- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
Here's a team-by-team breakdown of the ACC's 2012 recruiting classes.
The bad news is the Tar Heels lost Kendall Marshall, Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes and John Henson. The good news is they are bringing in a class to help soften the blow. UNC's incoming class has athletic and talented four-year players, who will be needed immediately and will have the benefit of growing together over time. Coach Roy Williams has secured some outstanding floor generals in his career, and now we can add Marcus Paige (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar) to that prestigious list.
The lefty can push the pace with the best of them or execute in the half-court set. Center Joel James (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dwyer) will bring needed muscle and an inside presence to the Tar Heels. He has demonstrated the ability to outrun opponents and finish plays at the rim on offense and protect the rim on defense. Small forward J.P. Tokoto (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) is a long, slender and athletic finisher who will fit well in Carolina's transition game. Overall, this class will be the foundation of future success for UNC.
In his first year with NC State, coach Mark Gottfried guided his club to an NCAA tournament bid. To keep that momentum going, he landed some key local recruits. He and his staff have assembled an outstanding trio of perimeter talent who were all McDonald's All-Americans. Shooting guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room Christian Academy), co-MVP of the Jordan Brand Classic, is the signature recruit of the class. He's blessed with sprinter's speed and the ability to get wherever he wants with his dribble. When the pace of the game picks up, look for Purvis to finish or get fouled. because he is unstoppable in the open floor. Point guard Tyler Lewis (Statesville, N.C./Oak Hill) excelled at Oak Hill and comes to the Wolfpack as the best passer in high school. He understands how to be a facilitator, finding open teammates first and scoring when open second. Small forward T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C./Brewster Academy) has the size and is always a threat because of his quick trigger and range.
North Carolina schools on top of ACC, writes Paul Biancardi.