Sumpter to announce -- and it won't be for UNC

NYC forward Curtis Sumpter is expected to announce a commitment to Villanova on Saturday.


Curtis Sumpter
6-6, 215 pounds
Bishop Laughlin (NY)

Latest News

8/9: Dave Telep confirms that the choice will indeed be Villanova(link).

8/9: Mike Sullivan reports that Sumpter will announce his decision on Saturday night. (link).

One thing appears certain -- he'll announce a commitment to Villanova, not UNC.

While Sumpter appeared close to commiting to Carolina about a month ago, the Tar Heel staff focused their efforts on bigmen and apparently didn't maintain such a peak interest in Sumpter.

8/2: FoxSports.com's Frank Burlison on Sumpter: "There can't be 25 better high school basketball players in the country. There are more prolific jump shooters, more eye-catching leapers and certainly much flashier ball handlers and passers.

"But the beauty of basketball, Curtis Sumpter-style, is the baseline-to-baseline efficiency and consistency of effort he provides in an era in which flash is far too often valued over substance." (link)

7/20: "I was disappointed in how I played at the ABCD camp," told Mike Sullivan. "And to not make the all star game has really motivated me. I have to bring that intensity to every game." So, Sumpter averaged 14.3 points at the Three Stripes tournament. (Sumpter at Three Stripes)

7/12: Sumpter had a pretty good ABCD Camp, averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds - shooting 51% FG and 47% 3pt.

"Much of the week was a disappointment for Curtis, but he came alive on Tuesday to resemble the player we've viewed in the past," wrote analyst Rob Harrington of PrepStars.com. "He's a good athlete with a solid frame who can do a lot of things. Problem is, here he didn't do any of those things really well, which made him blend in when surrounded by stand-out talents. But when his jumper is falling, his whole game opens up. And it was working from three and mid-range yesterday."

7/9: "I love North Carolina. They have a great reputation - send a lot of players into the Draft - and a lot of history, and I'd like to be a part of that." -- ABCD: Curtis Sumpter

6/20: Here's an interesting link from Mike Sullivan, detailing just how busy Sumpter was last weekend: Diary Of 36 Hours In Curtis Sumpter's Life.

6/19: "Sumpter is not the kind of a player that will blow you away. He is a good athlete; fairly quick and has some hops. He does a lot of little things well. He is a pretty good passer and has a decent handle. Several times down the floor he set up the offense. He is a good defender, never seemed to be out of position and was able to slap the ball away a couple of times. At the start of the game he came right down court and swished a 3." (Rumble in the Bronx Report)

6/12: Sumpter's Long Island Panthers head coach Gary Charles told Mike Sullivan: "North Carolina leads slightly but St. John's, Villanova, Virginia, and Connecticut are right there. And there is also Ohio State, Maryland, and Illinois involved too and they are high on Curtis' list." The coach added that the much discussed package deal with AAU teammate Jason Fraser is not a high priority of either Sumpter of Fraser. (link)

5/30: Sumpter had some positive words about the Tar Heels after spending the weekend in the Triangle. He couldn't take a tour of Chapel Hill due to time restraints. "It's a beautiful area," he told Sullivan. "They play in a great place (Dean Dome). Their fans love basketball and root hard for their team ... Before I went down there I didn't really see myself being there. But now I can see myself playing there ... North Carolina has improved their chances with me." (link)

5/30: Sumpter's offensive game showed improvement this weekend at the Tournament of Champions. He took a good number of mid-range jumpers and ventured out beyond the three point line several times per game. He took 10-15 shots per outing, hitting somewhere between 30-40% and slightly less accurate from three. But, unlike when we watched him two months ago, many of the shots went down and his shooting form looked fine. With some work, he can be a dangerous jumpshooter -- for now, he's best off attacking the basket. On defense, Sumpter's size (looking bigger than his listed 6-6) and aggressive play yielded quite a few turnovers. He crashed the boards hard, and we had him averaging close to 10 rebounds per game.

"He played primarily on the perimeter this weekend, but it's inside where we've seen him do his best work. He's much more effective when he's getting on the glass for stickbacks and boards. He's trying to develop his perimeter game and while he should signs of life, there is still a lot of work to do in that area. Though he tailed off in the title game, he is a very athletic rebounder." -- Dave Telep (BlueChipHoops)

"Here's the thing about the 6-6 Sumpter: He was an animal for Brooklyn (NY) Bishop Loughlin in December at the Slam Dunk to the Beach -- as a BF. .... And that's where he's best when he masquerades as a WF for the Panthers: He uses his run-and-jump athleticism to swoop in for rebounds on both ends. .... He'll run the floor and dunk in transition as well as off of stickbacks. .... But the jumper needs help. .... From everywhere. .... Just not consistent enough to be a threat. .... He's a high-major combo forward missing a jump shot right now." -- Michael Kruse (Prep Stars)

5/21: In an interview with Mike Sullivan, Sumpter said that while he wants to play with Jason Fraser, he more importantly wants Fraser to chose a school for his own reasons. He also mentioned he has family in N.C., but is a big fan of the prospect of playing college ball in New York City. (Sumpter: Jason Fraser Should Take Care Of Himself)

5/18: Sumpter told Schoolsports.com that UNC has offered him a scholarship. "They (UNC) have already offered and have told me that if I want to come, it's mine," Sumpter said. "But I just don't want to be too anxious and rush to make a decision."

