UNC Basketball: See what this 5-star prospect said about the Tar Heels

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 29: The mascot of the North Carolina Tar Heels in action against the Michigan Wolverines during their game at Dean Smith Center on November 29, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 29: The mascot of the North Carolina Tar Heels in action against the Michigan Wolverines during their game at Dean Smith Center on November 29, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

5-star UNC basketball target talks recruiting, contenders, official visits and Tar Heels

With a top-10 2019 recruiting class already secured, Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels have shifted most of their focus to the class of 2020 and beyond. What little bit of attention they haven’t diverted away from the 2019 class is trained on recent Michigan decommit Jalen Wilson, who’s said to be considering North Carolina as his college destination this fall.

The Tar Heels are already positioned well in next year’s class thanks to an early pledge from 4-star prospect Day’Ron Sharpe. The 6-foot-10, 246-pound center that’s ranked No. 33 in the nation has the size and skill to be a difference-maker in the UNC front court from the time he steps foot on campus.

And while Sharpe is a nice piece to build around, the Tar Heels will need more firepower and depth in next year’s class to keep pace with college basketball’s recruiting juggernauts, as well as a top-heavy Atlantic Coast Conference.

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That’s why the Tar Heels have already extended scholarship offers to nine players in the class of 2020, and continue to keep an eye on a handful of others. Those numbers will continue to grow as Williams and company cast a wide net in the wildly competitive world of recruiting.

One of the prospects that North Carolina has made a priority in 2020 is Ziaire Williams, a 6-foot-9, 185-pound small forward out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He’s put together an impressive performance over the past year, including a current 8-game stretch on the Nike EYBL circuit that’s seen him average 26.5 points, seven rebounds and 4.4 assists per game on nearly 48 percent shooting.

Williams recently sat down with 247Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels to talk about his recruitment, contenders, official visits and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

"“It’s been going honestly way better than I thought,” Williams said of his recruitment. “A lot of people have been telling me, you know I wasn’t on the circuit any time before this, I played on the independent, so a lot of people were saying how if I go play with the best competition that supposedly I’m just going to get out-physicaled and just get bodied and stuff like that. So, I’m just here to make a statement and compete.When I’m at my best, I’m a scorer, but also my passing. A lot of people, they’re so focused on me that they forget about everyone else, and that’s what separates myself from the best scorers because I’m always looking to pass, and just my versatility. I’m 6-9, and I can play inside, outside, three, pick and roll, it doesn’t matter.”"

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He went on to talk about the recruiting process to this point, and what he’s hearing from the programs recruiting him.

"“. . . My options are still open, and I’ve been hearing a lot from pretty much the same schools, but my options are still wide open. . . Everyone tells you the world, so that’s what hard about recruiting is you have to try to figure out who’s genuine and who’s just trying to get you over there.”"

Williams talked about both of the schools that he’s taken official visits to — North Carolina and Stanford — and touched on some of the things that he likes about each. He also named some of the other schools that he’s been in contact with, noting that most of the attention he’s receiving is from West Coast schools.

"“They’re a blue blood, they’re a big program,” Williams said of UNC. “The fans, the support system, you know everyone will have your back, and Roy [Williams], he’s awesome, a phenomenal coach, and his legacy does a lot.They’ve [Stanford] been on me really hard. It’s close to home, as well. They’re building a team, guys are working their way up, and I feel like maybe I can be a part of it.People who are recruiting me besides those two is Oregon, Arizona, a lot of Pac-12 schools. North Carolina is the only school that’s on me that’s not Pac-12.”"

We assume that a decision for Williams is quite a ways in the future. Expect him to take more official visits in the coming months, before widdling down his options and making an announcement some time later this year.

Ranked No. 19 in the class of 2020 according to the 247Sports Composite, Williams is the fifth-ranked player at his position and the No. 4 prospect from the state of California.

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