clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Scholarships After Dark: Roy Williams isn’t done with the class of 2019 yet

New, comments

The UNC coach has another target for next year’s freshman class

NCAA Basketball: ACC Operation Basketball Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

For the second official visit weekend in a row, after hosting a high-priority player, Roy Williams was on a plane as soon as the visit was over to do some more recruiting. Two weeks ago, after hosting Boogie Ellis, Williams went to Indiana to visit Keion Brooks. Now, after hosting Brooks as well as Vernon Carey, Williams went even further north, this time to Minnesota. Specifically, he went to the home of 2019 power forward prospect Zeke Nnaji to offer him a scholarship, as reported by 247’s Evan Daniels.

This comes pretty much out of nowhere from the outside looking in. UNC hadn’t really been linked to Nnaji, though they’ve certainly seen him, seeing as he is the teammate of Matthew Hurt, who has held a UNC offer for some time now. Nnaji’s recruitment was also already pretty far along. He has already taken all five of his official visits this year, meaning that if he is to visit UNC’s campus, it will be out of his family’s pockets, and released a top 5 (consisting of Arizona, Kansas, Purdue, UCLA, and Baylor) over a month ago with a decision date set for early December. He also holds offers from Kentucky, Ohio State, Indiana, and Notre Dame, among many others.

Daniels, in conversation with Nnaji’s father, was able to glean a little bit about how the visit went down. There are a couple of important things to note:

1) This offer does not change Nnaji’s timeline, which is to commit to a school soon after Thanksgiving.

2) Williams is, again, using Luke Maye as a recruiting tool, telling Nnaji’s father that he sees his son as a more athletic version of Maye and what he has done with the Heels.

3) The Nnadi family’s interest is serious enough to be considering an unofficial visit to UNC’s campus despite having a final 5.

Moving to the player himself, Nnaji is a four-star power forward prospect whom 247’s Composite ranks 34th in the country and 8th at his position. The 6’11’’, 215-pound Nnaji has a lot of the traits that Roy Williams desires in his big men, including mobility, facility and finesse around the basket, and good rebounding skills. He is also excellent as a face-up player in the midrange area and has good shooting form and touch inside the arc, but he still needs to work on his range. Signs point to him having become comfortable within his body only recently, as he was unranked by Rivals before this summer before shooting up to the 30’s within this year. With a strong high school and AAU season, it’s conceivable that he could rise into fringe 5-star range. It’s worth noting that this offer comes on the heels of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl committing to Villanova, as Nnaji has a very similar skillset to Robinson-Earl. It seems that Williams is serious about wanting a good stretch-4 prospect to replace Luke Maye after this year.

For further info, here’s his profile from 247Sports, including this brief breakdown from Daniels:

Nnaji has good size for the position at 6-11, but his wingspan is just OK at 7-1. He’s mobile, runs the floor with ease and consistently rim runs. A rapidly developing post player, Nnaji [...] has good hands, nice touch and is a fine finisher around the goal. Nnaji is a very good shooter from mid-range and in time his range will extend further. Nnaji does a good job of rebounding on the glass and competes on defense. He’s just OK as a rim protector, but gives good effort.

And here’s a brief highlight video: