UPDATE: Add the name Eloy Vargas to the list of players Roy Williams is pursuing to fill the void left by the Wear twins. Vargas was ranked 26th in the class of 2008 according to the RSCI. He attended Florida but left after one season and has been honing his skills at Miami-Dade Community College. Kentucky has been recruiting Vargas heavily for some time.
Also, Roy Williams said on the Tar Heel Tour tonight in Raleigh that the staff was looking at four players. Kadeem Jack, Justin Knox and Eloy Vargas make three. Any ideas on who the fourth is?
Needless to say, Roy Williams is attempting to scare up players anywhere he can find them.
According to Jeff Goodman, UNC is in the hunt with Georgia Tech to possibly secure a transfer former Alabama forward Justin Knox. Knox is 6-9, 245 lbs and has played for three years for the Crimson Tide. In 2010, Knox averaged 19.8 mpg, 6.3 ppg and 3.7 rpg. He also finished his degree in three years which means he is eligible to play his final season of eligibility elsewhere without sitting out one year.
Knox had originally expressed desire to play at UAB which would keep him closer to home but Alabama put restrictions on Knox's transfer saying he could not transfer to an SEC school, a school on Bama's 2011 schedule or a school in the University of Alabama system. I understand the first two but the third seems a little draconian on the part of the Crimson Tide.
At this point I have no idea what to make of Knox. Someone on IC said it would be the second coming of Mike Copeland. At this point I only have three years worth of stats while playing for an Alabama team that really was not that good. His numbers for his sophomore and junior seasons were basically the same which could mean Knox has hit his ceiling. On the other hand, there has been talk that Knox did not fit in new coach Anthony Grant's system which might explain some stagnation in his development between years two and three.
As for how it benefits UNC, the major positive is Knox would only be in Chapel Hill for one year. Since the need for an extra post body is really about next season, Roy could bring Knox in and still have the scholarship available going forward. Knox is also experienced and based on his stats will probably give you as much as Travis Wear would have given you. It is important to remember that the success of next season is predicated in part on Tyler Zeller and John Henson starting all year and being productive at a high level. Neither Knox or Kadeem Jack are coming to push this team over the hump but rather to make sure Zeller and Henson don't end up playing 38 mpg. If either of those two get injured, UNC is screwed. That would have been the case if the Wears were here and it will be the case even if Knox and/or Jack show up. We are talking about depth here and anything else you get from them will be gravy.
I think Knox is worth taking a flier on. The fact he would only be here one season means you address the present need without tying up a scholarship down the road. I am not sure what this means for Kadeem Jack and if UNC might still offer him just to get as many bodies as possible for the post. It is a safe bet that Knox and Jack will be watching to see what the other does since a commitment by one would likely affect the other in terms of choosing a school. The other factor with Knox is proximity to home. Know wanted to stay in Alabama but was barred from doing so by the Crimson Tide via conditions on his release. I would think that would mean Knox is more inclined to head to Georgia Tech. Knox is also appealing the restrictions which could make all of this moot.
At any rate, it is something to keep an eye on.