Carolina starts off strong in 2014

North Carolina is off to an excellent start in 2014 with Joel Berry and Justin Jackson.

By North Carolina's lofty standards they haven't brought in the sort of impact classes in 2012 and 2013 that they are accustomed to. However that looks to be changing with the class of 2014. The Tar Heels already have two pledges in the class, and both have impact potential.

In the class of 2012 the Tar Heels finished with the No. 8 recruiting class and then in 2013 they currently stand at No. 12. For most programs that would be a cause for celebration, but North Carolina is different. Because of that 2014 has been seen by many as an important class, and Justin Jackson as well as Joel Berry give the Tar Heels verbal commitments from two of the top 14 players in the nation.

Jackson is the most recent commitment and it is a huge one for the Tar Heels. North Carolina will lose starting wing Reggie Bullock after the 2013-14 season, and Jackson could step in right away and fill his minutes.

What is important about Jackson is he is a perfect complement for the other likely starting wing, P.J. Hairston. This season roughly 61 percent of Hairston's field goal attempts have come from beyond the arc. By contrast that isn't Jackson's game. Jackson is at his best in the mid-range where he is probably the best in the 2014 class.

Because Hairston can absolutely fill it up from deep, Jackson will provide a different dimension with the dribble than anyone else on the UNC roster. Also current freshman J.P. Tokoto isn't a scorer, he is more of a defender, energy, athlete, so Jackson and him should also work well together as their games are different and it will make the Tar Heels more difficult to defend.

Along with Jackson, Berry should also be someone who finds very early minutes when he gets to Chapel Hill. Despite the fact that UNC took two point guards, Marcus Paige and Nate Britt, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, neither have the versatility, athleticism, or scoring capability of Berry.

Berry could conceivably play next to either Britt or Paige as a shooting guard because he is a good shooter and is very aggressive getting to the rim and scoring. In fact with the up tempo secondary break offense that the Tar Heels like to run two point guards on the floor can be a very good thing, and once again it will make UNC even more difficult to guard.

Obviously it is still very early and a lot of players have to come off the board before anyone knows where this class as a whole will stack up, but the early returns are good. With two five-stars currently in the fold the Tar Heels have a jump on the rest of the country in the 2014 class and now Roy Williams and his staff are able to focus their efforts on their other top targets such as Rashad Vaughn, Devin Booker, Jahlil Okafor, Theo Pinson, and Justise Winslow.

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