Justin Taylor announced today he will be playing his college basketball at Syracuse, which doesn’t come as a surprise as they were the perceived favorite towards the end. UNC was hoping to add him to their class which currently consists of Seth Trimble and Will Shaver, but will instead have to gameplan and scout on how to stop him from putting the ball in the basket against the Tar Heels.
Taylor was a desired recruit, because he’s an elite wing player, and UNC hasn’t had that since Cam Johnson was on campus. The staff had a notion that they weren’t going to get Taylor and immediately started looking at wing players for 2023. Last weekend, Hubert Davis offered scholarships to both Cam Whitmore and Tyler Nickel, after seeing them both in person. Whitmore is a 6-6 small forward from Maryland, and currently holds offers from Florida, Penn State, Villanova, and of course Maryland. Whitmore’s offer came shortly after he scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (Inside Carolina) while playing for his AAU team, Team Melo. That performance was enough for Hubert Davis to offer him. As for Nickel, who is 6-8 small forward from Virginia, and he currently has offers from the likes of LSU, Iowa, NC State, and Virginia Tech. Like Whitmore, Nickel was offered shortly after Davis and his staff saw him play live for the first time.
While UNC is still in search of wing players on the recruiting trail, there is hope that Donovan “Puff” Johnson will contribute this season. Puff was slowed by a foot injury last season that had him in a walking boot at one point. As a freshman, he struggled to adapt to the college game and needed to put on more weight to be able to hold his own defensively in the ACC. Hubert Davis is hoping with the floor being opened more, Puff will be able to get open looks from behind the arc, as defenses are collapsing to take away the driving lanes.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest recruiting news around Carolina Basketball.
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