The North Carolina women’s basketball team's 2021 recruiting class is set to be one of the strongest in program history.
All three recruits are in the top 50 of their class, as well as the top 20 in their respective positions. They are also all rated as five-star prospects — making this the first year since 2013 UNC has had at lease three five-star prospects. With each player bringing different things to the table, here's how they will contribute to head coach Courtney Banghart’s team.
The first five-star prospect to commit to UNC, Destiny Adams comes to the Tar Heels from Manchester Township High School in Manchester, New Jersey. A 6-foot-3 wing, Adams earned a first team All-State selection in 2020 and led her team to a state playoff run, reaching the state championship game before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams had an impressive junior season, averaging a double-double with 18.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest, as well as an impressive 2.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game. Her height is one of the main factors of her versatility, allowing her to slash in and take on multiple defenders at once, or put back an offensive rebound for the second-chance bucket. She is also deceptively adept from three-point range, knocking down 47 buckets from beyond the arc in her sophomore season.
Defensively, Adams’ height and athleticism play to her advantage. Whether it’s with a block or a defensive rebound, Adams excels at securing the ball and initiating fast breaks. Because of her quickness, she can also capitalize on the fast break, often making a block or steal before eventually scoring herself at the end of the play. Adams’ two-way versatility will provide a huge boost to the Tar Heels when she arrives in 2021.
Teonni Key is a local prospect, coming out of Cary High School. While she may be from the area, her national profile is massive, being ranked as the No. 3 wing and No. 22 overall recruit from her class. Although her team didn’t make much noise this season, Key stood out in a big way.
In her junior year, she went on a tear, averaging 20.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, with 96 of her 244 rebounds last year coming on the offensive end. That season also saw four 20-point, 20-rebound games. One of those was a win over Green Hope High School in December, where Key notched 24 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and four steals.
Key has a complete game across the floor. Offensively, she has the potential to create mismatches and score from anywhere, possessing a keen eye from mid-range, as well as a height and frame that make her a force driving into the paint. Defensively, her biggest assets are her ability to scoop rebounds with ease and her ability to disrupt the passing lane. With her talents, there is no telling how much Key could bring to Chapel Hill when she arrives.
The most recent commit from the class of 2021, Wiggins is a 6-foot guard from Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Despite tearing her ACL just seven games into her junior season, her stock is still high. She was named the No. 19 guard and 50th overall recruit in her class, as well as an honorable mention All-State selection.
In her sophomore season, Wiggins put up prolific numbers, averaging 24 points and nine rebounds per game. In her seven games as a junior, she looked to do just as well, notching 19.1 points and eight rebounds per game prior to her season-ending injury. Wiggins is an all-around offensive threat. Her shot is potent both inside and outside the three-point arc, as is her ability to play off the dribble and score in the paint.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of her game is her defensive prowess. Despite being of average height, Wiggins’ vertical gives her enough height to block effectively and grab boards. Wiggins also has an adept eye for passing, allowing her to capitalize on a block or rebound by initiating the fast break with a long pass. All in all, her game will contribute to a strong 2021 class, yet another piece of Banghart’s burgeoning team.
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