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Many of North Carolina's Class of 2019 targets will be at a new Final Four event hosted by the NCAA this weekend.

North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels signees compete in McDonald’s All-American Game; junior targets participating in Final Four event

Cody Pace

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 a new event featuring Class of 2019 recruits at the Final Four and how the future Tar Heels performed in the McDonald’s All-American Game.


Tar Heels targets to participate in Final Four event

North Carolina is not in the Final Four, but you still can catch some of its top recruiting targets this weekend.

For the first time, the NCAA is hosting the Next Generation Sunday event, which will bring 24 of the top recruits from the Class of 2019 to San Antonio. The event will feature educational programming for the juniors on recruiting, health and safety, and nutrition. The players also will get a chance to see the Final Four from a player’s perspective, making trips to the locker rooms and team lounges, as well as tour the stadium and watch the Final Four matchups.

Also included in the schedule is a series of scrimmages between the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team and the NBA Academy teams from Africa, Australia, China and Latin America.

Several Tar Heels targets are scheduled to participate, most notably 5-star power forward/center and top target Armando Bacot. Also on the roster is 5-star power forward Vernon Carey, 5-star small forward Wendell Moore, 5-star power forward Matthew Hurt, 5-star small forward Scottie Lewis, 5-star center Will Baker, 4-star small forward Juwan Gary and 5-star combo guard Jalen Lecque.

Scrimmages will be open to the public during the Final Four Fan Fest on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Several closed scrimmages and a closed intrasquad scrimmage with Team USA also are planned, according to a February report from ZagsBlog.com. Because the event takes place during a dead period, which began Thursday morning, college coaches will not be permitted to attend. According to ZagsBlog, the NBA was considering allowing scouts to attend the scrimmages, but that has not been announced.

Nassir Little dominates; E.J. Montgomery has good showing

The McDonald’s All-American Game is the premier basketball event for high school seniors. So it should be considered a good sign that the Tar Heels had a strong showing on Wednesday night.

Of course, 5-star small forward Nassir Little’s name stood out. The game MVP scored a game-high 28 points in 21 minutes and pulled down 5 rebounds. His 28 points were the most in the game since Jonathan Bender scored 31 in 1999 before being selected by the Toronto Raptors in the NBA draft.

Those 28 points included this impressive step-back over 5-star power forward Zion Williamson, a former Tar Heels target who committed to Duke and is a good friend of Little.

After the game, Little told 247Sports’ Ross Martin that he views himself as the best player in the country and that he is “going to bring wins” to North Carolina.

Though Little was front and center after his performance on Wednesday night, North Carolina’s last target on the Class of 2018 recruiting board, 5-star power forward E.J. Montgomery, also had a solid showing.

Montgomery posted 12 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes.

North Carolina’s only other McDonald’s All-American was 5-star combo guard Coby White. White went 2 for 5 from 3-point range. He was 0 for 3 elsewhere and finished with 6 points in 19 minutes.

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