There’s been some concern surrounding the latest player to commit to Roy Williams and the Tar Heels, Day’Ron Sharpe, namely that his composite ranking, at #73 is rather underwhelming for a UNC target in a post-investigation world. And while we’re mostly preaching to the choir here, the recruiting overlords have once again confirmed basically the only truism in college basketball as far as we care: Never doubt Roy. The man has his coaching idiosyncracies, sure, and may at times prioritize a “type” of player that doesn’t quite jive with the NBA, but his team-building and talent evaluation skills as far as college basketball is concerned are second to none. He offered Nassir Little when his composite ranking was in the 40’s, and Little rose up to #2. Now, he gets Sharpe, who’s rated at 73 due to a ranking in the 90’s over on Rivals, and lo and behold, the next update puts Sharpe up to Rivals’ 34th-ranked player, making the list as their 6th-ranked power forward and 3rd-ranked player from North Carolina. 247 Sports has not updated their composite rankings yet to reflect this, but it’s a safe bet that this moves Sharpe up at least a little.
This isn’t a surprise, but it’s nice to have it confirmed, regardless. Recall that when we first covered Sharpe’s commitment, Rivals reported that they would likely be moving him into the top 50 come July. Scouting services are, on the whole, quite successful at predicting who the best players from a class will be (it’s not a safe bet that the #1 player in each class will pan out, but it is a fairly safe bet that players #1-10 have a better shot than players #11-20), and Sharpe is definitely trending in the right direction.
ESPN’s rankings, on the other hand, seem to have a bit of catching up to do with UNC-affiliated prospects of all years. They stuck Nassir Little at #6 after his spring and summer cemented him as a certain top-3 player in his class, left 2019 commit Jeremiah Francis (247 consensus 50) off their updated Top 100 after a knee injury kept him out of basketball his junior year, and don’t have Sharpe listed in their top 60 for 2020. They’re probably a lost cause with Little at this point, but they could probably gain some credibility back with us if they put some respect on our guys’ names. Just sayin’.
Sharpe’s new ranking will likely cement him as UNC’s highest-rated power forward recruit since 2013. Luke Maye has obviously well outplayed his ranking and Garrison Brooks had a solid freshman campaign and projects as a useful player in his own right, so based on recent history, Sharpe’s future is looking good.