UNC Basketball: The Tar Heels must land post players in 2017


Carolina needs to get commitments from big men in the 2017 class in order to provide front court depth.

After the 2016-2017 North Carolina basketball season, the only returning big men for the Tar Heels will be Tony Bradley and Luke Maye.

Although good players, these two will not be able to carry the load by themselves. For this reason, Roy Williams and the rest of the coaching staff should focus on landing post players who can make an immediate impact.

Luckily, the 2017 class contains a large amount of players that fit that role.

Mohamed Bamba

Perhaps the most highly touted player being recruited by the Tar Heels, Bamba possesses a large amount of upside.

The No. 2 player in the 2017 class has a 7-foot-8 wingspan, a length extremely appealing to many college programs. Bamba is very well polished in all areas of his game due to his exceptional speed, notable touch, and devastating size. I

t is clear why Carolina is heavily pursuing this 5-star talent, but will they be able to land him. He’s being recruited by pretty much everyone, and that’s no overstatement. Some of the front-runners in his recruitment are Duke, Kentucky, Harvard, Kansas, and UNC. Although Duke appears to be the team to beat, UNC and Harvard don’t seem to be too far behind.

Bamba plans to trim his list down to ten schools by the end of august.

Kevin Knox

Although listed as a small forward, this 6-foot-8 threat could easily become a power-forward at the next level. The No. 6 prospect in his class, Knox is a versatile player that can score with a jump shot or by posting up.

He has been compared numerous times to Kevin Durant due to his explosiveness. It appears that there are three frontrunners in his recruitment: UNC, Duke, and Florida State.

Florida St. is extremely appealing to Knox, a Tampa native, due to family connections. It seems Knox likes UNC and Duke because of their atmospheres. He noted that they both “really got after it,” at practice. Kevin, after his Duke visit, noted that Duke’s “atmosphere was ridiculous” and that “it was loud the whole game.”

After visiting UNC, Knox commented, “Their stadium was huge and it was packed! Their fans are pretty loud too.” As of right now, it’s tough to say who the frontrunner is for Knox, but look for UNC, Duke, and Florida St. to lead the crowd.

 P.J. Washington

This 6-foot-7 power forward is one of the most intriguing prospects in 2017 because of his height being shorter than a typical post player. Washington has the potential to be a star at the collegiate level simply because if his play-making ability.

As the No. 16 player in his class, Washington is a 5-star recruit, making him highly out after among many programs. At the head of his recruitment are four programs: UNC, Texas, UK, and Mich. St. Washington claims that he plans to visit these four schools, and possibly on other.

Like most of the other recruits, he plans on cutting his list down at the end of the summer and taking visits early in the school year. Again, it’s tough to say who will come out on top here, but this target seems to be more likely to land than others.

Jeremiah Tilmon

Ranked No. 23 in his class, Jeremiah Tilmon is a 6-foot-10.5 big man out of Illinois. This power forward/center has good size and a nice touch near the basket.

Tilmon is also very strong on the defensive end, not known to let players get shots off easily. He would  be very productive for the Tar Heels as he would fit right into their playing style while providing the team with a bit of depth at the post.

Tilmon has not been playing this AAU season due to an injury, so his recruitment has not been as active as others. Although, the big-man cut his list down to 5 schools yesterday: Illinois, Mich. St., UNC, Texas, and Kansas. Although 5 schools still remain, it appears that UNC and Illinois are the teams to beat. He and his family seem to love UNC, the coaching staff, and that they continue to recruit him even during his injury.

For this reason, Tilmon says he wants to visit Chapel Hill to see what it’s all about. He also appreciates Illinois for being with him since the beginning and never stopping his recruitment. When it all comes down to it, look for UNC and Illinois to be his final decision.

UNC needs to land at least one of these targets in order to be a little comfortable in the 2017-2018 season. Although these four seem to be the top priorities, look for Brandon McCoy, Nate Watson, Wendell Carter, and many others recruitment to pick up in the July period.