With the summer upon us, the men’s basketball team is beginning the annual tradition of throwing out scholarship offers. After months of largely focusing on a select few prospects in 2020 while they wrapped up the 2019 class, Roy Williams and company are extending their reach into the current crop of rising seniors. Those offers came fast and furious yesterday, as news broke that a trio of prospects received an invitation to join the Heels.
Here’s the quick breakdown of each.
6-6, 215 pounds
DeMatha Catholic (MD)
Timberlake was the first to reportedly receive his offer, according to Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers.
North Carolina just extended an offer to five-star junior Earl Timberlake, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 24, 2019
The forward had an impressive spring, where he averaged 17.9 points and 9.2 rebounds in Nike’s EYBL in 13 games with Team Durant. The small forward from Hyattsville, Maryland attended the NBPA Top 100 camp earlier this month where he garnered attention with his physicality on the perimeter. Not shy about mixing it up and seeking contact at the rim or chasing rebounds, he would provide a toughness at the position that UNC requires from their wings.
He’s currently ranked as the #30 overall prospect by the 247Sports Composite and #29 by Rivals. He holds offers from Georgetown, Louisville, Alabama, South Carolina and Maryland, among others.
DeMatha Catholic (MD)
Shortly after news of Timberlake’s offer broke, Evan Daniels confirmed that Hunter Dickinson had also received an offer. The Heels decided to double-dip into DeMatha’s talent pool, as Dickinson and Timberlake are teammates. A true, conventional big man, Dickinson’s size could help provide some rim protection and post presence that has been missing the past few seasons. If you miss the days of good old fashioned hi-lo passes to a legit 7-footer who can finish at the rim, then Dickinson is your dream prospect.
Busy offer day for the Tar Heels. Roy Williams offered DeMatha teammates Earl Timberlake and Hunter Dickinson this afternoon.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 24, 2019
Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman, and Sterling Manley will be graduating in 2021. Incoming freshman Armando Bacot and 2020 commit Day’Ron Sharpe are both likely to head to the NBA before they exhaust their four years of eligibility. There will eventually be a void (and available playing time!) in the middle. After the past few years of going small(ish), this offer is a clear indication that Roy has every intention of returning to his old-school conventional philosophy for as long as possible.
Dickinson is currently ranked as the #27 overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite and #28 by Rivals. He holds offers from Louisville, Notre Dame, Purdue and others.
Here’s Inside Carolina’s take on the newest big man prospect and a quick video courtesy of Rivals.
6-11, 220 pounds
Prior Lake High School (MN)
Keeping with the big man theme, the Heels finished the day with an offer to Minnesota big man Dawson Garcia.
The third offer also brought a focus on a third skillset. Though he’s 6-11, Dawson is more of the stretch-4/hybrid forward that UNC has desperately tried to attract in recent recruiting classes. Like Earl Timberlake, he caught the attention of the UNC coaching staff at the NBPA Top 100 camp this month. As Sherrell McMillan reports, a follow-up visit over the weekend sealed the deal to earn an offer.
The same situation applies to Garcia as it does to Dickinson. UNC clearly wants to continue to add size in 2020. Playing time will be available as a freshman, but would be abundant in Garcia’s hypothetical sophomore year (2021-22). A stretch big man would certainly cause some mismatch problems, while also still allowing a true center to still bang down low.
Garcia is ranked #29 overall by 247Sports Composite and #38 by Rivals. He holds offers from Baylor, Marquette, Texas, Indiana, and Kansas among others.
Three offers in one day is not common with Roy Williams, and he likely isn’t done for the week. The new recruiting schedule implemented this year will change how some recruits are evaluated and when they receive offers. That’s especially true for Roy, who is known to be extra careful when extending invitations.
At a minimum, it’s encouraging to see a slew of offers to kids currently ranked in the 25-40 range. After several swings and misses last year on top-15 recruits, casting a wider net may help mitigate the amount of uncertainty that existed after this past season. Historically, players in that range are also less likely to leave for the NBA after just one season, providing more long-term stability. In recent years, that’s been a major key to success in March.
Make sure to check our recruiting recap later this week, with additional info on basketball and football recruiting efforts and an updated list of current commits and prospects.