North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels basketball targets all over USA U18 National Team
Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 7 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. In this edition, we discuss the first cut for the USA U18 National Team, which included several North Carolina targets and signee Coby White.
North Carolina targets abound on USA U18 National Team
With the Nike EYBL regular season concluded, there isn’t going to be much basketball for high school prospects over the next month.
But one place the basketball hungry can get their fix is with the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which takes place starting June 10 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
In preparation for the event, the 33 team prospects gathered last week at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for five training sessions to whittle the roster for the USA U18 National Team, coached by Kansas’ Bill Self, down to 18. One final cut will be made, reducing the roster by six more players, before the team departs for Canada on Thursday.
On Sunday afternoon, the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee sent out a press release to announce the 18 players who made the cut, and the roster was full of North Carolina targets and one signee — 5-star Wilson, N.C., combo guard Coby White.
North Carolina’s top Class of 2019 target, 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot, was among the players who made the cut, as was its lone guard target in the class, 5-star combo guard Cole Anthony.
Another high-priority target, 5-star power forward Matthew Hurt, made the cut, as did two of North Carolina’s newest Class of 2019 prospects: 5-star small forward Keion Brooks and 5-star power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
North Carolina also saw a Class of 2020 target make the cut in 5-star center Hunter Dickinson, an AAU teammate of Bacot on Team Takeover.
Tar Heels offer Florida WR Nate Jefferson
Most football prospects who reel in offers from North Carolina and other ACC schools are nationally rated and highly coveted among the Power 5 conferences.
That’s not the case with the Tar Heels’ most recent offer. On Thursday, North Carolina offered unrated Longwood, Fla., receiver Nate Jefferson.
— The Chosen One…🏆™ (@_KingNate__) May 31, 2018
Jefferson has a long offer sheet, but most of those are from non-Power 5 schools such as Air Force, East Carolina, Marshall and Troy. Jefferson has just one other Power 5 offer, from Iowa State.
Jefferson’s lack of interest from Power 5 schools isn’t because of a lack of production. Over his last two seasons, Jefferson has caught 77 passes for 1,494 yards and 13 touchdowns, including 8 touchdown grabs on just 29 catches in 2017.
In reality, it’s size more than anything that’s keeping Jefferson off the radar. ESPN lists him at 5-foot-8, which would make him the smallest player on North Carolina’s roster. North Carolina has one receiver at 5-foot-9, walk-on Austyn Chestnut.
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