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UNC Recruiting: Five-star 2021 prospect Kennedy Chandler plans to announce commitment this fall

It’s always good news when a recruit makes a decision early, but this one comes with a catch.

City Of Palms Classic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

One painful pattern that we’ve witnessed in college basketball recruiting is how late in the game top-tier prospects tend to hold out before announcing their college choice. This doesn’t seem to be the case with five-star senior point guard Kennedy Chandler, who has decided that he isn’t the type to build an unnecessary amount of suspense before making his announcement.

Larry Vaught with Marshall County Daily got to speak with Kennedy’s father Kylan Chandler over the weekend, and here’s what he had to say about when his son plans to announce where he is attending school:

“He’s not going to wait his whole senior year to make a decision. He’ll make it this fall, like maybe November,” said the player’s father, Kylan Chandler. “He wants to make a couple of visits when he can. After that he wants to make a decision. He doesn’t want to go his whole senior year worrying about where’s going to school.”

For those that follow the recruiting scene closely, it’s no secret that Roy Williams has been heavily involved in Chandler’s recruitment. There’s reason to feel like UNC has a fair shot to land yet another super-talented point guard, and Chandler confirmed it when he announced his top five schools back in April:

There is, however, a potential road block that stand in the way of UNC landing Chandler, and it involves a recruit that decided to stiff arm the Heels out of his recruiting process.

Remember five-star power forward Paolo Banchero? For those who may not recall, he was the first offer that Roy Williams made in the 2021 class, but unfortunately Banchero left the Heels out of his top six. As it turns out, Chandler and Banchero have discussed playing with one another during college, which means the possibilities of where both players end up are Duke, Kentucky, and Tennessee. This information alone should shut down any discussion of Chandler landing at UNC, especially coupled with the fact that the 247Sports Crystal Ball currently has Chandler 100% going to Duke. Thankfully things may not be quite so black and white, and here’s why.

As long as I’ve been covering UNC for this site, I’ve rarely come across “package deal” talk that actually panned out, which is a sentiment that Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans has also expressed. One notable scenario that did not lead to a duo playing together was Zion Williamson and Immanuel Quickley, as Quickley chose Kentucky and Williamson took his talents to Duke. There hasn’t been a good enough reason to believe that package deal talk is serious, but make no mistake: UNC does have their work cut out for them when it comes to stealing Chandler away from the likes of Kentucky and Duke. Moral of the story? We’ll see how everything plays out.

One major factor to keep in mind when thinking about how Chandler’s recruitment plays out is whether or not Caleb Love will be a one-and-done player. It’s hard to foresee a universe where Love doesn’t end up in the NBA around this time next year, but there have been weirder things that have happened for the Tar Heels over the last 12 months. This may simply be a case of UNC as well as the other schools on Chandler’s list needing to do a good job of selling the fact that they will have a starting spot open on their roster for next November. Who will be able to make the best case? Stay tuned to find out.

In short, Chandler planning to announce this fall and UNC still being in his top five make this one of the more important recruiting stories to keep an eye on. What are some of your thoughts on Chandler planning to announce early, and how the scenario will play out for him and Caleb Love both? Do you think Love going to the NBA is a foregone conclusion? Let us know in the comments below.