UNC Basketball: Tar Heels’ 2021 recruiting class could look a lot like this

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UNC Basketball

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – MARCH 11: Rameses, the North Carolina Tar Heels mascot, cheers during their game against the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2020 Men’s ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2020 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Dontrez Styles

The Tar Heels currently have just one commitment from a class of 2021 prospect, and that’s from 4-star small forward Dontrez Styles. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound wing gave his verbal pledge to North Carolina in April amid an NCAA recruiting freeze brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time of his commitment, Styles was the No. 57 prospect in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite. That was 64 spots higher than he was ranked in July of last year when he was No. 121 overall, and just barely within 4-star status.

He’s risen five more spots in the months since, and now sits just outside of the top-50. So while Styles may not have been the player that North Carolina fans had their eye on, his improvement over the past year has been rather remarkable, and he’s still got en entire season of high school ball left to continue working his way up the rankings.

Styles may not be an immediate impact player for the Tar Heels, particularly if everyone on the current roster sticks around campus beyond this season, but he’s a terrific multiple-year player that should be able to fill a myriad of roles in Roy Williams’ system.

A senior at Kinston High School, Styles can hit shots out to the three-point line, play tenacious defense and use his athleticism to impact the game in a variety of ways. He plays with a tremendous amount of energy and effort, which should fit nicely into the Tar Heels’ fast-paced, up-and-down style of play. He’s also a terrific rebounder, and uses his size well in the paint.

Styles is the first No. 1-ranked in-state prospect to commit to UNC since Theo Pinson in 2014. He’ll be a terrific addition to a North Carolina roster that will likely boast a senior Leaky Black and a sophomore Puff Johnson on the wing when he arrives on campus next year.

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