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North Carolina recruiting: Jeremiah Francis offer gleans insight into point guard board

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 Roy Williams’ offer to 4-star 2019 point guard Jeremiah Francis and what that means in terms of other 2019 point guards.

Basketball recruiting in particular can come at you pretty quickly.

With classes being so small relative to other sports, they can fill up in a hurry and once a positional need is filled, it’s on to the next season. That’s basically what has happened to North Carolina with its guards. With Coby White and Rechon Black committed in the Class of 2018, it’s unlikely, though not impossible, that North Carolina will take another guard. That means its on to the Class of 2019.

Yesterday in The Dean’s List, we discussed the Tar Heels’ interest in 2019 point guard Ashton Hagans. The interest is there for a reason. Hagans is a consensus 5-star prospect, rated the No. 2 point guard and No. 11 overall player in the Class of 2019.

And while North Carolina is certainly interested in Hagans and kept tabs on his summer performance, it wasn’t Hagans that pulled down the first point guard offer from North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

That honor was bestowed upon 4-star Ohio point guard Jeremiah Francis, who confirmed his North Carolina offer via Twitter on Wednesday night.

The interesting thing about this offer is that, despite the coaching staff’s continued scouting of Hagans over the weekend at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas in addition to the look it got at Francis, it was Francis that pulled down the first point guard offer for the Class of 2019. This appears, at least on the surface, to indicate that Francis is at the top of the Tar Heels recruiting board at point guard, at least at this point in the process.

As Francis indicated to Rivals’ Tar Heel Illustrated, this could be a system fit for Williams.

“I mean it’s UNC it speaks for itself, but I like how Coach Williams plays,” Francis told Tar Heel Illustrated. “He plays my style fast pace and tough. The kind of coach I like.”

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Hagans pulls down an offer within the next couple of days and this doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.

That’s not to say that Francis is a vastly inferior player, either. By 247Sports’ composite rankings, Francis is the No. 11 point guard and No. 65 overall player in the country. While 247Sports itself is more bullish on Francis, ranking him as the No. 82 player in the class, ESPN and Rivals both rank Francis within the top 65 players.

If North Carolina is going to pull in their first choice at point guard, it’s going to be in for a fight. With the Tar Heels’ offer, Francis is up to 15 offers. That includes some solid basketball programs like Indiana, Purdue and West Virginia. But the real threat is the in-state school — Ohio State. The Buckeyes are already the overwhelming favorite to land Francis with 100 percent of the eight predictions by experts on 247Sports’ Crystal Ball.