Thad Mumauâs column runs over at Smartnewsnc.com, and heâs nice enough to let us reprint it on DBR. Thanks Thad!
North Carolina concluded a whirlwind week of highlight reel hoops recruiting Wednesday by receiving a commitment from an in-state sensation who is one of the top sophomores in the nation.
Reggie Bullock of Kinston High School traveled to Chapel Hill Wednesday afternoon with his coach, Wells Gulledge, to inform Roy Williams of his decision to become a Tar Heel. Bullock and Gulledge then stayed to watch nationally top-ranked Carolina remain undefeated with a win over UNC Asheville that same night.
Bullockâs announcement followed commitments to Carolina last week by three junior big men: 6-foot-10 John Henson of Round Rock (Texas) High and 6-10 Â½ identical twins, Travis and David Wear of Santa Ana (Cal.) Mater Dei. Travis and David are ranked Nos. 20 and 21, respectively, in the class of 2009.
The Tar Heels are stockpiling talent. Their current (2008) class is comprised of No. 8 Ed Davis, a 6-8 power forward from Richmond (Va.) Benedictine; No. 10 Tyler Zeller, a 6-11 center from Washington (Ind.) High; and No. 26 Larry Drew, a 5-11 point guard from Woodland Hills (Cal.) Taft.
In addition to Bullock, Carolina has a promise from the No. 15 prospect in the class of 2010, Kendall Marshall, who is a 6-0 point guard from Arlington (Va.) Bishop OâConnell.
Bullock is a 6-6, 180-pound wing guard who is averaging 18.5 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for 10-4 Kinston. He is hitting around 55 percent of his field goal attempts, more than 45 percent of his three-point shots and nearly 80 percent of his free throws.
He scored a season-high 27 points against Rocky Mount, while playing less than three quarters. That was his first action in a week after injuring his ankle.
As a freshman, Bullock was Kinstonâs sixth man, coming off the bench to get 10.5 points, three boards and three assists per game.
âReggie is a very complete player,â Gulledge said, âand he understands the game beyond his years. Heâs a program guy, meaning he plays for the program, not himself. He is going to find a teammate if heâs open, and pass him the ball. He is a perfect fit for Carolina.
âHe has the ability to hit the three and put the ball on the floor. He is a very good finisher and uses a soft, high floater to finish in traffic. He can score over bigger guys and guys who can jump.
âHe handles the ball real well and he plays tough defense. We like to play man-to-man and go full-court, pretty much like Carolina. He is working on his mid-range game â using ball fakes, a couple of bounces and pulling up â and he realizes that offers a lot of nice, open shots.
âReggie is still lanky,â Gulledge said, âbut he has the frame to put on some weight and be a strong kid. He has very strong hands.â
Bullock chose UNC over Wake Forest. The third school to offer a scholarship was Indiana, with N.C. State, Virginia and Texas showing considerable interest.
âWake Forest was the first go after him hard,â Gulledge said. âWe went to Wake last spring, and Reggie really took to (the late) Skip Prosser. Wake followed him through the summer, and so did Carolina, but more at a distance.
âReggie played on the same AAU team with (UNC assistant) Steve Robinsonâs son, so Coach Robinson was seeing him play a lot. Reggie went to Carolina to watch a practice in the fall, and Coach Williams said, `Weâre going to offer you a scholarship one day.â His first opportunity to see Reggie was at the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational in December.
âCoach Williams liked what he saw, but Reggie wasnât sure if an offer would come, thinking if it did, it may be in his junior year. Then, Coach Williams called and talked with me last week (Jan. 3) and called Reggie later that night.
âWhen he offered, that was it,â Gulledge said. âReggie grew up a Carolina fan, and getting this offer is like the weight of the world being lifted off his shoulders. There is no way he is going to change him mind.â
Bullockâs commitment is, of course, not binding. He cannot sign a letter of intent until November of 2009, when he will be a senior.
Thad Mumau may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.