career. Bullock was a key player on several Carolina teams that were one game shy of making a Final Four. He is currently on the NBA’s Phoenix Suns’ roster.

Despite whatever rumor mill exists on Twitter or Facebook, UNC still has a chance of getting Ingram. He is set to announce his decision on this upcoming Monday, April 27. This makes Monday bittersweet for several reasons. UNC has recruited him harder than any other school. Losing Ingram to another school, primarily Duke, would be a heavy pill to swallow. In addition, if he is a one-and-done player, it does not hurt a school’s recruiting with Ingram’s commitment because a roster spot opens up in a year from now.

Last, Ingram’s diverse skill set allows a coach to use him as a shooting guard, small forward and “stretch four” (mobile power forward). Over the weekend, salivate over these videos and get ready for some highlight reels from the tobacco road product.