UNC picked up its fourth commitment for the 2012 basketball recruiting class on Wednesday morning when 6-9 power forward Brice Johnson out of Edisto HS in Cordiva, SC announced on Twitter he would coming to Chapel Hill.
For a full evaluation of Johnson be sure to check out Evan Daniels piece on Inside Carolina. Scout.com has Johnson rated as a four star recruit 46th overall and ninth among power forwards. Rivals ranks Johnson 49th and 15th respectively. Based on the summer rankings the RSCI has Johnson 38th overall.
Johnson was pretty much off the radar until this summer when he exploded on the AAU circuit grabbing the attention of various coaches, Roy Williams included, who offered him a scholarship in early August. Johnson is a long, athletic shot blocker who runs the floor well. This looks very much like a player with plenty of potential and could very well outperform his ranking once he gets to UNC. Additional note: ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep noted that Johnson is a state champ in the long jump, high jump and triple jump all while being 6-9. The level of athleticism involved for basically anyone to be good in all three of those is absurd. For a 6-9 athlete to do it is beyond absurd. In short, Johnson has crazy hops.
Johnson joins PG Marcus Paige, SF J.P. Tokoto and C Joel James in what is coming together as a really solid class despite not having a five star commitment. The four players UNC has committed look to be the kind of individuals who could really blossom given some time to development. Johnson already has moved up the rankings from where he was six months ago. He and Tokoto are freak athletes who should do well in Roy's up-tempo system. James has great size and Paige also climbed the rankings after initially being off the radar.
The question now is whether Roy can top this class off with at least one or two five star commits. C Mitch McGary is probably the top target at this point but his recruitment has taken some odd turns here and there an rumor has it his parents favor Duke while he was thought to be Michigan bound. UNC is also pursuing SF T.J. Warren and while Warren and Johnson are slotted at different positions, you have to wonder if this impacts that recruitment. UNC also had an offer out to PF Roscoe Allen, another four star recruit.
It also important to remember putting together a solid Final Four contender is really a two year process at minimum. For example UNC 2005 recruiting class looked much like this one with the only exception being UNC has not secured a top ten player. The 2005 class only had one top ten player in it and that was Tyler Hansbrough. Danny Green was ranked 15th by RSCI and the rest of the team fell in the four star range. What followed was an incredible 2006 class which had three players ranked #1 at their position. This looks to be going to same direction. 2012 will be solid, puting several good players into the program who will likely be 3-4 year guys. The 2013 class, which already has one five star commit in Isaiah Hicks will fill any necessary voids setting up another nice run.