|Duke Recruits||UNC Recruits|
|Sean Dockery/PG||Raymond Felton/PG|
|JJ Redick/WG||Rashad McCants/WG|
|Shelden Williams/F||Sean May/F|
|Shavlik Randolph/F||Damion Grant/C|
|Michael Thompson/C||Byron Sanders/F|
It's deceiving because UNC will rely a great deal more on their freshman class than will Duke. If Shelden Williams, Randolph Childress, or Michael Thompson had picked UNC, they would almost definitely start. J.J. Redick might well have started for UNC. Sean Dockery might not have, because UNC signed Raymond Felton, universally regarded as an extraordinary prospect, but the position wouldn't suffer when he came in.
Nonetheless, UNC's class is very good. Felton, Rashad McCants, and Sean May are all highly legit players, and Damion Grant has considerable potential. We don't know much about Sanders, but there have been questions about his intensity, though not his potential.
UNC will almost certainly start Felton and May, and McCants may well start also. The current freshmen will be back, and those eight players will be the group Matt Doherty builds his program on. Damion Grant and Byron Sanders may or may not play a lot as freshmen. Part of that depends on how much Jawad Williams and Jackie Manuel advance over the summer. Both will need to really hit the weights a lot and work on their games extensively. For fellow rising soph Melvin Scott, Felton may make his life much less complicated. Scott is basically an off-guard, and he and McCants and Manuel will compete for that spot, though either McCants or Manuel could also conceivably play small forward as well.
In Duke's case, barring unexpected defections to the NBA, Sean Dockery will get to learn from Chris Duhon and Daniel Ewing. Ewing has proven to be an exceptionally smart guard, and while Redick will compete for the spot, the competition will be intense. Mike Dunleavy and Dahntay Jones will almost certainly start, and competition between Thompson, Williams, and Randolph for time - not to mention vets Nick Horvath and Casey Sanders - will be at a fever pitch. For Randolph, the opportunity to play for a year with Dunleavy is almost priceless. They have similar skill sets, and Dunleavy has a definite knowledge of the NBA. In fact, he's probably the only college player who spent meaningful time on the court with Magic Johnson, though obviously he was a kid. Clearly, though, he learned a lot.
Still, because their need is greater, UNC's kids will likely get more attention early. As careers develop, it's hard to imagine that Duke's kids won't do well. And by the time he's a senior, Lee Melchionni, who plays a bit like Dunleavy and Randolph, will get a lot of credit for being the kind of kid who doesn't get a ton of ink but who is a backbone of his team.
And certainly by the time they are through, Damion Grant and Byron Sanders should be, at the least, solid ACC players.
All in all, it's a great haul for area and ACC fans, and their impact will be felt from the beginning.