I guess UNC wasn’t as finished with the 2018 class as it appeared. After Zion Williamson’s declaration that he will attend Duke in 2018, many assumed that UNC’s 2018 class was finalized to consist of Nassir Little, Coby White, and Rechon Black, a very respectable class in its own right. This does not seem to be the case, as Roy Williams is back on the recruiting trail, this time pursuing top-10 power forward E.J. Montgomery, who decommitted from Auburn in the wake of the FBI scandal. On Wednesday, Williams went to see Montgomery in Marietta, GA and extended him a scholarship offer after having sent his staff to see him several times this winter. Most recently, Hubert Davis saw him put up 39 and 15 on January 25th.
The late offer might be seen as tacky, but it’s worth noting that Montgomery had been committed to Auburn for a full year, which meant that Williams and UNC didn’t have much time to scout him before backing off due to his commitment. For what it’s worth, Montgomery seems to have known that UNC was interested beyond this offer, as he posted a Top 11 on Monday that included UNC:
EJ Montgomery has announced his Top 11 Schools! @E_Montomery pic.twitter.com/2JJ4DxtBAT— TIPTON EDITS (@TiptonEdits) January 26, 2018
Monday, of course, was before the offer was extended.
Montgomery would be a huge boost to the Tar Heels should he choose to come, likely slotting in as an immediate starter in the UNC frontcourt alongside Luke Maye. He could be the elite big man that has been missing from the Heels’ lineup this season; his athleticism, physicality, height/length, and offensive polish would give Luke Maye a more-than-able partner in the frontcourt and give the 2017 freshmen some time on the floor where they wouldn’t have to be the best low-post option.
UNC has some competition, however, just judging by that Top 11, as among other schools, Duke and Kentucky have been involved with Montgomery. For what it’s worth, 247Sports’ Crystal Ball analysts have been trending towards predicting that Montgomery will choose the Blue Devils. It’s early yet, however, and we will continue to update you as to how this recruitment is going.