At the center position the Tar Heels are involved with Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, Henry Ellenson, Thomas Bryant, and Caleb Swanigan currently, and Stone has moved up to become the No. 1 overall prospect in the class.
Stone is No. 1 on the strength of his high offensive skill level, his improved conditioning, and continued consistent production. It was a tough race, but as a team we came to the conclusion that his combination of legit size, talent, and production placed him at the top of the class.
Making a huge rise up was Ellenson. Ellenson went from No. 62 overall to No. 7, and obviously went from a four-star to a five-star prospect. He did that on the strength of an excellent spring where his inside-out game was on full display. Ellenson has the ability to score down low, and then also is an excellent shooter and ball handler for his size allowing him to take advantage of whoever is guarding him.
Though both dropped some in the rankings, Bryant and Zimmerman remained as five-star prospects. Zimmerman fell from No. 5 to No. 8 because of a somewhat inconsistent spring in terms of production. He still runs the floor well and has a nice scoring touch, but he didn't produce at the level needed to maintain a top five ranking, so he fell a few notches.
Bryant dropped from No. 11 to No. 23. He didn't play much in the spring, but it was determined that being slightly undersized for the position without a go-to scoring move necessitated a bit of a drop following the high school season as well where he was seen numerous times combined with the rise of some others around him.
Also joining the party as a five-star is Swanigan. Swanigan was in the class of 2016 and moved to 2015 and makes his debut as the No. 12 prospect. He is one of the best low post scorers and is an excellent rebounder as well. Swanigan isn't the best athlete so that kept him out of the top 10, but there is no doubt he has a great level of production.
Also a top priority is Ivan Rabb who is at the power forward position. With the rise of Stone to No. 1, Rabb fell to No. 3. This is because of a somewhat inconsistent spring. He still has the great physical tools, but Rabb didn't dominate at the level needed to retain his stop atop the rankings. Rabb with a strong July again could state his case, but for now we felt he needed to drop slightly.
While the frontcourt is the focus, Carolina of course has some top perimeter options as well. At the small forward position Brandon Ingram went up from No. 40 to No. 26 and stayed as a four-star prospect. Ingram has elite length and a high skill level, but his lack of toughness and consistent domination kept him just out of the five-star range, but there is a lot to like in this versatile rangy wing.
Newman is still an elite scorer, but his lack of ideal size combined with a rather inefficient shot selection led to his slight drop. There is no doubt that Newman can get buckets, but now he has to be more efficient in doing so make a move back up the rankings.
With Dozier, Rob Harrington was adamant that he rise back into the top 50 after seeing him in the spring. A kid with long arms and good size on the wing with a good ability to handle the basketball, Dozier has some definite fans of his potential in the Scout.com war room, and this summer will be huge in determining just the kind of prospect he is.
Overall Carolina is in on some of the best in the class and they seem in position to land another highly touted group. Now the question is who do they close with.