North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heel targets capture gold with Team USA in FIBA U18 Americas
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 Team USA’s dominant finish in the FIBA U18 Americas over the weekend, resulting in a gold-medal win over Canada.
Team USA takes home gold in FIBA U18 Americas
The FIBA U18 Americas concluded over the weekend, which was supposed to be the topic of our recruiting notebook Monday, but Day’Ron Sharpe had other plans.
However, Team USA continued its pool play dominance over the last three days of the tournament en route to a gold medal win over Canada on Saturday, which merits some discussion.
The quarterfinals picked up Thursday with a 132-55 win over Ecuador, the bottom team in Pool B. Tar Heels commit Coby White and Matthew Hurt both had one of their best games in the tournament, dropping a team-second-best 19 points despite the fact that neither played more than 19 minutes. Hurt added 4 assists while White had 4 rebounds.
Of the Tar Heels’ remaining targets on the team, only 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot, who scored 6 points, failed to reach double-digits. Cole Anthony, a 5-star combo guard, finished with 12, while 5-star power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 11. Robinson-Earl finished just short of a double-double with 8 rebounds.
Following that game, Team USA played Argentina on Friday in the semifinals in its closest game of the tournament, pulling out the 104-92 victory.
In that game, White really showed his scoring ability, dropping 25 points, second on the team to Quentin Grimes’ 26. Although White and Grimes scored almost half the team’s points, Hurt (16), Robinson-Earl (10) and Anthony (10), all eclipsed the double-digit points mark. Hurt nearly netted a double-double in the game, finishing with 8 rebounds. Robinson-Earl also came close, finishing with 7 rebounds. Bacot only played about 5 minutes and did not score.
The final game against Canada seemed to have Team USA back into form, winning handily 113-74. But that game saw the team trailing 12-7 in the first quarter before White scored 5 consecutive points to spark a 12-0 run.
White finished with 11 points, which proved to be important despite the fact that it was his second-lowest point total in the tournament, and added 6 rebounds.
Anthony again shined offensively, scoring a team-high 18 points. The rest of the Tar Heels contingent showed why North Carolina is interested, too. Hurt continued his strong play with 17 points, tied for second on the team. Bacot surged back after a few games with limited minutes, scoring 13 points and falling just short of a double-double with 8 rebounds. Robinson-Earl had a similarly productive game, dropping 14 points and 7 rebounds.
Tar Heels land 3-star TE Kamari Morales
North Carolina maintained its momentum on the recruiting trail Monday, landing 3-star Tallahassee, Fla., tight end Kamari Morales.
Committed ‼️🐏 pic.twitter.com/4cbrYxmVQ4
— Kamari Morales™ (@9wayz_) June 19, 2018
Morales ranks as the No. 33 tight end and No. 903 overall player in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The commitment comes as a bit of a surprise after Morales named Ole Miss his leader in May. The former USF commit also had offers from Georgia, Kentucky and UCF.
Morales is North Carolina’s fifth commitment in June, which has bumped the Tar Heels up to No. 45 nationally.
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