Roy Williams and the UNC basketball program are looking to build on their successful 2020 recruiting class with another solid haul in 2021.
Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels struggled to sign elite recruits from 2015 to 2017, but the majority of their struggles over that three-year stretch had to do with the NCAA’s frivolous and prolonged investigation into “paper classes.” Once that cloud was no longer hanging overhead, things quickly began to change for Williams and the Tar Heels.
In 2018, it was a pair of 5-star prospects in Nassir Little and Coby White. Little’s time at North Carolina was seen by many as a disappointment, particularity after he earned MVP honors in both the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. But he still averaged almost 10 points per game on 48 percent shooting, and scored 19 or more points on five occasions. White, on the other hand, challenged a 20-year-old freshman scoring record, and was named second team All-ACC. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, along with shooting better than 35 percent from beyond the arc.
The following season, North Carolina brought in another pair of 5-star recruits with commitments from the nation’s top-ranked point guard, Cole Anthony, and top-30 center Armando Bacot. Despite his obvious struggles with injury and inconsistency, Anthony averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and four assists in 22 appearances. Bacot had his own struggles, but still managed to score 9.6 points per game, and finished second on the team in rebounds with 8.3 boards a night.
Williams and company took it a step further this year, bringing in one of the nation’s best recruiting hauls for the class of 2020. Three 5-star recruits — Caleb Love, Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler — will contribute immediately for the Tar Heels, while a trio of 4-star perimeter players should provide long-range shooting and depth over the next few years. Along with returning starters Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot, the Tar Heels are in good position to compete at a high level this season.
But how are they looking for next season and beyond? That’s the real question, and the reason that Williams and his staff have tirelessly recruited the handful of targets they have remaining in the class of 2021. They’re currently got one commitment from a 2021 prospect, 4-star small forward Dontrez Styles. They’ve got scholarship offers out to eight additional uncommitted prospects; three power forwards, two small forwards, two combo guards and a center. Of those eight prospects, six are 5-star players, and the remaining two are of the 4-star variety.
Keeping It Heel has compiled a list of every 2021 prospect that the Tar Heels are currently recruiting. We’ve analyzed each player’s recruitment, and predicted where we think they’ll end up. With that said, take a look at what the Tar Heels’ 2021 recruiting class could look like.