North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels’ targets make moves in Rivals150
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 where the Tar Heels’ sophomore and junior targets fared in the most recent edition of the Rivals150.
On Wednesday, we discussed how the Tar Heels’ Class of 2018 finished after Rivals and 247Sports released their final rankings for the seniors.
The senior class wasn’t the only one to get a new set of rankings over the last week, however. Rivals also updated the Class of 2019 Rivals150 and expanded its Class of 2020 rankings to 100 prospects.
In this edition of The Dean’s List, we’ll take a look at how the Tar Heel’s targets fared in the updated rankings, starting with the Class of 2019
Tar Heels prospects fall in Rivals 2019 rankings
It’s taken some time for North Carolina’s Class of 2019 to come together.
So far, the class only has one commitment, 4-star Pickerington, Ohio point guard Jeremiah Francis. Francis saw his stock fall slightly in the most recent Rivals rankings, dropping three spots from No. 53 to No. 56. That fall isn’t really Francis’ fault, however. He missed most of his junior season due to an injury, so he’ll have a chance at upward movement with a strong, healthy showing with Indiana Elite, his AAU team, over the summer.
Behind Francis, North Carolina has primarily focused on elite big men among the junior class. The two players at the top of that list, 5-star power forwards Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt, both stayed put, ranking No. 1 and No. 5 overall, respectively.
While Carey and Hurt are among the highest-rated prospects North Carolina is pursuing, the two that have arguably been pursued the hardest — 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot and 5-star center Will Baker — both saw their stocks fall slightly. Bacot fell from No. 14 to No. 17, while Baker dropped from No. 11 to No. 13.
Behind that group, several other prospects on North Carolina’s board took small dips including 5-star forward/guard Scottie Lewis (No. 9 to No. 11), 5-star small forward Wendell Moore (No. 24 to No. 25), and 4-star shooting guard Josh Nickelberry (No. 59 to No. 64).
While most of North Carolina’s targets fell, there was one prospect, 5-star combo guard Jalen Lecque, who saw a big rise. Lecque made his top 10 debut, jumping from No. 13 to No. 9, now matching his 247Sports composite ranking. Lecque is the No. 2 combo guard in the Class of 2019, although North Carolina has yet to offer.
Tar Heels target debuts on 2020 Rivals top 100
The more interesting list is for the Class of 2020.
Since it’s so far out, there are many prospects who haven’t seen evaluations yet who could emerge over the next two years.
One such prospect who debuted on Rivals’ expanded Class of 2020 list is 4-star power forward Day’Ron Sharpe. Sharpe, a Winterville, N.C., native who has received attention from the Tar Heels lately, came in at No. 90 for his first evaluation.
Isaiah Todd, a 5-star power forward and the Tar Heels’ highest-rated target, fell one spot to No. 5. Behind him, 5-star small forward Jalen Johnson fell four spots to No. 13.
The Tar Heels’ other frequent sophomore target, 4-star point guard Adrian Baldwin, fell 10 spots to No. 70.
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