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UNC Recruiting: Five-star 2024 commit Drake Powell catapults up the ESPN rankings

Elliot Cadeau has been long gone in this class, and yet this group is still looking better and better.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN recently updated their ESPN 100 high school rankings for the 2024 class, and future Tar Heel Drake Powell was shown a lot of love by their analysts. Powell is now the 12th-best player in the country according to their rankings, the third-best player at his position, and is the second-best player in the state of North Carolina. ESPN previously had him as a four-star player ranked 34th, so he made quite leap from the last time they updated their rankings.

Powell turned a lot of heads this summer during AAU play. We all expected to hear quite a bit about Ian Jackson, but Powell’s name came out of the mouths of recruiting analysts across the country quite a bit. He averaged 16.6 points and 10 rebounds in the Peach Jam tournament this summer, and also earned an invite to the Nike Skills Academy where he got to work with some NBA players to improve his game. He also was on campus this summer playing pickup with current UNC players since he currently lives in Pittsboro, and will be on campus this weekend for the football game against Appalachian State. It’s great to hear that he not only has been finding ways to improve his game, but has also been getting the UNC experience whenever he can. Hubert Davis likely has a future NBA player in the making, but he isn’t the only one that is expected to do great things when he arrives on campus.

Another update in the ESPN rankings worth noting is for five-star Ian Jackson, who fell from 12th to 17th in ESPN’s rankings. However, it’s worth noting that Powell and Jackson have the same grade of 91, so his “fall” isn’t really a fall in terms of what analysts think he is capable of. Jackson recently announced that he will finish out his high school career at Our Saviour Lutheran, which is part of Overtime Elite. Transferring to OSL was a move intended to help him not only better prepare for his arrival in Chapel Hill, but to help him prepare for the NBA as well.

As of right now, Hubert Davis still has the best 2024 recruiting class in the country. Four-star center James Brown rounds out the group, and currently sits at 89th in the 247Sports Composite rankings. What do you think of Powell’s climb up the ESPN recruiting board? Let us know in the comments below.