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A Glance At Recruiting

One of the issues debated amid The Lost Season is whether Roy Williams made mistakes on the recruiting trail. I thought it would be interesting to look at what is coming down the pipeline to gain an understanding of how much of a juggling act it is to manage rosters on the college level. Here is a chart which shows when current players will graduate and what commits UNC already has secured. There is a thirteen scholarship limit and as of right now UNC's roster only has 12 scholarship players on it.

[table id=27 /]

Source: Inside Carolina

Before delving into the upcoming classes let's take a trip back in time. Much has been made how UNC ended up with Larry Drew as the best option at PG given his rating in the class of 2008. On one hand it should be noted that the gap between Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson was four years. Felton started in 2003 and Lawson came in four years later. Felton stayed for three years and then you had one season of Bobby Frasor and Quentin Thomas. This is setting up the same way with Lawson having been here for three years followed by Drew taking the starting role and another highly rated PG to follow. The notable difference is Kendall Marshall is not as touted as Lawson was but still has five stars from and is ranked 21st over in the class. The point is there are gaps between elite PGs and this is one of them. The question going forward is whether Marshall in combination with a hopefully improving Drew can raise the level of the PG game. As noted on previous posts, that question is predicated on the surrounding cast more than the PG themselves.

The other item that jumps out is the fact UNC has an open scholarship this season. This was created by both Lawson and Wayne Ellington leaving early for the NBA. Back when all the John Wall business started up, UNC did not initially have a slot for Wall because Ginyard was returning and Lawson and Ellington had not decided on their future. Had the pair opted to stay, UNC would be top five and someone would have lost their ride. However when the 2009 starting backcourt left it actually dropped UNC down to 12 scholarship players and opened a slot up. There is still much criticism of Roy Williams for not offering John Wall because there is apparently some feeling that he would have been a lock had UNC opened the door. However Roy has said since then that he just did not feel it was a good fit. I also think Roy was showing loyalty to Drew in the process.

As we look forward there is an interesting situation arising in 2011. As noted UNC has 12 scholarship players in 2010 team. Two of those players will leave the program after this season for graduation and UNC will bring in three recruits. That brings the total to the NCAA mandated limit of thirteen. In 2011 UNC has just one scholarship senior, Will Graves. His departure would leave UNC with 12 players on scholarship and two incoming freshmen. That would put the total number of scholarship players at 14. That almost certainly means someone among the underclassmen will be heading to the NBA and Roy is anticipating it. The most logical choice is Ed Davis, possibly this season and certainly a lock in 2011. John Henson might be a candidate to leave after 2011 as well. In short, Roy is prepping for NBA departures though if something happens and these guys stick around it could get dicey. It also means, barring additional defections that Roy will not be able to recruit anyone else for 2011. That being said, the recruiting class of 2012 is the one to keep an eye on.