Reporting Mark Seidel
Although UNC and Coach Roy Williams could not close the deal on the 2013 #1 rated prospect Andrew Wiggins recently, they did put together a very fine 2013 class.
The first commitment UNC received in the 2013 class was 6’2 180 lb. point guard Nate Britt. The #16 pg. in his class is another in a line of “DMV” (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) point guards Roy Williams has lured to Chapel Hill (Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall). He also happens to be a left handed point guard, which Roy Williams has recruited several of including Marshall and current Tar Heel point guard Marcus Paige. Britt spent his senior season at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Virginia after being at Gonzaga in D.C. A slasher who can create off of the dribble and get his teammates involved, should fit perfectly in to Roy Williams up-tempo system. While not as fast as Ty Lawson, Britt can move the ball up the floor quickly. His arrival might give Coach Williams the ability to play Marcus Paige off the ball, giving him two ball handlers on the court at the same time. The young guard will have to improve his jump shot but his quickness gives him the ability to get the ball to the rim and he’s not afraid to take it there. Britt carries a chip on his shoulder and feels he has something to prove as he slipped in the rankings during his senior year. He was once the #3 rated point guard in his class but a torn meniscus in his right knee derailed his final high school season.
The second pledge Roy Williams was given was from Isaiah Hicks. The 6’8 200 lb power forward from J.F. Webb High School in Oxford, N.C. knew where he wanted to go to college. He received his offer from UNC while on a visit and tried to commit on the spot. Coach Williams told him to think it over and make sure that’s what he wanted to do. So Hicks went home and…..an hour later called Coach Williams and told him he was sure of his decision. The long, athletic Hicks, on paper, should excel in the up-tempo system at UNC. He routinely out-runs defenders down the court, a-la Tyler Zeller. While his offensive game needs a little polishing, his jump shot and ball handling are improving, the defensive end of the court is where he shines. Only 6’8, Hicks has incredible length, 7 foot wingspan, and possesses an innate ability to block shots. He changes games with his defensive play alone. The 5 star recruit and #16 overall ranked player led his high school team to the state championship this year and went out on a very high note recording 34 points, 30 rebounds and 7 blocks in the final game of his high school career. You read those numbers correctly. Look for Hicks to make an immediate impact in Chapel Hill. It’s going to be hard to keep him off of the floor. He is the crown jewel of the class for UNC.
The third and final player rounding out UNC’s 2013 class is Charlotte, N.C. native (West Charlotte H.S.) Kennedy Meeks. The 6’8 280 pound center reminds me a lot of former Tar Heel Sean May. He arrives in Chapel Hill over weight and will need to get in much better shape to make an impact like May did. Meeks’ soft hands allow him to grab rebounds and entry passes easily. When the ball touches his hands, he doesn’t drop it. He enjoys being physical and pushing others around, a trait that UNC teams have lacked recently. Meeks also has the potential to start a fast break every time he grabs a defensive rebound as he is one of the best outlet passers I have seen in quite some time in high school. Not quite in Kevin Love territory yet but Meeks grabs boards and immediately turns and looks up court for anyone streaking. He puts the ball on the money too with the overhead pass. Ranked #54 overall in the 2013 class, Meeks gives Carolina much needed bulk down low in the paint. With several long athletic bigs on the current roster, he fills a big need for the Tar Heels. As long as Kennedy puts a focus on getting in to shape he will have every opportunity to make an impact on the team as a freshman.