Most people are laser focused on UNC’s rematch tomorrow night with Duke. That makes sense. It’s the biggest rivalry in college basketball, if not all of sports.
However, here is plenty of news off the court as well. While the guest list doesn’t include President Obama this time, there are still a few VIPs expected in the Dean Smith Center. Unlike the celebrity-studded list that got all the attention in Durham, most of these visitors are under the age of 18 with special invites from both the men’s basketball and football coaching staffs. Let’s see as we dive into the world of recruiting in our weekly recap.
- 2020 defensive lineman Myles Murphy released his top 10 schools, and North Carolina made the cut. A four-star recruit out of Greensboro, Murphy is ranked as the #9 player in his class in North Carolina. Obviously, he’s a high priority for the staff.
- 2020 recruits Desmond Evans and Mitchell Mayes attended spring practice in UNC’s new indoor facility. The duo are the top ranked players in the state of North Carolina. After the visit, Mayes tweeted out this picture of the two.
- 2021 five-star WR Gavin Blackwell, out of Monroe, NC, also released a shortlist. North Carolina made his list of six schools. There’s a long way to go with any 2021 recruit, but he is a former teammate of current UNC freshman/early enrollee QB Sam Howell. A little early momentum never hurt, right?
Top 6 . . Recruitment still 100% open! pic.twitter.com/dLTsJtrsGs— Gavin Blackwell (@Gavo2times_) March 7, 2019
- The major news of the week is the massive Elite Junior Day that UNC is hosting this weekend. The main takeaway? Of the approximately 20 recruits that have been confirmed, 12 of the top 15 players in the state of North Carolina are expected to attend (using the 247 Sports composite rankings). Events like these are always fluid so those numbers may fluctuate, but, uh, that’s a lot talent to bring in on one weekend.
UNC Football 2020 Commitments
|Ethan West||ILB||6'4||225||4-Star||11||Cosby||Midlothian, VA|
|Cameron Roseman-Sinclair||DB||6'0||183||4-Star||15||Myers Park||Charlotte, NC|
|Ray Grier||WR||6'1||204||4-Star||51||South Point||Belmont, NC|
|Josh Downs||WR||5'10||165||4-Star||72||North Gwinnett||Suwanee, GA|
|Malik McGowan||OG||6'4||315||3-Star||55||Charlotte Catholic||Charlotte, NC|
|Elijah Burris||RB||5'10||201||3-Star||87||Mountain Island Charter||Mount Holly, NC|
- Before we get to the good news, let’s get the bad news out of the way. It’s looking less and less likely that Keion Brooks will pick the Tar Heels. He has an announcement date of March 15th, and all rumors have him leaning towards Kentucky, as this announcement came soon after his visit to Lexington.
- Now the good news! North Carolina also has a bevy of talent visiting this weekend, including two official visits. Using this article from Sherrell McMillan, the fine person(s) who run @HeelsUpdates provided an easy to follow guide:
Recruits Visiting for UNC-Duke— UNC Basketball Updates (@HeelsUpdates) March 6, 2019
Precious Achiuwa (Official Visit)
Ziaire Williams (Official Visit)
Armando Bacot (Unofficial Visit)
Cole Anthony (Unofficial Visit)
Greg Brown (Unofficial Visit)
Isaiah Todd (Unofficial Visit)
Cam Hayes (Unofficial Visit)
Class of 2019
- Armando Bacot is already committed. He’ll be joined by his good friend, and presumed UNC-lean, Cole Anthony. Both players have taken multiple trips to Chapel Hill, and Anthony took his official visit in the fall. A commitment from Anthony would give UNC a top-5 recruit for the second consecutive year. That hasn’t happened since 2009-2010 when John Henson and Harrison Barnes committed in back-to-back years.
- They’ll be joined by Precious Achiuwa, who will be on his official visit. At 6-9 he’s listed as a small forward, but could slide into UNC’s “4” spot. The top-15 player is one of the highest ranked players still available and recently took an official visit to Kansas. Achiuwa has three available official visits remaining, but hasn’t made any plans with other schools.
- It’s possible those three will form the core of next year’s freshman class (along with point guard Jeremiah Francis, who won’t make the game). All three are 2019 McDonald’s All-American selections.
Class of 2020
- Ziaire Williams, will be taking his official visit to Chapel Hill, after taking an unofficial visit last fall. That trip raised eyebrows, because Williams is from California. It’s uncommon for players to travel across the country for unofficial visits. This time, UNC will foot the bill. Stanford is the only currently known competition for Williams’ services.
- He’ll be joined by fellow 2020 recruit Greg Brown III, who is taking an unofficial visit. Brown is from Texas, so his trip will be a little shorter. He’s is a unique recruit, because his dad actually played football for Mack Brown at the University of Texas. It’s a weird circle of life situation, but hard to complain when top talent (Brown is a consensus top-10 recruit) voluntarily visits Chapel Hill. Roy Williams offered him a scholarship in January.
- Isaiah Todd is the third 2020 target who will be on campus. Taking another unofficial visit, Todd was considering reclassifying to 2019. Recent insight from recruiting expert Evan Daniels indicated that Todd may actually stay in the 2020 class. That outcome is probably favorable to UNC, but certainly not indicative of a decision for the five-star big man.
Class of 2021
- Shooting guard Cam Hayes, the top rated sophomore in North Carolina, will also stop by. He does not hold an offer from UNC, but that doesn’t mean anything. Roy Williams is notorious for being deliberate with scholarship offers, and there are more pressing concerns in the 2019 and 2020 classes.
Whew. Ok. That’s a lot for this weekend. Check back here for updates and analysis if anything exciting happens.
UNC Basketball 2019 Commitments
|Armando Bacot||C||6’10||240||5 Star||20||IMG Academy||Bradenton, FL||Signed|
|Jeremiah Francis||PG||6’3||190||3 Star||131||Pickerington Central||Pickerington, OH||Signed|
UNC Basketball 2019 Offers
|Cole Anthony||CG||6'3||184||5 Star||4||Oak Hill Academy||Mouth of Wilson, VA||OV taken|
|Matthew Hurt||PF||6'9||215||5 Star||8||John Marhsall Senior||Rochester, MN||OV taken|
|Precious Achiuwa||SF||6'9||190||5-Star||13||Montverde Academy (FL)||Bronx, NY (hometown)||3/9/2019|
|Keion Brooks||SF||6'6||186||5 Star||23||La Lumiere School||La Porte, IN||OV taken|
UNC Basketball 2020 Commitments
|Day'Ron Sharpe||C||6'10||246||4-Star||26||South Central||Winterville, NC|
UNC Basketball 2020 Offers
|Greg Brown III||PF||6'7||185||Five Star||6||Vandegrift||Austin, TX|
|Isaiah Todd||PF||6'10||195||Five Star||13||Trinity Academy||Raleigh, NC|
|Walker Kessler||C||6'10||225||Five Star||16||Woodward Academy||Atlanta, GA|
|Jeremy Roach||PG||6'2||165||Five Star||17||Paul VI Catholic||Fairfax, VA|
|Ziaire Williams||SF||6'7||175||Five Star||20||Notre Dame||Sherman Oaks, CA|