He will be visiting the Chapel Hill campus next weekend during the Tournament of Champions. He added that St. John's has also offered. (Schoolsports link)

5/8: In light of fellow Tar Heel target Jason Fraser's recent statements of his strong intentions to go to college with Sumpter, coupled with Carmelo Anthony's commitment to Syracuse, it's clear that Sumpter is now one of the Tar Heels' top targets.

5/4: During the Tournament of Champions over Memorial Day Weekend, over 40 of the nation's top AAU squads come to NC. While in the Triangle, many often take unofficial visits to see UNC, Duke and NC State. So, it comes as little surprise that Sumpter plans on checking out the Tar Heel campus that weekend, as reported by the Insiders Report.

4/27: The Tar Heels received a commitment last night from Rashad McCants, but this has no bearing on the recruitment of Sumpter, as the Insiders Report reminded readers (link). The UNC staff is actively pursuing him, and the fact that he is friends with AAU teammate and fellow Tar Heel target C Jason Fraser is important to note.

4/18: According to Insiders Report Premium, Sumpter has narrowed his list down to seven schools: Virginia, Villanova, Ohio State, Illinois, Maryland, St. John's and North Carolina.

4/16: Sumpter played in the Squires Invitational last weekend with the Long Island Panthers. He played solid defense and was an aggressive rebounder - crashing the boards with a vengeance. His jumpshot went down in warmups, but wouldn't fall for him during the games. Coach Doherty was in attendance.

"He handles the ball well enough to play on the wing ... but can he shoot it well enough out to three? That's TBD -- and something to keep and eye on this spring and summer. A great athlete, though, and a definite high-major (even elite) prospect." -- Prep Stars' Michael Kruse.

2/24: Sumpter discussed how available playing time will influence his decision in an interview with Dave Telep: "First, I have to look at the rosters and see if there are going to be a lot of seniors ... I would like to get some minutes in as a freshman. I would like to start, but that's not the No. 1 thing. There are people ahead of me who paid their dues. 15-20 minutes would be fine with me." (link)

1/30: In an interview at the Insiders Report, Sumpter said his current list is St. John's, Connecticut, North Carolina, Seton Hall, Villanova, Illinois, Ohio State, and Maryland -- with plans to cut the list down to about five after the summer. He noted a very favorable opinion of UNC and acknowledged that the Tar Heels are pursuing several junior wing prospects. "I have a lot of interest in Carolina . . . I call coach Q a lot. Coach Q and Matt Doherty, we speak often when I call them," he said. (link)

1/19: "Sumpter is a bit of a combo-forward right now . . . He's very effective around the basket and excels at securing lots of rebounds because of his aggressive and relentless work on the glass. He has good scoring instincts inside and can slash to the basket off the dribble . . . needs to fine tune his jump shot to be a more complete player." - HighMajorHoops (link)

1/16: Sumpter had 12 points and a whopping 25 rebounds last night against Cardozo HS.

1/12: Michael Kruse, of PrepStars.com, provides UNCbasketball.com with an exclusive update on Sumpter --

"It's no secret. If Curtis could knock down a little perimeter J -- which he can't right now -- he'd be a force.

"As is, he's a tremendous player for Bishop Loughlin and a big-time ACC and Big East target, absolutely getting it done around the basket. He's a super "garbage" player -- but that term doesn't really do his game justice. Curtis plays hard and earns everything he gets.

"UNC, UConn, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova are showing the most intense interest at this point."

1/3: As Tar Heel assistant coach Fred Quartlebaum looked on, Sumpter averaged 21.7 points (43% FG) and 12.7 rebounds at the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament in Delaware.

HMH's Clint Jackson - "Good looking combo-forward that is a lot stronger in the paint than most people realize. Gets a lot of points and rebounds despite being a subpar shooter. He's a jumpshot away from being a top 10-15 prospect."

UNCbasketball.com correspondent Jeff Brown - "Curtis is a 6-7, 200 WF with some PF traits in his game. I know what you're thinking...he's a NYC WF so he's a flashy rim rattler. Well, not really. Curtis plays a very structured, fundamentally sound game. More inside, power oriented than say Carmelo (Anthony). Doesn't try anything crazy, plays within himself, has gotten some really good coaching along the way."

Dave Telep - "Superb around the basket all week; perimeter game needs work."

10/1: "Sumpter is a natural small forward who has gotten better and better in the last year," FOXSports analyst Jacey Zembal told UNCbasketball.com. "He can slash to the basket, guard wings and is dangerous from outside. He's among the top 30 players in his class and has clearly emerged from the shadows of his more celebrated AAU teammate Lenny Cooke."

9/26: "[Sumpter] is said to be leaning toward North Carolina over St. John's," Gregg Doyel of the Charlotte Observer wrote yesterday.

9/24: "Don't be surprised if the Tar Heels get an early commitment from Sumpter, who has emerged as the #1 junior in New York City," recruiting personality Clark Francis of HoopScoop wrote. "Apparently new North Carolina head coach Matt Doherty loves Sumpter's game and Sumpter has a mutual feeling about the Tar Heels."

The Tar Heels are also recruiting highly regarded 6-8 junior power forward Jason Frasier, Amityville (NY) High. Frasier and Sumpter have reportedly discussed the possibility of going to the same school.

7/9: At the '00 ABCD Camp -- "Sumpter is a springy 6-5 with long arms and an edgy quickness," wrote Kenny Lucas of the NY Daily News. "He can hit the jumper but excels at slashing to the basket around people. Coaches have played him at small forward at ABCD, but he was given a shot at shooting guard Friday night and responded with 18 points."

Seton Hall has reportedly shown early interest.


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