UNC Picking Up Interest In Winslow

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – As the second of three July evaluation periods winds down, North Carolina's recruitment of Justise Winslow is picking up.

Winslow, a 6-6, 210-pound wing from Houston (Texas) St. John's, has had frequent conversations with UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson. Winslow receives calls from Robinson regularly and the two text "about every other day."

"He tells me they're interested and they'll be evaluating me this period," Winslow said. "He says that I just need to keep working hard… we'll see what happens.

"The interest has picked up only because I'm getting older and I'm getting closer and closer to making my decision," he continued. "Every school increases their interest in a player as they move through high school and I think that's what's happening with North Carolina."

This week at the Peach Jam, both Robinson and UNC head coach Roy Williams watched Winslow and his Houston Hoops team. Coupled with the phone calls from Robinson, Winslow thinks a UNC offer could come soon.

"They just seem like they're very interested," Winslow explained. "I don't know if they're going to offer, but it seems like it's getting to that point. Regardless if they do, I'm going to keep working hard."

On Saturday morning, Winslow and Houston Hoops faced the Theo Pinson-led CP3 All-Stars, in a matchup that included three of the top wings in the class of 2014 – Winslow, Pinson and Justin Jackson.

Houston Hoops got the win in a game that featured Pinson and Winslow matched up a number of times, including some key moments. Houston Hoops head coach Tim Schumacher said Winslow had a little extra motivation for the showdown.

"I'll be honest – I think Justise Winslow heard it that they offered Theo and he hasn't gotten one yet," Schumacher said. "I think that's (an offer) probably coming soon hopefully for Justise's sake. He's very cognizant of what's going on in the basketball world."

Should Winslow get an UNC offer, he said he'd be very interested in the Tar Heels.

"Coach Williams is the one of the best head coaches in college basketball, ever," Winslow said. "It would be great to play for him and that whole coaching staff. North Carolina, in general, is one of the most prestigious schools in the country and a really good academic school too."

Added Schumacher: "He knows what North Carolina means to the basketball world and it's a great honor to have them recruit him. If they were to offer, it'd be a great honor for him."

Robinson told Winslow he'd be a perfect fit for UNC's up-tempo style.

"He sees me as being a perimeter player that also can work inside with mismatches," said Winslow. "They want me to guard bigger people and smaller people. He thinks my athleticism matches well with how they play."

Winslow mixes his athleticism with a college-ready body to physically overpower smaller defenders on offense. His jumping ability makes him a dangerous weak-side shot blocker.

"He's a guy that affects the game in so many ways," said Schumacher. "He makes winning plays and that's the key thing about Justise Winslow, he'll do whatever it takes to win. He's one of the top athletes in the country, but his IQ as a ball player is off the charts. He's very athletic, but he's also very smart – he understands how to play the game the right way."

The majority of coaches recruiting Winslow envision him in a variety of roles.

"Most coaches say I can either be a wing or a combo guard," Winslow said. "I think it depends on how much I grow and fill out. My doctors expect me to keep growing. If I do I'll be a "2" or a "3." If I don't, I'll probably be a combo guard."

Having taken unofficial visits to Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas and Texas A&M a already, Winslow said he'd like to see Duke and UCLA's campuses after AAU season.

He plans to make his college decision by late next year and Winslow's family and coaches will help him make his choice.

"The biggest factor in my choice is the coach," he said. "I want to find a coach that I can build a strong relationship with and that I really fit within his playing style."

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