The scholarship offers continue to roll in for the UNC basketball program. On Tuesday afternoon, Josh Green became the newest high-profile recruit to get a call from Roy Williams. The 6-6, 190-pound small forward already holds offers from Arizona, Kansas, Villanova, and UCLA. Now he can add UNC to that list.
A consensus 5-star, top-20 player in the class of 2019, Green plays at IMG Academy by way of Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to heading out to Florida, Green was also teammates with DeAndre Ayton who was the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He returned home this summer to tour the AAU circuit with West Coast Elite.
If you’re wary about the Heels getting involved with an athlete from the West Coast (See: Alex Stepheson, Larry Drew, and the Wear twins), there is reason for optimism. Green originally hails from Australia, so while his family is located in Arizona, he doesn’t feel a specific comfort or loyalty to a particular region of the country. Another season at IMG should only make him more comfortable playing on the East Coast. If that doesn’t convince you to stay positive, consider that current UNC 2019 targets Armando Bacot and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will also play at IMG this upcoming season. Going forward, we’ll just call that trio the “IMG 3”.
Though a threat on the wing, Green differs from point/shooting guard Tre Mann who was offered last night. As he approaches 200 pounds, Green possesses size, skill, and an explosive first step when attacking the basket. With above-average court vision and the ability to run the floor, Green would fit perfectly into UNC’s system as a slasher/driver until his outside shot becomes more consistent. Comparisons are always tricky, but he reminds me of a Harrison Barnes-lite or a more athletic/scoring Theo Pinson. Check out highlights below.
Depending on your recruiting service of choice, Green is listed at either small forward or shooting guard. Standing at 6’6, he could cause defensive mismatches at both positions. An inconsistent jump shot — a skill that is paramount to a shooting guard’s success — is the most noticeable weakness in his game, but a strong July showed marked improvement. A recent shoulder injury may delay that development, but the early results are encouraging. If he continues to display a reliable stroke from 18-21 feet, Green will be one of the most versatile recruits in the 2019 class. It would be no surprise if he ends up inside the top-10 of everyone’s final recruiting rankings next spring.
As we’ll continually remind readers throughout the year, the Heels are expected to lose at least 60% of their starting lineup after next season. That production will have to be replaced. With at least five scholarships expected to be available for 2019, a large freshman recruiting class will be asked to play significant minutes from the moment they step on campus.
Green is now the fifth uncommitted perimeter threat to hold an offer from UNC, joining Wendell Moore (SF), Keion Brooks Jr. (SF), Cole Anthony (PG/SG) and Tre Mann (PG/SG).