Hoops Recruiting: Signing period quickly approaching

With the early signing period coming in a few days, recruiting classes across the country are being finalized and some of the nation’s top seniors are making their college commitments.

The North Carolina men’s basketball team has three players who have made verbal commitments to the program, all of whom are expected to sign a National Letter of Intent in the early period. The week-long signing period runs from Wednesday, Nov. 13th to Wednesday, Nov. 20th.

[UPDATED 11/13: All three commitments will sign their LOIs today – Wednesday, Nov. 13th.]

If you read our 2014 Recruiting Guide last month, you are familiar with the trio of 2014 commitments, UNC’s “misses” on the recruiting trail and the Tar Heels’ two remaining targets for the class.

As we approach the signing period, Future Heels takes another look at the three commitments and an update on the two prospects the program is still pursuing.

(Note: National player rankings listed are based on the 247 Composite rankings system, which compiles rankings data from every major national scouting service.)

THE COMMITMENTS



As you can gather in the above tweet from wing Theo Pinson, the Tar Heels’ incoming class has fully embraced their status as future members of the program.

Pinson (6-foot-5) is the local star, coming from Greensboro powerhouse Wesleyan Christian Academy.

Pinson, an uber-athletic wing who excels as a defender and slasher, will be joined by 6-foot point guard Joel Berry and 6-foot-8 scoring forward Justin Jackson.

The trio attended the annual Late Night With Roy festivities on October 25th and spent the following Saturday in Chapel Hill, attending UNC football’s 34-10 victory against Boston College.

A full breakdown of the trio can be found in the aforementioned Recruiting Guide, but the idea is that the three will sign in the early signing period and make their decisions official.

As things stand currently, all three players are nationally ranked as Top-20 prospects and form the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class.

THE TARGETS

G Dante Exum (Australian Institute of Sport; Canberra, Australia), 6-foot-5.
Tar Heels fans should not get their hopes up for Exum, a native of Australia whose father, Cecil, played in Chapel Hill under Dean Smith from 1980-84.

Based on his age and the fact that he will graduate later this month from his school in Australia, Exum is eligible for June’s 2014 NBA Draft. If he ends up choosing to go the NBA route, the talented combo guard is expected to be one of the first players selected.

However, Exum has been quoted as saying he would like to consider his college options in the U.S. before making his final decision. If he chooses to attend college, UNC would naturally be considered a contender.

For a quick look at Exum, check out this highlight reel, featuring video from adidas Nations, Nike Hoop Summit and this summer’s FIBA U-19 World Championships:

G Rashad Vaughn (Findlay Prep; Henderson, Nev.), 6-foot-5, National Rank: No. 13
Roy Williams and his staff have been in hot pursuit of Vaughn ever since extending a scholarship offer in February. At one time considered a leader by most in the industry, it seems that UNC’s position with Vaughn has faded.

Arguably the top scorer in the country, Vaughn has failed to mention UNC in recent media interviews and does not have a scheduled official visit to Chapel Hill.

After transferring to prep juggernaut Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) for his senior year, it is appearing more and more likely that Vaughn winds up at UNLV when all is said and done. While Iowa State was a perceived leader at one point, sources have indicated that UNLV is in a good spot with the shooting guard.

Vaughn postponed an official visit to UNC in September, but has not yet rescheduled that visit. He also postponed an official visit to Baylor that was set for the weekend of October 18th.

Next up for Vaughn? An official visit to Iowa State on the weekend of November 17th, followed by an official visit to UNLV one week later.

RELATED STORY: Vaughn postpones UNC official visit

Future Heels is a DTH blog covering North Carolina recruiting, with a focus on basketball and football.


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