When the recruiting dead period officially came to a close as of midnight on June 1st, it embarked on one of Carolina Basketball history's most important recruiting stretches. For the first time in 18 seasons, UNC has a new head coach in Hubert Davis, who is trying to establish himself as a recruiter, and the program overall. In the first week, Davis landed his first recruit in Will Shaver and hosted two other prospects that really enjoyed their visit to UNC. When Davis was announced as the new head coach, he made it known that he was going to recruit nationally but wants players that will be invested in not only the basketball program but the University overall.
The first week of the open recruiting period was busy as Carolina had 3 players visit, but the second week only Dereck Lively made his way to Chapel Hill. Lively is 7-1 center and is the number four center overall in the 2022 class and the number one player from the state of Pennsylvania. We know that UNC is going to be more guard orientated, but Davis knows his program needs frontcourt depth. After losing four players to the transfer portal, and Day’Ron Sharpe to the NBA, UNC currently only has three frontcourt players in Armando Bacot, and Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek, and Virginia transfer Justin McKoy. Manek is a senior, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic. That means that only Bacot and McKoy would be the only scholarship frontcourt players for 2022-23. UNC will have to beat out both Duke and Kentucky for Lively’s services, but his athletic prowess, compared with his size, makes him an ideal fit for what Hubert Davis wants in his program.
This week will be busier than last week, and important for North Carolina, as we enter the last half of the month. Five-star point guard Jaden Bradley will make his official visit this week, and he would instantly become the headliner for the 2022 recruiting class, and help establish Davis and his staff as a force on the recruiting trail. Bradley will be in Chapel Hill for three days starting tomorrow. His visit comes after Hubert Davis reaffirmed his scholarship offer after Roy Williams retired in April. Bradley was a priority for Williams, and is even more so for Hubert Davis, as UNC will be even more guard driven moving forward. Even with the backcourt fully loaded as of this time, there is no telling when Caleb Love or any of the backcourt quartet could bolt for the NBA. After injuries ravished the 2019-20 season, there’s no such thing as too much back court depth. Bradley’s recruitment is an ongoing battle between UNC and rival Kentucky. In addition to the Tar Heels and Wildcats, he also has visited Alabama and will visit Arizona and Michigan.
Not only is Bradley visiting this week, so is four-star combo guard Seth Trimble, the younger brother of former Tar Heel J.P. Tokoto. Trimble is coming off a fantastic junior season where he averaged north of 20 points per game while contributing in the assists and rebounding departments as well. Trimble, who hails from Menomonee Falls, WI is being recruited by a handful of Big 10 schools as you would expect, and the Michigan Wolverines appear to be the biggest challenger for Trimble. Trimble will be on campus at the same time as Jaden Bradley, so it’ll be interesting how that develops, as the idea of playing with a premier guard like Bradley, might sway his decision to choose Chapel Hill over Ann Arbor.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest recruiting news around Carolina Basketball.
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