Will Shaver was the first commit of the Hubert Davis era back in June, laying the foundation for what’s turning into a special and foundational recruiting class for the new head coach of the Tar Heels. Shaver wasn’t supposed to arrive in Chapel Hill for some time, but will now forgo his final season of high school basketball, and enroll early at UNC next January. Inside Carolina was first on the scene to report this story, which impacts Carolina in a lot of ways now, and in the future. Since Shaver won’t arrive on campus until January, he will redshirt his first season on campus. With Shaver joining UNC for the upcoming season, UNC has reached the maximum number of players you’re allowed to have on scholarship for a given season (13). Meaning that they can no longer transfer prospects until the end of the 2021-22 season. The decision to have Shaver enroll early was made to help get his body ready for the college game a lot quicker than had he waited until the end of the season to arrive at UNC, It’s common for football recruits to enroll early, but the length of the college basketball season makes it almost impossible to do so unless you go the route that Shaver is taking.
Even though he won’t be suiting up for the Tar Heels this season, Shaver will be able to practice once he arrives on campus, and that will be invaluable for him when he enters his redshirt freshman season. UNC is learning a brand new system under their new head coach, where front-court players like Shaver, will be asked to play away from the basket, and make plays from the perimeter. More importantly, there’s no guarantee that Armando Bacot will be back for his senior season, as well as incoming transfer Dawson Garcia, as both went through the NBA Draft process, before ultimately returning to school. With Brady Manek using his super senior season to transfer this season, there is a scenario where Shaver could be asked to start for the Tar Heels next season. If so, is ingrained in the system and the Carolina Way will be beneficial for the former three-star recruit.
Shaver’s decision also affects the 2022 recruiting class currently ranked as the best in college basketball. Hubert Davis has also landed combo guard Seth Trimble, and big man Jalen Washington. The belief was that when they landed in Washington, they were done recruiting front-court players, and were going to focus on landing Jaden Bradley, a point guard that has been recruited all the way back to when Roy Williams was the head man. Now that Shaver won’t officially be a part of the 2022 class, it is easier to recruit front-court players if they choose. UNC has offered and hosted Issac Traudt on a visit, but they seemed out of the running just a few weeks ago. They are also involved with Dereck Lively, De’Ante Green, and Kyle Filipowski, so they have plenty of options at their disposal if they want to add another front-court piece.
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