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What the Heels are getting with Day’Ron Sharpe

Roy Williams’ first 2020 commit is a just about perfect fit

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Charlotte Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

UNC men’s basketball recently landed its first 2020 commitment in the form of Day’Ron Sharpe, currently the only 2020 prospect to have been offered by UNC. It’s easy to see why Roy Williams has a particular interest in this young man, who seems to check every box necessary for a UNC big man. Let’s take a look at his film:

The first thing that’s evident about Sharpe from this video, and the first thing you’ll see on any scouting report, is that he has excellent hands. He doesn’t fumble the ball around in traffic, he can collect rebounds and errant passes well out of his area, and he has soft touch as a passer. Rivals’ Eric Bossi puts it like this:

The young big man has absolute vice grips for hands. If he gets so much as a fingertip on the ball, just forget it, because it is his and his alone.

In UNC’s uptempo offense that prioritizes quick post entries and offensive rebounds, this is an absolute gift. Soft hands are pretty much the #1 requirement for a UNC big, with rebounding instincts coming in at a close second. Sharpe’s physical profile serves him well here as well; he’s listed at a slightly undersized 6’8 but claims to have hit 6’10 by the end of his sophomore year and has very long arms, which help him greatly as a rebounder and aid him as a shot blocker as well. While it’s tough to tell anything about his shotblocking instincts from the video because he doesn’t have to make many tough decisions in it, he clearly knows how to stay in front of his man and get in position for blocks, and with his physical imposition, finishing the play is nearly guaranteed. He resembles former Tar Heel Ed Davis more than a bit on the defensive end with his ability to protect the rim and clean up the glass.

The second positive thing to note about Sharpe is his offensive polish. He displays a high skill level on passes on the move and out of the post, he has a workable jump shot out to about 15 feet (but by no means is he a “stretch” big, something Williams will be absolutely fine with), and has a variety of post moves including a go-to counter over his left shoulder that has been a staple of UNC big men as long as Williams has been in Chapel Hill, maybe longer. There’s even one example in the video of him going coast-to-coast, and while he won’t be expected to do that in college, that kind of handle is never a bad thing to have. For a rising junior in college who’s considered a “throwback” big man, Sharpe has the skill for the modern game, even if it’s not in the prototypical way.

Something Sharpe will need to work on between now and his enrollment in college is his finishing around the basket. He isn’t a particularly explosive athlete and plays below the rim more often than not, so he needs to work on finishing at an angle, using the glass right, and using the basket to protect him when necessary. He picks up a lot of second efforts in this video, and while it’s great that he’s getting those rebounds, you don’t love that from a kid who’s as much bigger and better than his competition as Sharpe clearly is.

Overall, however, UNC is getting a classic UNC big man in Sharpe who is only going to get bigger and better in the next two years before he becomes a Tar Heel, and he’ll be able to fit right in to the Tar Heels’ system. You should expect UNC’s tradition of excellent college bigs to continue with Day’Ron Sharpe, and I’m sure he’ll be a terrific multi-year player for UNC.