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Sunday March 7th

Analysis: These prospects could fill out UNC men's basketball's 2021 recruiting class

UNC men's basketball head coach Roy Williams and the bench observe the game between UNC and Duke. UNC lost 89-76 in Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 7, 2020.
Buy Photos UNC men's basketball head coach Roy Williams and the bench observe the game between UNC and Duke. UNC lost 89-76 in Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 7, 2020.

In recent years, the North Carolina men’s basketball team has entered the era of the one-and-done. Departures from first-years Cole Anthony, Coby White and Nassir Little in the last two offseasons set a new precedent for a program that previously relied on upperclassman leadership to guide it through each season.  

The Tar Heels’ 2020 class sits at No. 2 nationally and is filled with potential NBA prospects, and with forward Garrison Brooks entering his final year of eligibility, UNC will have plenty of roster spots to fill in 2021. Here are some potential targets head coach Roy Williams and his coaching staff are pursuing to round out their 2021 class. 

Kennedy Chandler

247Sports Composite rankings place five-star guard Kennedy Chandler as the No. 1 point guard and the 12th-best overall player in his class. The guard racked up an impressive stat-line as a junior at Briarcrest Christian in Memphis, Tennessee, averaging 22.2 points, 4.3 assists and 2.6 steals per contest. 

Chandler announced in April that North Carolina made the cut as one of his top five schools, along with Duke, Tennessee, Kentucky and Memphis. While UNC already gained the commitment of 2020 five-star point guard Caleb Love, it seems likely that Love will be on his way to the NBA following his first season as a Tar Heel. 

Mock drafts from ESPN and Bleacher Report have Love slated as a top-15 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and the first-year should have plenty of chances to make plays with the departure of both Anthony and fellow guard Jeremiah Francis this offseason. 

If Love does leave after just one year in Chapel Hill, Williams will need to find his fourth new starting point guard in four years, and Chandler projects as one of the best options to fill that role. 

Chandler has only two Crystal Ball predictions, both of which have Duke as the favorite to land the guard. He has not yet announced a commitment date. 

Harrison Ingram

247Sports composite has Harrison Ingram listed as the No. 15 overall prospect, the sixth-best small forward nationally and the top recruit in Texas. 

The 6-foot-6 forward visited UNC for its game against Duke in February before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped on-campus recruiting visits, and projects as a two-way threat at the collegiate level. 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Snow described him as “a point forward who uses savvy, skill and intelligence to dominate games,” and “one of the better passers in the class.” 

The Dallas native tweeted out his top 10 on May 11, with UNC making the cut along with Baylor, Louisville, Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, Memphis, Purdue, Stanford and Texas A&M. Ingram has only one Crystal Ball prediction on 247Sports, which has Stanford as the favorite to land the forward. 

If Ingram does commit to UNC, it may only be for one season, as some outlets have him listed as a potential first round pick in early 2022 mock drafts. 

D’Marco Dunn

247Sports has D’Marco Dunn slated as a four-star prospect and the No. 19 shooting guard in the nation. 

Roy Williams offered the Fayetteville-based guard a scholarship in May after a junior season in which he averaged 20.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. The 6-foot-4 guard also shot an impressive 45 percent from beyond the arch, en route to a state championship game appearance that was canceled due to COVID-19. 

Dunn’s stroke from three point land would be a welcomed addition to a team that just shot 30 percent from three last year. While Dunn doesn’t look like a one-and-done prospect, he could make an impact as a first-year at UNC as a 3-and-D type rotational player. Dunn could be a major riser in national rankings this winter as offers from other Power 5 programs start to pour in. 

Dunn has no Crystal Ball predictions listed on his 247Sports profile, but North Carolina looks like it will stay a competitor to earn his commitment when the time comes. 

Landing commitments from Chandler, Ingram or Dunn would be a major step in ensuring the Tar Heels maintain success in 2021, with plenty of roster questions looming at the end of next season.  

@zachycrain

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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