August 7, 2014

Breaking Down UNC's 2015 Targets

The North Carolina basketball staff has clearly identified a handful of players that they are targeting in the class of 2015. The coaching staff has made it clear that they seek an elite, skilled post player. They've also targeted several noted wing guards and small forwards who can stretch the defense with long-range accuracy.

THI breaks down some of the prospects in the rising senior class who have been offered a full scholarship by Roy Williams.

Ivan Rabb -- The elite Oakland area power forward is one of the most efficient post guys in the class. He's long, mobile, active and assertive inside the paint. And the best thing about him is how well he runs the floor and rebounds the basketball on both ends. Rabb can step out and put the ball on the floor, pulling opposing big men away from the basket where he can utilize his quickness. The Tar Heel staff has developed a really strong rapport with Rabb and his mother and UNC will be one of the main contenders for his commitment. They'll have to fight off some west coast blue bloods to get him.

Stephen Zimmerman -- The agile 7-0 from Las Vegas fits so perfectly in the UNC system because he's fluid and mobile and can shoot and pass from the high post. He's a shotblocking presence and alters a lot of shots that he just can't get to. Zimmerman operates well on the perimeter and has some polished post moves, including a nice jab-step. He's visiting UNC for Late Night with Roy and just getting the big man on campus is a step in the right direction.

Diamond Stone -- Stone is probably the best low post, seal and score guy in the entire class and he's a terrific defensive rebounder. UNC was aggressive early on in this recruitment, but the Milwaukee center has moved on to some other schools that are offering a chance for he and his buddy, Malik Newman, to play together. Stone is looking like an early signer and the staff in Chapel Hill has made minimal movement with Stone over the last couple months.

Henry Ellenson -- At 6-10 and 235-pounds, Ellenson has seen his stock soar this summer. He's a terrific ball-handler, jump shooter and active guy on the glass. He's probably the most versatile big in his class. Ellenson is on the Tar Heel radar and he's got a ton of schools on him. Many of the stronger ones are in the midwest and his brother has been brought on the team at Marquette. Ellenson wants to be used in a role similar to Carmelo Anthony, where he can have much of the offense run through him. He's versatile and wants to be used in that way. And schools are willing to do it to earn his signature.

Brandon Ingram -- Ingram, at 6-9 and 180-pounds is an enigma. He's had some great performances and he's had some subpar ones. The thing is, however, everyone wants him, despite his inconsistent showings. The bottom line is, 6-9 guys who can handle, shoot and extend right over the defense with length -- well, they usually end up being pretty good college basketball players. Ingram is drawn to the family feel of Carolina and Jerry Stackhouse is most certainly helping UNC due to a relationship with Ingram. Duke, NC State, Louisville, UCLA and Kentucky are the contenders and the Kinston-native wants to sign in the early period.

Kenny Williams-- The VCU Rams basketball staff was very worried when they got word that the LC Bird High School shooter got an offer from the Tar Heels. In the words of a wise source, "that was a game changer," as Williams has been very eager to earn an offer from his dream school. He's going to try and get down to Chapel Hill very soon for a visit and the UNC basketball staff has a superb chance of landing the Richmond-area shooting guard. He's a good candidate to really help stretch the defense with his long range marksmanship.

PJ Dozier -- At 6-6, Dozier gives you a big, athletic guard who can slash to the basket. He's also a fine handler who can pass and manufacture offense for others with his clever vision and quickness. Dozier draws a lot of attention by the defense when he's got the ball and it's his crafty ability to get to the basket that draws double-teams and causes sagging defenders. He wants to be a primary ball-handler on the next level, so some schools have been selling that idea to him and that's something that the staff might have to have a conversation about. At this point, the South Carolina native is down to five schools and most educated recruitniks feel that the Tar Heels have a very strong chance of closing Dozier.

Luke Maye -- The staff hasn't yet offered a full scholarship to Maye, but his game is very intriguing to them. And that's because the 6-7, 240-pound PF can shoot the lights out of the ball and he's really efficient on the glass and has a savvy and fundamental way of playing basketball that just helps you win games. His father was a former UNC quarterback and there's no doubt that he has a high affinity for UNC. Clemson, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Notre Dame and UVA are all recruiting him and Georgia Tech wants him to come down for a visit. UNC would be tough to beat if they amped up the interest level.

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