Justin Watts commits to UNC

May 21, 2008

The 2008 recruiting period is not over, and yesterday UNC signed Justin Watt (SG, 6’5″) out of Durham (reported by Scout.com). Watt is a four-year player who will probably help shore up the deficit left by Wayne Ellington.

Watts is listed as a forward by most sites, but his ballhandling is strong and he can slash to the basket. I would assume that would make him more of a Marcus Ginyard type player than an Ellington player, but I have not seen enough of him to really make that assessment. Time to tap my buddy’s player database again, I think.


UNC Recruiting Notes, 2009; Doron Lamb to Oak Hill?

May 14, 2008

UNC is going after shooting guards heavily for 2009, offering Xavier Henry (6’6”), Dominic Cheek (6’6”), Leslie McDonald (6’4”), and Nolan Dennis (6’5”). This is all in addition to already signing Dexter Strickland (6’3”). It’s obvious that UNC feels they will need to load up at that position, especially with two big men coming from the Class of 2008 and three more bigs already committed for 2009. UNC will be loaded with high caliber big men. With PG Larry Drew coming in to back up Bobby Frasor next season, and Class of 2010 PG Kendall Marshall already inked, UNC is already loaded with incoming firepower, but one shooting guard from the 2009 class would make them incredibly deep. Coach Roy Williams loves to push the ball, and having a deep team makes that strategy very effective.

Given this, I just don’t see UNC going after John Wall (PG, 6’3”), even though he’s a superstar talent and probably will go quickly to the NBA. Wall still lists North Carolina, but the aura around Wall is that he’s going to be one-and-done, and UNC is already pretty set at PG without taking him. At this point, it seems (from the outside looking in) like Wall is more interested in the Heels than they are with him, but who knows? Duke hasn’t offered either, and I said this before, but when the #1 PG in the country plays in Raleigh and neither Duke or UNC have officially extended an offer, it means there is more that meets the eye, if you know what I mean.

I still think Wall looks like he’s Memphis bound, but that’s just trying to read the tea leaves. Wall is an explosive player who can really push the ball, and he would definitely be able to play in the frenetic style that UNC plays, but it may be just the situation around Wall that is keeping him from playing in Chapel Hill or Durham. That said, NC State has offered Wall as well, so if he wanted to stay close to home and play in the ACC, there is opportunity.

Oh, one last thing, Class of 2010 guard Doron Lamb(6’4”, SG) , current target of Maryland and Georgia Tech, is rumored to be considering playing for Oak Hill next season.


Derrick Favors, Lighting It Up; John Wall to Memphis?

April 15, 2008

Derrick Favors continues to light it up, routinely putting up 20-20 games even as he plays against the top recruits in the nation. However, one key aspect about Favors is his attitude towards improvement and goal setting:

“I wanted the eighth-graders to do 50 pushups a night,” says [Favor’s coach] Reddick, who played professionally in Europe for 12 years. “Derrick came up to me and said, ‘Coach, how many do your guys do a night?’ When I told him 150-200, he said that’s how many he was going to start doing.”

Favors also does not intend to transfer schools, which sets him apart from other top recruits. Putting up 20-20 against top competition is excellent, but the key element that separates great players from merely good (or merely talented) is work ethic and an innate drive to improve themselves.

Naturally, Favors is the prize recruit this year by all of the major programs, and the ACC programs reportedly in the mix are Georgia Tech, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Florida State.

Meanwhile, Jerry Myers muses about the possibility of Favors going to Duke. Jerry reports that NC State, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Georgia are already high on Favor’s list.

Elsewhere, top PG John Wall from the Raliegh, NC area may be headed to Memphis. This is also being reported by here, along with Xavier Henry and Karron Johnson


Video: Larry Drew

April 13, 2008

This is a pretty lengthy video of incoming UNC PG Larry Drew (Class of 2008).

Drew has been named as a 2008 McDonald’s All-American.