Current Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:55:37 -0400
UNC staff checking out hoops prospects
The North Carolina men’s basketball team will hold its first practice of the 2013-14 season on Friday, but Roy Williams’ staff is still staying active on the recruiting trail.
The fall evaluation period is currently underway, meaning Division I coaches can watch high school prospects work out at their high schools. The Tar Heels’ staff has been traveling across the country throughout September, looking to identify and scout as many potential recruits as possible.
A Familiar Name in South Carolina
Jalek Felton just began his first year of high school, but is already drawing attention from the UNC staff.
A 6-foot-3 guard prospect out of Mullins (S.C.), the freshman is the nephew of former Tar Heels point guard Raymond Felton, who is now playing at the NBA level with the New York Knicks.
Williams watched the younger Felton in AAU play over the summer, and assistant coach C.B. McGrath traveled to Mullins last week to watch a workout. While it would be unusual for the UNC staff to be scouting such a young prospect, Felton’s family connection to the Tar Heels is undeniable. Expect to be hearing his name often in UNC recruiting discussions over the next four years.
Davis Scouts Las Vegas Big Men
Assistant coach Hubert Davis watched 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman and 6-foot-9 forward Chase Jeter work out at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) on Monday afternoon. Both members of the 2015 class, neither player has garnered a scholarship offer from UNC at this time.
Zimmerman is widely considered the top center in the 2015 class nationally and possesses an incredibly rare skill set for a player of his size. The junior can handle the ball, passes well and is an above-average shooter from the outside. Zimmerman currently holds offers from Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA and UNLV, among others.
Jeter is a fast-rising prospect with considerable upside. Ranked as a top-25 prospect in the 2015 class by most recruiting services, the power forward has been offered by Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, UCLA, UNLV and more. As Jeter gains muscle and begins to assert himself on the defensive end, he could develop into a top-10 type prospect.
Heels Tracking Australian Star
As Australia continues to develop its presence in the basketball world, 2015 star Ben Simmons may become the poster boy for hoops down under. The 6-foot-8 forward is originally from Melbourne but is playing his high school basketball at Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).
Considered a top-5 prospect in his class, the junior has attracted major college attention, and UNC was at Montverde to see him on Tuesday, per a tweet from USA Today’s Jason Jordan.
Simmons first made his U.S. debut in April and has quickly become a major target for schools like Duke, Florida, LSU and Ohio State.
Guard Prospect Emerging in Baltimore
Although his name is not widely known in national recruiting circles yet, 2015 combo guard Drew Edwards has established himself as one of the premier prospects in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metro area, arguably the nation’s top region for high school basketball.
Tar Heels assistant Steve Robinson checked out the 6-foot-3 playmaker at Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) on Tuesday afternoon, with Maryland also in the gym.
Clemson and Kansas State offered Edwards after watching him last week, joining Providence, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech and others as schools who have extended scholarship offers. Arizona, Georgetown, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame and West Virginia have all also shown interest in Edwards.
Vaughn Trims List
A day after postponing his official visit to UNC, 5-star 2014 shooting guard Rashad Vaughn has officially cut his list of potential schools to seven. See yesterday’s updated blog post for more details.
Future Heels is a DTH blog covering North Carolina recruiting, with a focus on basketball and football.