Days after offering 2020 shooting guard Jaden Springer, Roy Williams extended an offer to 2019 power forward Justin McKoy. The recruitment picked up steam in recent weeks after McKoy decommited from Penn State. It’s not unusual for teams to give players a second look if they decommit from a school and UNC is no exception. Most will remember that Kenny Williams was originally committed to VCU before Shaka Smart left for Texas in 2015. The news was first reported by Inside Carolina.
McKoy is a local product, playing his high school ball for Panther Creek High School in Cary, NC. Currently ranked as a 3-star power forward and #396 overall on the 247 Sports Composite rankings, it’s not a huge surprise UNC and other high-profile programs passed on the first go-round. While rankings aren’t the final word on a prospect’s ultimate potential (Texas Tech sophomore and probably lottery pick, Jarrett Culver, was ranked in the 300’s), they also aren’t an unfair barometer.
After signing with Penn State in November, McKoy enjoyed a breakout senior campaign. He averaged 24.6 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Catamounts, and it seemed like another local product was about to sneak north. That shudder you just had were memories of Ky Bowman terrorizing the ACC after UNC, NC State, and Duke let him get away from Havelock, NC.
When he asked to be released from his commitment because Penn State was just too far from his family, the 6-8, 225-pound power forward heard from Tennessee, NC State, Mississippi, Kansas State, and UNC — just to name a few. This weekend he’ll head to Charlottesville where Tony Bennett’s staff will host him for an official visit. It’s safe to assume there are a number of a staffs who don’t think his ranking matches his performance from this past season.
Check out these two videos to get a feel for the newest target for the UNC coaching staff. The first admittedly doesn’t provide much in terms of highlights, but it’s the most recent that’s available. The second video is a 15-minute interview that provides background on how McKoy got to this point.
To be blunt, McKoy is likely a 4-year player who will need time to develop, but should contribute with each passing year. He’ll be a guy who relies on effort, hard work, and basketball IQ in college, but will give his future team some versatility in the post and wing. You don’t average 24 and 10 by just being “solid”, but McKoy doesn’t’ have next-level “athleticism”, isn’t “explosive”, and is below the top-tier in insert your favorite buzzword here. To date, he hasn’t proven to be a multi-faceted shooter/scorer against top competition, but can step out and shoot from distance.
However, with above-average passing and ball-handling skills, especially for a guy his size, McKoy should provide plenty of versatility and mismatches as he develops. Add those attributes with a willingness to crash the boards and put himself in position to score near the rim and in transition, and McKoy has the potential to grow into a key contributor for a power conference team. In case you didn’t notice, the Final Four was full of guys who were overlooked in high school or needed multiple years of college experience to develop for their respective teams. McKoy fits into that mold.
McKoy joins Cole Anthony, Precious Achiuwa, and Matthew Hurt as the remaining members of the 2019 class to hold offers from UNC. McKoy is scheduled to visit Virginia this weekend, and there is no timeline for an announcement.