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UNC basketball: Nassir Little joins an already stacked recruiting class

What does his commitment mean for the future?

North Carolina Tar Heels Championship Welcome Rally Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Five-star wing Nassir Little announced his commitment to the Tar Heels on Wednesday. Little, a six-foot-seven small forward, is listed by 247sports as the seventh-best player in the 2018 class and the fourth-best player at his position. He joins Coby White and Rechon Black to comprise what is now the top-ranked class for UNC.

His decision came as little surprise (sorry, couldn’t resist) to fans. Two of Little’s finalists, Arizona and Miami, were wrapped up in the recent FBI investigation, so it wasn’t hard to narrow it down to UNC. It was rumored that he was planning on committing to Arizona before that whole fiasco. Either way, we’ll take it.

Little currently plays high school ball at Orlando Christian Prep in Orlando, Florida. Having transferred there after his sophomore season, Little decided to sacrifice being the focal point of the offense in order to play for a program that had won five state championships in the previous nine seasons. He helped add to that total as a junior, averaging 18 points per game en route to Orlando Christian’s sixth state championship.

Little’s desire to win is an attribute that caught Roy Williams’ eye early. Once a not-quite-so heralded recruit, Little’s ascension to the top ten was largely due to his effort, intensity, and hustle on the court. For someone who’s already so gifted athletically, he takes a lot of pride in the energy he brings, especially on the defensive side.

Many scouts and coaches have labeled Little as a lockdown defender. He possesses the necessary foot speed and mentality to be that at some point during his career at UNC, although that may be difficult to achieve if he’s a one-and-done.

Offensively, Little has no glaring holes, though he may need to improve his three-point jumper a tad. Aside from that, he has the great combination of size, handles, and court vision that traditionally thrives in Roy Williams’ transition offense. Explosiveness is the least of his concerns, which is displayed frequently in the video below. Depending on how quickly he develops, he could be the guy you give it to and tell him to go get you a bucket.

At this time, it’s difficult to tell exactly how Little will fit into the lineup when he arrives in Chapel Hill. There will be definite holes to fill with the departures of Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson, but players such as Cameron Johnson and Jalek Felton could also leave depending on how they perform this season. Either way, Little will see the court early and often.

As the Tar Heels’ first top ten commit since Justin Jackson, Little could help the Tar Heels get back on track in terms of recruiting. Regardless, there is a great deal to be excited about with Nassir Little.