While Mack Brown is rounding up verbal commitments on a weekly basis for UNC football, Roy Williams is still searching for the first 2021 commitment for the basketball program. That hunt continued on Monday night when he extended a scholarship offer to in-state power forward Dontrez Styles, from Kinston. Styles announced this offer on Twitter.
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of North Carolina pic.twitter.com/1FAKEkLIFh— Dontrez Styles (@D_styles4) March 23, 2020
Styles is currently listed as a 6-6, 190-pound small forward. The consensus four-star recruit from Kinston, NC has used a strong junior season to catch the attention of college coaches and recruiting services. All three main recruiting services we follow on this blog are in relative agreement to his current rankings.
Rivals: Small Forward, 4-stars, #58 (national), #12 (position), NR (state)
ESPN: Small Forward, 4-stars, #58 (national), #13 (position), #1 (state)
247 Sports (organic): Power Forward, 4-stars, #68 (national), #15 (position), #1 (state)
247 Sports (composite): Power Forward, 4-stars, #57 (national), #12 (position), #1 (state)
Those rankings signify a significant jump since this past winter. Rivals listed him at #91 before the season and #78 in early January. 247Sports listed him outside the top-100 in December. These rankings are often fluid (especially with juniors), but he’s trending in the right direction. As such, Tar Heel coaching staff pulled the trigger in hopes of re-establishing the pipeline of top talent between Kinston and Chapel Hill.
Styles projects to be a physical and versatile presence on the wing. Prior to the state playoffs as a sophomore, he averaged 17.4 point, 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, and 2.9 assists. That production carried over to the summer circuit, where he averaged 15.1 points on 43.1% shooting on the Nike EBYL for Team CP3. For those keeping track, scoring from the wing has been a problem for the Heels this season.
Styles is the seventh recruit to hold an offer for 2021. He is the second small forward, joining Patrick Baldwin Jr (#3 overall). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the coaching staff was gearing up for the spring evaluation season. Without a known timeline for the rest of the spring and summer, UNC pulled the trigger now, since they have already seen Styles in action.
Per MaxPreps, he averaged 19.7 points and 11 rebounds on 76.4 FG%, 50.8 3P%, and 83.4 FT%. Along the way, he led Kinston to a 26-4 record before falling to Farmville Central in the 4th round of the state playoffs. Fans should be familiar with Kinston, as it also produced former UNC players Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Bullock, as well as notorious not-UNC player Brandon Ingram.
Styles’ offer is the first for UNC to a player currently outside the top 20 of most rankings, though Trevor Keels was in the 30’s or so when Roy offered him. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff widens their focus to players outside the “elite” talent they have heavily targeted in recent years. We explored this potential shift in recruiting strategy earlier this year.
Styles most recently visited UNC on an unofficial visit when the Heels hosted Boston College. He also holds offers from Clemson, Maryland, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown.