2016 Intro: Shaun Kirk

October 25 was set to be a normal day for Shaun Kirk. He'd work on his game, hang with friends and maybe see a movie.

The night before, however, his AAU coach called with news the Red Springs (N.C.) Flora Macdonald sophomore had been waiting for.

"He called and said ‘North Carolina wants you to come to Midnight Madness,'" said Kirk. "I was just shocked because I never thought I would get a chance to go."

At "Late Night with Roy," Kirk was greeted by the UNC coaching staff and had a brief conversation with Roy Williams.

"It was a great feeling for me," he said. "It's one of my all-time favorite schools and I always wanted to go there. Being there made me look at things differently, because I never thought I would have a chance to be looked at by UNC."

He might not have, were it not for impressive performances throughout the summer AAU circuit. His strong play at camps like the Elite 75 and Phenom 150 has continued to boost his stock.

"I'm learning to play the game better more and more," Kirk explained. "We work hard; I'm getting better and am already seeing results."

Kirk transferred from Whiteville High School to Flora Macdonald over the summer. Coach Derrick Bond's program has churned out several Division I prospects in recent years.

"In the past he's played more of a 4/3 combo position and now that he's here, he's playing more of a 2/3 for us," said Bond. "We're certainly expecting him to rebound the ball at a high level; we want him to be all over the place, offensively and defensively. You can do so many different things with him, but at the same time we want to capitalize on the special gifts he has – what he does best is that he finishes at the rim at a high level."

Despite a 6-foot-7, 180-pound frame, Kirk and Bond see the "2" as his best position moving forward.

"That's what I want to play," Kirk said. "When I'm on the court, my focus is to play hard and keep the tempo up with the point guard. I want the game in the hands of me and the point guard."

Since Kirk's improved play over the fall and summer, Bond said the interest of high-major schools has increased "immensely."

"I think everyone is interested in him," Bond said. "People say he only has one high-level offer from VCU, well we put them right up there with some of the big boys. Certainly a Carolina offer would eclipse that. That's the offer he wishes he can get."

Kirk is receiving interest from Georgia, Seton Hall, Florida State, Clemson, VCU and N.C. State. Both N.C. State and Georgia traveled to Red Springs to watch him this fall. He also attended N.C State's season-opening event on Oct. 18.

After reclassifying from the class of 2015 to the class of 2016, Bond believes Kirk has the natural ability and work ethic to be great. "It was very important for us to go that direction (reclassifying) with him," Bond said. "It was strictly an athletic move. Sometimes you're trying to do so much in such a short period of time… this allows him to go through the process of the recruitment, of developing. Now he has time to practice shooting, to practice conditioning, to work on defense… it pushes him to be in a position to be recruited by the biggest schools in the country. He'll keep getting better and better."

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Rob Harrington Scouting Report:

"Kirk is a long-armed athlete capable of exciting finishes in the open floor. That sentence alone suggests a strong match with Roy Williams's uptempo system, and I think he'll become a good defender as well. There's a question about his jump shot, which features unorthodox hand form (his wrist turns toward his chin), but athletically he'll be ready to go out of the box. At this stage I'd say he projects as a top 100 sophomore — keeping in mind that he reclassified — with room to grow from there."

Shaun Kirk Profile


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