UNC Basketball Recruiting: Impact of Tony Bradley Committment


Tony Bradley announced his decision tonight to attend the University of North Carolina to play basketball.


The response from fans and pundits alike was swift and universally positive.

I will echo and expand on those last two tweets — this is absolutely huge news for the Carolina basketball program. It means little for the 2015-16 season and it might not even mean much for the 2016-17 season, depending on how well Bradley plays as a freshman right away, but this is huge for the program.

This commitment casts aside any worries that Carolina wouldn’t be able to recruit any top talents while the NCAA investigation is ongoing. There were fears that because of the NCAA investigation and uncertainty surrounding the program, no top recruits would want to come in and play for the Tar Heels at least until the punishment was announced. Bradley’s commitment shut down that argument. He isn’t a top-10 recruit, but he is still an elite talent at a premium position of center. Bradley is the type of recruit people were expecting Carolina to not be able to get during this investigation period. Instead, Bradley committed and pledged his support to UNC in the thick of the NCAA investigation.

This commitment gets rid of a lot of the doubts and worries that were building up in the fanbase about the ability of Roy Williams to still recruit top talents. Duke, Kentucky and others have won a lot of the recruiting battles recently, and some members of the Tar Heel faithful were getting worried. Maybe it was just the fans on our forum, but I do think there was a bit of a sense of worry about the team’s ability to recruit and whether or not the Carolina brand still held up. Bradley’s commitment shut that argument up. 

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels /

North Carolina Tar Heels

This commitment calms fears about what could happen to the 2016-17 team if a lot of the players leave following this season. Looking at the current roster composition, Carolina is a very upperclassmen heavy team. We know that no matter what, five seniors are leaving after the season’s end, including Marcus Paige, Joel James and Brice Johnson. But others like Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks may leave early for the NBA, which leave the possibility open for a doomsday scenario where something like all five starters and seven players total leave after this season, leaving the following season’s roster thin. Bradley’s commitment is a major security blanket for the 2016-17 team and piece for Roy to build around as he continues recruiting for the Class of 2016.

This commitment will make other top prospects in the Class of 2016 give Carolina another look now that Bradley has pledged his support to the Tar Heels. This is the big one. If Bradley can get on the phone and start calling up some of his buddies and get them to join him at Carolina, that would be huge. As good as coaches and family members are at persuading players to go to various schools, sometimes a fellow player is more powerful. Every game and tournament Bradley goes to this upcoming season, he will be able to give his pitch for the Tar Heels.

I don’t know the specifics of players, but Carolina is targeting a bunch of guys in the Class of 2016 and Bradley’s commitment can do nothing but help UNC’s chances with those other guys.

Again, this commitment is huge!

The fanbase should really be celebrating tonight. Perhaps this is a good sign for the football team playing Thursday night as well. Could be the start of a great Carolina sports weekend…

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