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Heel Tough Blog: Jaden Bradley Releases His Top 5, Doesn't Include UNC

There haven't been many misses on the recruiting trail for Hubert Davis since he was hired back in April, as he solidified three transfers for the upcoming season while signing three prospects for next year’s recruiting class in June and July. Upon his hiring, he cemented the offer UNC had extended to premier point guard Jaden Bradley, from IMG Academy. UNC had become involved with Bradley while he was enrolled at the Cannon School in Concord, NC. Carolina continued to recruit Bradley and even hosted him on a visit earlier this summer. Over the last couple of weeks there was a sense that UNC wasn’t going to be a major factor in his decision of where he’d be playing college basketball, and today that came true when he unveiled his top 5 schools. That list didn’t include North Carolina, instead, it contained Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona, Alabama, and ACC opponent Florida State, while not providing a date for when he will announce his commitment.

Bradley was believed to be the prize recruit of the 2022 class for UNC, which already contains Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington, and Will Shaver. Instead, Carolina will have to focus their attention on locking down the commitment of Cam Whitmore who was on campus last week, and Tyler Nickel who is considering Carolina among other schools. The issue of missing out on Bradley does limit the depth in the backcourt, primarily at the point guard position. Caleb Love is the only natural point guard on the roster, with R.J. Davis being more comfortable, and better effective playing off the ball. The same goes for Seth Trimble, even though Hubert Davis envisions him playing with the basketball, there will be an adjustment period for being a floor leader on both ends of the court. It also dampens the ability to play with two true point guards simultaneously like Hubert Davis wants to do, as Carolina is in the process of changing the way they play. Furthermore, if Caleb Love were to leave school early or transfer, UNC is looking at a situation like in 2019-20, when Cole Anthony was injured, in terms of not having an experienced or talented backup point guard.

Stock Risers

This brings us to Robert Dillingham, who is going to be the primary focus of the 2023 class, as he’s one of the best players in the entire country for that cycle. Dillingham is a point guard out of Combine Academy, which is located in Lincoln, North Carolina. The program is run by former Tar Heel point guard Jeff McInnis, who was considered for an assistant position earlier this summer. UNC appears to be in good standing for Dillingham, but there is a long way to go in his recruitment, with virtually every and any school recruiting him. With UNC missing out on the aforementioned Bradley, expect UNC to shift their focus to Dillingham, and earn Davis his first major in-state recruit.

For more on UNC Basketball Recruiting, make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog.

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