In a season that will be highlighted with many “firsts” for the North Carolina men’s basketball team, head coach Hubert Davis officially inked in his first recruiting class last Wednesday.
The 2021-22 class is full of young talent who hope to add to the storied history of UNC basketball while also contributing to the modern twist Davis has emphasized through offensive spacing and shooting.
With a 0.9655 rating, according to 247Sports, the Tar Heels bring in the ninth-best recruiting class in the country and the second-highest in the conference. The four newcomers to the program could provide instant impacts early on, as uncertainty surrounds UNC’s roster next season with the change in transfer rules and the possibility of current players declaring early for the NBA.
Seth Trimble comes in as UNC's highest-ranked commit in the class of 2022, ranked 33rd overall, according to the 247Sports composite ranking. Trimble, the younger brother of former UNC player J.P. Tokoto, is a 6-foot-3 point guard from Menomonee Falls, Wis.
The four-star guard is an elite scorer, with Trimble’s driving skills being his most effective way of putting up points. He also possesses the same athletic ability that Tokoto excited Tar Heel fans with during his time at UNC.
Trimble committed in late June, just eight days after he officially received an offer from UNC.
When Jalen Washington committed to UNC on July 9, he was a 247 five-star prospect. Since then, Washington’s ranking has dropped to 4-star status, largely due to a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for his senior season in high school.
Despite his drop in ranking, the 6-foot-9 center from Indiana is a player who could have the most effective impact as a first-year.
Washington is the model big for Davis' system in his early tenure as head coach. With the ability to score from all parts of the floor, Washington is a true, three-level scorer.
In addition to his offensive skill set, Washington’s long wingspan, which stretches over seven feet, allows him to be an elite rim protector and rebounder. With the departure of graduate transfer Brady Manek at the end of this season, and question marks surrounding junior Armando Bacot and sophomore Dawson Garcia's future to go to the next level, Washington could come in as an instant need for the Tar Heels.
The final commit to the 2022 recruiting class came when Tyler Nickel, a four-star small forward from Elkton, Va., committed to UNC in September.
At 6 feet, 8 inches tall, Nickel utilizes his stature to release his sharp, three-point shooting stroke over smaller defenders. Nickel is a pure scorer, lighting up an AAU game with 41 points back in November 2020.
His weaknesses largely come on the defensive side, where he can struggle at times with smaller and quicker wing players. His role will largely be determined by which wing players remain at UNC, but Nickel will likely be used as more of a tall wing player rather than a stretch forward.
The first commit of the Hubert Davis era was center Will Shaver from Birmingham, Ala. Shaver comes in at 6 feet, 9 inches and 245 pounds, and he has been praised for his ability to stretch the floor for his size. He's another player that fits Davis' plans for UNC's offensive scheme moving forward.
Shaver plans on enrolling early in mid-January allowing the three-star recruit to get early access to collegiate competition through practice. Shaver will redshirt upon his arrival to Chapel Hill, allowing him to still be a first-year for the 2022-23 season.
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