Is UNC Pulling A Fast One With James McAdoo?

June 5, 2010

It’s no secret that any college basketball team needs big men, and it’s also no secret that the UNC Tar Heels need big men in the worst way after the sudden transfer of the Wear twins.

After looking at Kadeem Jack, a 6’9″ player who ultimately decided to attend prep school for a year, the Tar Heels landed senior transfer Justin Knox.

Now, it seems that one of their highly regarded 2011 recruits, James McAdoo, may be able to reclassify and attend UNC a year earlier than he planned.

What he would need to do is take three classes over the summer and he’d be able to join the UNC squad in the Fall, helping them out in the post sooner.

All of this has a lot of non-UNC fans crying ‘foul’, saying that UNC is playing fast and loose with the rules in order to help their powerhouse basketball team.

However, the truth is that players reclassify all of the time, and it’s actually no different than what hundreds of players do every year by playing a year after high school in prep school. It’s just that instead of extending their high school career by a year, McAdoo would be shortening it.

Duke player Andre Dawkins did this just last season after the sudden transfer of Eliot Williams.

What McAdoo would be giving up would be the year of accolades for being a high school All-American, meaning he wouldn’t be able to play in the McDonald’s All American game or the Jordan Brand Classic.

However, if McAdoo is physically ready to play in college, it will get him closer to his goal of playing in the NBA faster, and that’s no small thing. So after he participates in the USA Basketball U17 championships, he will have a decision to make, and the Tar Heel nation will wait.


UNC Lands Justin Knox

May 26, 2010

The North Carolina Tar Heels post depth got a little relief yesterday as Justin Knox, the 6’9″ senior transfer from Alabama, decided to play his final year of eligibility in Chapel Hill next season.

Knox chose UNC after considering several options, including Georgia Tech. There were stipulations in his transfer from Alabama that prevented him from choosing schools in the SEC or in the state of Alabama, eliminating many schools that would have been viable options.

However, Knox and his family were excited to join the North Carolina program and are looking forward to next season. With the lack of big men on the UNC roster, Knox has a good shot at extended playing time.

Justin’s father told the Winston-Salem Journal:

“He’s still got a lot of work to do between now and when he gets to Chapel Hill,” Darien Knox said. “He has summer school coming up. He’s got to work out while he’s here in summer school, but he’s excited about the opportunity.”


Kadeem Jack Dunks

May 20, 2010

Kadeem Jack, the 6’9″ post player from the class of 2010 has gone from being a player who was sort of off the radar to being front in center over the past few weeks, as chronicled here.

Thanks again to ScoutsFocus, who provided a nice interview a few days ago with Jack and his thoughts regarding UNC, Kentucky, Miami and Arizona and where he might end up.

Now ScoutsFocus has an updated post with new Kadeem Jack video, and this time he’s sneaking in and dunking over McDonald’s All American Jayvaughn Pinkston:

Kadeem Jack Dunk

While the clip is short, it shows the one thing that I love when I watch a big man play at any level: timing. Timing can’t be taught, and timing is the basis for so many important skills: rebounding, shot blocking, putbacks and catches on the run. Now, this small clip doesn’t automatically put Jack into Dennis Rodman territory, but it’s a nice little slice of what I’ve seen from him before.


Kadeem Jack Talks Recruiting, UNC, Kentucky & Miami

May 16, 2010

A shout out to ScoutsFocus.com for sending us this interview with Kadeem Jack, the 6’9″ post player that has suddenly shown up on several teams’ radar due to the lack of post players still remaining in the 2010 class.

Most notably, Kadeem talks about UNC and his recent options there. He mentions the specific coaches that he’s talked to at UNC and Kentucky, as well as his feelings regarding the schools that were recruiting him previously, which include Miami and Arizona:

Kadeem Jack update

Kadeem Jack Video

Kadeem certainly is giving the fans of the schools he’s considering a lot of great reasons to like him. He talks about trying to do intangible things like working hard, putting full effort on the court, and getting better. With so many top schools interested in him, it’s great to see that he’s grounded and comes across as a young man who understands how to put his best foot forward at all times.


Wake Forest Lands First Recruit of Bzdelik Era

May 16, 2010

Wake Forest’s new head coach, Jeff Bzdelik, found his first order of business to secure the existing recruits with the help of his assistant coaches.

His second need was to get out on the recruiting trail and keep bringing in talent so he can compete in the ACC.

His first recruit is Chase Fischer (SG, 6’3″, 2011), a player who averaged 32.1 ppg last season, had originally committed to Marshall, but later de-committed after a coaching change.

A visit to Wake Forest convinced Fischer to head to Winston-Salem for his college career.


Two Top Recruits May Not Play at UNC

May 15, 2010

It’s no secret that the North Carolina Tar Heels need post players.

Given the scramble for remaining 2010 post players that has erupted over the past few weeks, any option of a viable big man will be something the UNC staff will consider. While names like Kadeem Jack (C, 6’9″, 2010) have suddenly become common to UNC fans, two players that UNC wanted to consider will not be available.

