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North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels hot after elite PG Ashton Hagans

Cody Pace

Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Today, we discuss 5-star 2019 point guard Ashton Hagans, who’s already drawing some interest from the Tar Heels.

With guards Coby White and Rechon Black already committed to the Tar Heels, it’s unlikely that Roy Williams will take another guard in the Class of 2018, barring some unexpected developments or a chance at a truly elite talent.

That means for the most part, the North Carolina staff can turn its attention to the guards in the Class of 2019.

To this point, Williams has offered just two guards in the junior class — 4-star shooting guards Juwan Gary and Josh Nickleberry.

If the most recent live period is any indication, though, that could change sooner rather than later. Over the weekend at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas, the Tar Heels continued to scout 5-star point guard Ashton Hagans and Hagans indicated to Rivals’ Eric Bossi that North Carolina’s staff was one of the most frequent at his games.

“They love my game,” Hagans told Bossi. “They just tell me to keep doing what I’m doing, be a leader, more vocal on the court and that’s it.”

However, North Carolina isn’t the only basketball powerhouse that’s put eyes on Hagans lately. In addition to North Carolina, Hagans said that Kentucky coach John Calipari has been a frequent attendee of his games.

“Knowing that they’re looking at me, they have a lot of one-and-dones, great players, [Calipari is] a great coach, should be in the Hall of Fame,” Hagans said. “That shows that I have great talent.”

Hagans, the No. 2 point guard and No. 11 overall player in the Class of 2018, has already netted himself 28 offers according to 247Sports. However, North Carolina and Kentucky are not among those schools.

It’ll be interesting to see if that changes in the near future coming off of the Adidas Championships. If anything, both schools are waiting to see how Hagans develops as a scorer. Right now, he admits that he’s more of a game manager and ball distributor. But with his 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame, Hagans will pose a size advantage against most college point guards and he can use that to his advantage getting to the bucket.

“I usually just pass the ball, pass the ball,” Hagans said. “Now I’m just getting into, coming off the pick and roll, attacking the basket, getting my teammates involved, being a leader on the court.”

Of course, while those two schools continue their evaluations, there’s always the threat of one of those 28 schools that have already seen enough to dole out an offer cementing itself at the top of Hagans’ list.

If that were to happen, Auburn might be the favorite. The Tigers were among Hagans’ earliest offers and he’s visited at least four times since last June, including the last of his summer visits on June 4.

“Oh, [Auburn coach Bruce Pearl is] at every game,” Hagans said. “He wasn’t here today, though. But usually, he’s at every game. That’s like family. They show a lot of love. It’s great.”