Last year, Courtney Banghart’s job was just to keep a team together and reset its locker room, which she did with aplomb as the new head coach of UNC women’s basketball. It wasn’t always pretty, and got pretty dang ugly down the stretch, but you could tell that the Heels were playing together and had been revitalized after the drama that had been the end of the previous regime. But college coaching is just as much about recruiting as it is about what you do in practice and on the sidelines. Banghart got off to a pretty hot start, wrapping up ESPNW’s 11th-ranked 2020 class in the country headlined by top-ten player Deja Kelly. This year, she’s one-upping herself for the class of 2021 - After the commitment of five-star New Jersey prospect Destiny Adams in April, she secured the services of another five-star recruit, Teonni Key, on Saturday.
Key is familiar with Chapel Hill, having grown up just half an hour away. The 6’3 wing currently attends and plays at Cary High School in Cary, NC. Even though her sister plays at Tennessee and she initially wasn’t super into the idea of going to college close to home, In an interview with the Daily Tar Heel, she explained that she chose to stay local because of how impressed she was with Banghart’s semi-positionless system, ability to revitalize the program, and vision for the future, all of which she got a close look at over the course of last season.
Key, the 22nd-rated player in her class according to ESPNW, can play anywhere on the floor, making her a great fit with UNC’s projected roster that’s extremely fluid outside of Janelle Bailey. She and Destiny Adams, another athletic and long wing, project to fit really well together as dual point-forwards, and with Kelly set to helm the squad, the Heels could be a really exciting team very soon with the talent that Banghart is adding. This is what ESPNW’s scouting report has to say about Key:
Athletic perimeter prospect with front court versatility; hybrid-4 game, quick off the dribble, creates mismatches, slashes and delivers in traffic; knocks down the jumper to the arc; best off the dribble, attacking the defense; quick-leaper, active on the glass; defends, disrupts plays in passing lanes; continues as an elite prospect in the class of 2021.
We look forward to seeing her in Carolina blue!