The focus has been on Duke lately but with the commitment of Theo Pinson, UNC has put together a very solid base for future title runs - assuming the players stick around.
Consider first the backcourt: Marcus Paige, Nate Britt, Joel Berry and Pinson will form a dynamic backcourt. Those guys are really, really good. Add in forward Isaiah Hicks and you can add role players and bench players and be Top 10 with no trouble. Add in another really good big man - who might be on the team already - and you have a core that can challenge anyone.
Look for these guys and how they develop to get an idea of where UNC is heading in the next few years:
- Desmond Hubert (6-9) - a quiet player but a solid defender who would fit in well with more offensive minded teammates.
- Brice Johnson - (6-9) - A tremendous athlete who was raw as a freshman but very fast. He was listed at 187 as a freshman and might be a revelation at, say, 220, which should be obtainable.
- Joel James (6-10) - the guy is massive. He's only played basketball for a few years and doesn't appear to know how large he really is. If he figures it out, he's going to be trouble.
- JP Tokoto (6-5) - a highly talented athlete who needs to refine his skills, somewhat reminiscent of Vince Carter as a freshman.
- Kennedy Meeks (6-8) - We don't know a whole lot about him other than he's supposed to be a really smart player and an excellent passer. We could see him fitting in too.
- Joel BerryÂ (6-1) - He'll be coming in with Pinson in 2014. UNC will have a ton to work with in the backcourt.
We didn't list Marcus Paige because he's already established himself.
We're not familiar with all the high school kids, but the Heels will need some outside shooting. We don't see yet where that's coming from.
Otherwise though, given the normal development of young players, UNC is set for what may be a potentially significant run.