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June 25, 2007

UNC Basketball Recruiting Notebook

News came across the wire earlier Sunday afternoon that 6-8 WF/PF Al-Farouq Aminu had just eliminated North Carolina from contention. Rivals.com's Jerry Meyer broke the news from the USA Developmental Festival in Colorado Springs. The versatile and skilled junior from Norcross (GA) is one of the top five prospects in the nation according to most scouts.

He'll now decide between two other ACC programs -- Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. TarHeelIllustrated.com has confirmed this news.

The UNC coaching staff has now missed on four of its top targets in the class of 2008; Delvon Roe, Jrue Holiday, Aminu and Samardo Samuels. Of the three, Samuels might have been the most painful miss because of his college-ready body, instant frontcourt impact and brute strength inside the paint.

In short, Samuels could be one of the best freshmen in the country for Louisville when he arrives on campus.

UNC remains very strong for 6-8 PF Ed Davis from Benedictine High in Richmond (Va.) Davis recently took tours of UConn and Villanova and his father, Terry Davis, told TarHeelIllustrated.com that both visits went extremely well, but that UConn's visit was the more influential of the two. The elder Davis also drove up to Charlottesville earlier this week and toured the facilities at The University of Virginia.

Davis says his son wants to see UNC again and wants his father to have a sit down conversation with Roy Williams in the coming week. Davis is expected to decide between UNC, UVA and UConn sometime in the next few months. Maybe sooner. Stay tuned.

We spoke to 7-0 C Tyler Zeller at the NBA Top 100 Camp this week. Zeller has a lengthy list of schools, but told Carolina Blue that he will take his list down to "four or five schools" in the coming month. Most insiders expect the Tar Heels to make the list. He's currently listing UNC, Notre Dame, Purdue, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas and Tennessee.

The 220 pounder runs the floor about as well as any big man in recent memory. Many of his baskets come in transition as he runs the floor as if a swarm of bees are after him.

Zeller competes physically, has good ball skills (passing and shooting) and plays with a great deal of savvy. But it's definitely the floor running that gets your attention as an evaluator.

We've also confirmed that the UNC staff has started to hand out scholarship offers to several of the top rising juniors in the country. Among those are 6-3 SG Dexter Strickland, 6-7 PF Reeves Nelson, 6-6 SG Xavier Henry and 6-9 PF Derrick Favors.

Strickland is one of the best combination guards in the nation in his class. Blessed with a long frame (nearly 6-4), superb agility and a desire to exert himself on the defensive end, he's quickly solidifying his status as one of the nation's elite back court players. He's admitted to Carolina Blue, in an interview two months ago, that Michigan State was his current leader. UNC joins Florida, Villanova and a host of other local programs atop the wish list for the speedy 17 year old.

Nelson, who's earned his lofty status running with the high profile Pump N Run Elite squad, has worked his way into the hearts of many college coaches with his ultra-aggressive work in the paint, a fierce motor and well above average athletic ability. The 6-7 forward weighs over 220 pounds and is one of the strongest players in the nation at his position. He's got offers from UCLA, Arizona, Cal, Syracuse and Duke in addition to the Tar Heels.

Henry, who is perhaps the best backcourt scorer in his class, is a nighmare to guard. Standing 6-6 with a developed and strong physique, he can take people off the dribble with his advanced isolation moves and bury his patented step-back jumper from all over the perimeter. Henry's offensive arsenal was sensational this week at the NBA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville.

Henry has told TarHeelIllustrated.com that Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State, Memphis, Texas and Louisville will be his finalists. Offering Henry, a southpaw, was a no-brainer for all of the schools on his list simply because he's an elite (and ready) talent who could start for virtually any college program in the country. And he has another full year in high school to improve.

Favors is an athletic 6-9 PF that runs the floor, dunks with power, blocks shots and scores inside as well as anyone in the nation. He's being touted as the next superstar to come out of Georgia and some scouts think he has a chance to be one of the top two or three players in the country.

Also, keep an eye out for California twins David Wear and Travis Wear, who are both 6-9 and have inside/outside games. Both are reportedly very interested in the Tar Heels as well as the UCLA Bruins.



 

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