UNC got the third commitment of the 2012 recruiting class on Sunday when 6-10 Joel James let it drop he was heading to North Carolina.
Four-star center Joel James committed to North Carolina, Scouthoops.com reported Sunday.
"It was at one point Florida State and North Carolina," James told Scouthoops.com. "Right now it is North Carolina. I called Coach (Roy) Williams a couple of days ago
"I was in math class and I had a math test, it just came to me," James told the scouting service. "I basically did it off of a life choice. Just the atmosphere and if you graduate from North Carolina you can do big things. Obviously it is the Mecca of college basketball so that is a major attraction."
James said he’s already preparing for North Carolina’s fast-paced style.
"Carolina is known for fast pace running, but they have never had a post player who has played down low for a long time," he added. "I can come in and be a power player. As you can see I can run the floor, and running that much in practice I will definitely get in shape."
James is listed at 6-10, 280 lbs. His profile from Scout.com tabs him as more of a rebounder and physical presence inside and not really a scorer at this point. Scout.com has him ranked as the 16th center in the class and 70th overall. RSCI, which averages out all the major rankings, puts James at 61st. James joins SF J.P. Tokoto(Scout: 86th RSCI: 68th) and PG Marcus Paige(Scout and RSCI: 29th) in th2 2012 class.
At present this is shaping up to be an average class by UNC's standards. None of the player committed so far are five star recruits though it should be noted Paige is the 2nd ranked PG in a class loaded with big men. UNC does have multiple irons in the fire to snag a couple of elite players and the James commitment plays into that plan. One of UNC's primary targets is Mitch McGary listed as the #1 center in the class and #2 overall by Scout, #3 by the RSCI. Although McGary is listed as a center his preference is to not play the five in college. UNC securing James for the five spot would allow Roy Williams to assure McGary they can use him at the four. UNC is also in pursuit of PF T.J. Warren who is a teammate of McGary's at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. In an ideal scenario UNC lands both of these five star recruits which would nicely round out the class. UNC also has offers out to C Kaleb Tarczewski and power forwards Brice Johnson and Roscoe Allen.
Fans love to panic when they don't see top 20 recruits filling up the class but I would wait until all of this plays out before getting too antsy. That being said, not getting McGary would relegate this class to being below the normal UNC haul for a given year.