Carolina has been blessed with many dynamic point guard and forward duos. Recent combinations that come to mind are Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson, Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, and Raymond Felton and Sean May. All of those duos had great individual parts, but what made them special was their chemistry. What would it be like if two future Tar Heels had that chemistry before stepping on campus?
We’ll get a chance to see what that’s like soon. 2024 commitment James Brown is transferring from St. Rita High School in Chicago to Link Academy in Branson, Missouri. Elliot Cadeau is already enrolled there and has starred for the Lions, who play a national schedule. The will compete in the Geico High School Nationals Tournament as the #4 seed. Brown will not participate, as he was not on the team this season.
This will be an interesting next step for Brown. On the Inside Carolina Coast to Coast podcast, he talked about the hour-long commute he would take from his home to St. Rita and how tiring it was. Trying to manage basketball, workouts, class, and homework with at least two hours on a train is backbreaking. Getting to settle down in a resplendent campus in the Ozarks will seem like a breeze compared to that.
On the basketball side, Brown will have to hit the ground running. There’s competition for places at Link Academy with 11 players sporting Division I offers, and six of the team competing this year committed to Power 5 schools. Next season, there are two five-star players at Link Academy besides Cadeau (shooting guard BJ Davis-Ray and point guard Aaron Rowe).
If Brown ends up playing heavy minutes next to Cadeau, they’ll get to understand each other’s rhythm and habits. Elliot Cadeau is said to be one of the best passers and playmakers UNC will have since Kendall Marshall, a departure from the type of lead guards Roy Williams gravitated towards after Marshall departed. Marcus Paige, Joel, Berry, Coby White, Cole Anthony, Caleb Love, and RJ Davis can pass, but scoring was more of their forte.
Check them out as they went head to head at the 2023 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Cadeau is white #3, Brown is blue #13 in glasses:
It would be nice to see some Tar Heel freshmen hit the ground running. Together!