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North Carolina's 2014 Recruiting Class

            As many look forward to the highly touted 2013 Kentucky team that includes the likes of the Harrison brothers, Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, and James Young, North Carolina’s recruiting class of 2014 has drawn much attention for securing the early commitments of three top twenty recruits. Currently ranked as the number one recruiting class of 2014, North Carolina’s commitments include Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson, and Joel Berry.  

            Justin Jackson, a 6-7 185 pound small forward and ranked 8th by ESPN in the class of 2014, provides North Carolina with an explosive scorer and major threat from the three point line. With a smooth shooting stroke, Jackson can knock down mid range jumpers and make difficult off balanced shots. Additionally, the Houston native has the ability to finish in the lane, providing Coach Roy Williams with a player who has numerous scoring tools. On the defensive end, Jackson’s large hands and 6-10 wingspan provides him with the physical attributes that allow him to become a good rebounder and create disruptions in the passing lanes. His toughness on the court alongside his high basketball IQ demonstrates his maturity beyond his years. After fielding offers from Virginia Tech, Arizona, Ohio State, Virginia, Texas A&M, and Washington, Jackson ultimately committed to North Carolina on March 4, 2013.

           Joining Jackson at North Carolina is Theo Pinson, a 6-6 190 pound small forward, who much like Jackson has a great knack for scoring. Ranked 13th by ESPN in the class of 2014, Pinson has confidence in his shot and finds many ways to score. Whether it be driving to the rim or shooting from the three point line, Pinson has the ability to put up big point totals. Besides his shooting prowess, the Wesleyan Christian Academy(NC) product is a great passer who can find the open man on the court and keep possessions alive. Defensively, Pinson can contest shots well and displays his toughness against opponents. However, Pinson needs to improve his rebounding game by being more aggressive in the paint. Despite this, Pinson shows great upside for the future. The North Carolina native chose to stay in his home state rather than play for Indiana, Duke, Georgetown, or Louisville.

           The final member of the trio is Joel Berry, a 6-0 185 pound point from Apopka, Florida. One of the most athletic guards in the class of 2014, Berry uses a combination of speed and athleticism to lead his game. With strong ball handling skills, Berry is able to attack the rim from either the left or right. A great passer, Berry has the ability to create scoring opportunities for himself and others. Ranked 14th by ESPN in the class of 2104, Berry has been praised for his unselfish play and ability to get others involved and play better. Respected by his teammates, Berry’s high basketball IQ helps him to expose defenses and make quick decisions on the floor. However, Berry must work on his outside shooting and his floater in order to improve his game. The Lakeland Highland Prep(Fla.) product fielded offers from Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Maryland, Miami, and Michigan State, but eventually committed to North Carolina on January 21, 2013.

           All three commits will provide Coach Roy Williams with several weapons on the court. With these three playing alongside each other in the 2014 college basketball season, there is great optimism and hopes for the future of North Carolina’s basketball team.