August 7, 2013

Wing Trio Extraordinaire

Roy Williams threw us all for a loop last week when he handed out three offers in one night.

With so many schools offering prospects earlier and earlier, the UNC head coach has adjusted his stance on offering full scholarships. He's being more aggressive and putting the communication out there from the get go. He wants the kids to know that North Carolina wants you, if you want to come.

Last week, Williams spoke personally with all three of these big wings, and he made no bones about letting them know that UNC is interested. Very interested.

Tar Heel Illustrated takes a look at the three elite prospects, focusing on their unique games and how we expect their recruitments to trend.

Brandon Ingram -- Ingram is a long wing with a lot of skill. In watching him last year, we could certainly see the promise, but in the interest of being completely objective, there was a lot of room left to grow. We saw a guy with decent athleticism, a nice handle, some ball skills and a big frame to grow into. Since then, Ingram has turned the corner and the offer from UNC came at a nice time. I'm not sure Ingram will ever reach the athletic prowess of Stackhouse or the shooting of Bullock, but he's a skilled dribbler, passer and he's growing more and more reliable with his outside shooting. His length, along with his high skill level and smoothness make him an interesting wing prospect, one that, perhaps could replace Justin Jackson down the road. Like Jackson, Ingram works his versatility, smarts and length very well into a game setting. He stands at a full 6-7 and has a 6-10 wingspan. Those are certainly nice traits to have on the wing.

It's no secret that Ingram likes UNC. He's visited campus more than a half dozen times and this was a big offer for him. Certainly NC State is hoping that their early offer will help them and schools such as Tennessee, Georgetown, VCU, Wake Forest and Clemson will fight for the wing forward. But I have to be honest here, I think UNC is the team to beat for Ingram.

Luke Kennard -- This skilled and energetic wing is the owner of a nice left-handed stroke from the outside and he's a supremely crafty scorer from all levels. He's also got a great nose for the ball and constantly finds himself in the right place at the right time. Kennard is another big guard, and scouts project him to be a 6-6 or 6-7 by his senior year in high school. He is an alert passer with great vision and utilizes all kinds of angles and trickery to hunt his shot. He's really creative and innovative with his drives and will sometimes shoot floaters, leaners and scoop shots in traffic.

In speaking with Kennard over the phone, I got the sense that this is a blue-blood type of recruitment. Kennard wants to go to a program rich in tradition and history. And he wants to play somewhere that he can compete for a national championship. Expect Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio State and a couple more of the Big Ten Schools to have a chance with the Ohio scorer. This recruitment will be high level, that's for certain.

PJ Dozier -- Out of Columbia, this 6-4, almost 6-5 guard has a lot of things to like. First, his size at his position is impressive. When we spoke with him in June at the NBA Top 100 camp, he looked every bit of a full 6-5. He's also got long arms and those squared-shoulders, which is a good sign that he can get stronger and put on good weight. Dozier can play either guard spot and he's the owner of an impressive handle, plenty of quickness, shake and well above-average athleticism. He shows a good mix of being able to score, while creating his own shot and facilitating the offense as a playmaker and passer. He's a bit streaky as an outside jump shooter, so that's one area of growth that we noticed.

As one might expect in a kid from Columbia, SC, the Gamecocks are maing Dozier a priority target. Members of his immediate family are alumni and the other Carolina is firmly entrenched here. Indiana's Tom Crean is also in hot pursuit as well as most area and regional schools both in the SEC and ACC.

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