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.


Ranking The Point Guards of 2010

April 19, 2010

It’s not the practice of ACCBasketballRecruiting.com to ‘rank’ players, because we try to evaluate players based on long term prospects and not so much on their rank within their graduating high school class. There are several reasons for this; first, because there are a lot of ranking services around and our rankings would not be much different in the top players. Secondly, because ranking players between classes makes an unbalanced comparison between classes. Would the number one point guard in 2010 be as good as John Wall of 2009? It’s not really a fair comparison.

That said, we will take a few moments to talk about the top point guards in the 2010 class, and only the position within this class.

This year’s best point guard is probably Kyrie Irving (PG, 6’1″, 2010), a Duke commitment and a speedy ballhandler who can push the ball extremely well in transition. In all of the all-star games this season, Irving has shown he can play on the biggest stages and has had solid outings every time. Now, almost every scouting service out there has Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) as the top point guard in the country, but we don’t agree with that. The reason is not Knight’s ability, which he has loads, it’s the fact that Knight looks too much like a streaky shooting guard. Can he play the PG in college? Yes, he can. He’s a solid ballhandler and passer. But we’ve yet to see that one distinct difference between an off guard running point and a true point, which is, actually running the offense and knowing where players are going to be before they arrive at the spot. Irving has it. Ty Lawson, Chris Paul, John Wall and Raymond Felton all had it. The thinking is that Knight will need to use his athletic talents at slashing to the hoop and develop his point guard skills so he can move to the NBA, but only time will tell if he’s able to do it.

Just behind Irving is Cory Joseph (PG, 6’3″, 2010), an as-of-yet uncommitted player from Nevada who plays the point with intensity and presence. Although he’s behind several other players on most lists, our opinion is that he’s solid and the second best in 2010 right now.

Probably next after Joseph is a tough call between Josh Selby (PG, 6’2, 2010) who just committed to Kansas, and Kendall Marshall (PG, 6’3″, 2010), a North Carolina commit. Selby is a little too much combo guard right now but is tough and can get to the hoop, while Marshall is a pure PG who should flourish in the UNC system.

We’d put Brandon Knight next and then Joe Jackson (PG, 5’11”, 2010), a Memphis-bound player with gifted offensive moves but who will need to prove they can defend effectively at the collegiate level.

The next four to round out the top ten would be Ray McCallum (PG, 6’1″, 2010), an extremely solid PG who will play for his father at Detroit, Ryan Harrow (PG, 5’11’, 2010), headed to NC State, Phil Pressey (PG, 5’10”, 2010) and Ian Miller (PG, 6’2″, 2010), a Florida State commit.


UNC Recruit Reggie Bullock Wins AP POY

March 27, 2010

Reggie Bullock (SF, 6’6″, 2010) capped his senior session at Kinston High School with another state title, and in the process landed the 2009-2010 AP Player of the Year award for the state. Bullock’s been a UNC commit for some time now, and had current UNC players like John Henson rooting him on as his team played the championship in Chapel Hill.

“I just stayed humble with it,” Bullock said. “I didn’t want to try to let it get too overwhelming and be like, ‘Yeah, I’m that dude.’ I tried to stay low-profile when I walked in the gym.”

Bullock is a big, smooth small forward with a lot of shooting guard skills and potential. He can shoot from deep and that opens up for opportunities to slash to the hoop. He also is effective in transition because of his poise and size, making him difficult to guard. If he could develop a mid range floater, he’d be a deadly offensive player and definitely has a lot of potential.


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:


UNC Recruit Harrison Barnes is POY

March 21, 2010

North Carolina Tar Heel basketball recruit Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’8″, 2010) has been named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season. Considered by many to be both the top high school player in the nation for the class of 2010 and also a candidate to only play one year in college, Barnes is racking up the awards and will soon be playing in the McDonald’s All American game and Jordan Brand Classic.

Barnes is also the choice for the Iowa Newspaper Association’s “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Iowa:

The INA also named Ames senior Harrison Barnes as its “Mr. Basketball” choice for 2010.
Barnes, a 6-8 forward who finished his high school career as Ames’ leading scorer with 1,787 points, will play college basketball for Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup

October 7, 2008

Jamil Wilson (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2009) eliminates the ACC, and according to Scout.com, he’s cut his list to Oregon State, Marquette, Texas and Michigan State. Wilson had at one time listed Duke as a possible destination, but did not receive a reported offer and Duke is no longer an option. Thus, we’re no longer tracking Jamil as an ACC prospect.

Trae Golden

Trae Golden (PG/SG,6’1″,2010) the player who de-committed from Ohio State over the summer, seems to have completely fallen out of touch with the Buckeyes, but has Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest and now Virginia Tech following his recruitment. Kentucky has also been in the mix for Golden. North Carolina and Florida State have also been mentioned as possible options.

Clemson and Georgia Tech have reportedly already offered Golden, as has Kentucky.

Ryan Kelly

Rumors abound that Ryan Kelly (PF, 6’10”, 2009) will make a decision this week.

Elijah Johnson cuts list

Elijah Johnson (PG/SG,6’2″, 2009) is another player cutting his list and had eliminated the ACC some time ago, but we’re making it official as he’s trimming his list to Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Derrick Favors, Derrick Favors

Has Derrick cut his list to five. His recent comments to Alex sure seem to indicate it:

Georgia Tech, Georgia, Memphis, North Carolina State, and Florida State

If you didn’t spot the missing school…it’s Kentucky. In fact, Favors tells Alex that reports of him considering Kentucky are inaccurate.

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