Bill Cole of the Winston-Salem Journal reports that Marcus Thornton, a 6’7″ power forward who originally committed to Clemson, and Kevin Noreen, a 6’11’ PF/C who committed to Boston College, both signed national letters of intent Last November with their original ACC commitments. In both cases, coaching changes are the reason the players were granted a release. The ACC has compliance issues with players who transfer from or are committed to ACC schools, going to another ACC school.

UNC has contacted the high school coaches of both players.

The rule is that transfers from one ACC school to another will lose a full year of eligibility. That means that if either player chose to play at UNC, they’d have to sit out a year, but going to any non-ACC school would mean they could play right away and keep their four years of eligibility.

This also affects Georgia Tech and Virginia, both of whom have extended scholarship offers to Thornton.

ACC schools can appeal the ruling, but in recent cases, the ACC hasn’t allowed a deviation regardless of whether the player has actually played for the school or not.


Maryland Signs JUCO Big Man

May 14, 2010

Maryland is working hard to bring in a recruiting class that will help them continue to compete.

Yesterday, news broke that they have added another big man to their roster for next season with Berend Weijs (C, 6’10”, 2010), a Dutch player who this season played for junior college Harcum College.

According to this report on the Harcum website:

“Harcum College sophomore center Berend Weijs has signed a national letter of intent to play to at the University of Maryland in the ACC. Weijs becomes the fifth Harcum sophomore to sign with an NCAA Division I program this year, joining teammates Antonio Bumpus (Utah St.), Wilbur O’Neal (Robert Morris), Diyaaldin Kelley (Maryland-Eastern Shore), and Jeremiah Bowman (Longwood). The 6’10” Weijs set school record by blocking 119 shots this season.”

This means that Maryland is bringing in a total of six new players for next season, where Weijs will join Mychal Parker, Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard, Ashton Pankey and Haukur Palsson from the 2010 class.

Read more about the incoming big man here.


Austin Rivers Loves Duke, But…

May 8, 2010

So Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011), who has officially opened his recruitment back up and immediately mentioned Duke as a possible destination, has now visited Duke. No, that’s not so much news, but what is novel in the age of Twitter and blogging is that Austin has blogged about his visit to Duke on DimeMag.com:

That was really cool to see everything there. It was a major event! Just the history and the campus and seeing all my boys down there was really fun. I was actually feeling a little under the weather that night of the banquet, but there was so much going on that it didn’t stop me from having a good time.

What’s even more interesting is that Dime Magazine chose to give this story the headline “AUSTIN RIVERS H.S. HOOP DIARY: VISITING (AND LOVING) DUKE”. The meme that’s been repeated is that Austin loves Duke so much that he’s already a lock for Coach K, but nothing in the story indicates that. In fact, Austin states that his visit to Duke was extremely brief, and a more accurate representation of his visit would seem that he will need more information.

Austin goes on to give a timetable for his final decision:

My goal is to have a decision around August. I want to have it done before my high school season for sure, but I’m shooting for August. That looks doable right now.

This entire process could mirror the C.J. Leslie saga, where the hometown player commits to the local team early, then de-commits, then finally, after considering other options, goes with his first choice.

The reasons for Austin, or any player to go somewhere other than their original choice is either that they did not realize all of the options they might have or something could have changed with the original choice. For example, a coaching change. However, in many cases, the reasons that a player committed early are the same reasons available later.

Austin also states he will visit North Carolina soon.


Virginia Basketball Recruiting: James Johnson

April 5, 2010

Virginia added some interior size when they landed James Johnson (C, 6’8″, 2010) a mobile post player with shooting range. Johnson is a pure post player who will need to develop a bit more into a banger in order to play the lane in the ACC, bit his ability to move his feet, spin and get off shots is going to make him tough for ACC big men to defend.

Johnson is a pure post player, although at his size he would be considered undersized for the pro game, he will be a solid collegiate paint player and should see some court time in his first season, especially with the offense he can add. He can play facing the basket but may need to develop his post up game when he’s faced with players his own size.


North Carolina is Recruiting Austin Rivers

March 26, 2010

It seems that it is official, despite what Austin Rivers (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2011) says about being committed to Florida, he isn’t. After saying he was still committed to the Gators, he started entertaining discussions with the Duke Blue Devils and even took an unofficial visit to Durham. While it isn’t clear if Rivers is just looking around, or if there are real problems in Gainesville that might be giving him pause, one thing is for sure: Austin Rivers is not really committed to Florida, and he might end up somewhere else.

Now that has come to fruition as the news that the North Carolina Tar Heels are also in the mix for Rivers, and he told Scout.com that he was listening. UNC has already lined up to see Rivers play and Rivers seems ready to add them to his ‘list’, which is an odd discussion for someone to have if they are committed.

This recruitment is now back in full swing it seems, with the old rivalry between the Heels and the Devils right on the front lines.

Rivers, a slight-of-build player from Florida, has really started to come into his own as possibly the top SG of the 2011 class. The son of Doc Rivers, he’s developed into a very prolific big guard.

Austin Rivers video: