Ingram Becoming Complete Package

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Versatility is the name of Brandon Ingram’s game.

Need a bucket? He’ll give you several. Need to get other players involved? He can play the role of distributor. Need a stop? He can get it.

What Kinston (N.C.) High School head coach Perry Tyndall likes most about Ingram is that he’s never one thing for the Vikings. He’s whatever they need him to be.

“Sometimes I think it’s a little unfair,” said Tyndall. “He comes out and scores 43 in the first game and I think people expect him to do that every night. The good thing about Brandon, he understands and knows that he can do so many things.“

For stretches this season, Ingram has been the Vikings’ primary ball handler. During Kinston’s first game at the Chick-fil-A Classic, he led the team with six assists.

“I’m not saying he’s going to play point guard or anything, but honestly he makes really good decisions,” Tyndall said. “He’s pretty good with the ball in his hands. People know he can shoot, but he’s pretty special for us right now running the ‘1.’”

Ingram and the Vikings returned to action on Monday night and Ingram did it all. He had a game-high six assists again, but this time he also was the game's leading scorer (26 points), connecting from inside and out, and hauled in 12 rebounds.

Tyndall will be looking for Ingram to stay aggressive in the tournament finale on Tuesday.

“He’s such a team player that he gets his team involved, but at times he’s got to know to attack,” said Tyndall. “Keep playing, keep pushing the tempo, keep leading us. This will help us, but understanding that in big-time games he has to lead us.”

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams was courtside to see Ingram on Tuesday. The 6-9 forward said he has a great relationship with UNC’s staff.

“Coach Williams and Coach Rob, they’ve been on me since probably the end of my ninth grade year,” Ingram explained. “It’s just a great relationship. I’m phone-tagging and texting all the time with Coach Robinson as well as Coach Williams.”

It’s been nearly 17 months since UNC offered Ingram and almost a year since his official visit. The Tar Heels’ message to him, he said, has been consistent throughout the recruitment.

“As you can see, they need a shooter," Ingram said. "That's what they tell me. Just come in and be a shooter. We need you to score the ball.”

After taking four official visits and many more unofficial trips, Ingram thought he’d be ready to sign during the fall period.

“I’ve been to a lot of in-state schools and just staying around here,” Ingram said. “I wasn’t able to get out of the state and visit some of the colleges like Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA. They offered during the summer. I took those official visits in October and it just opened my mind a lot more and I just knew I couldn’t make a decision by November.“

Tyndall added, “As he got closer to a decision, he still had indecision. In a big decision like that, if you have indecision, then there’s no need to rush it. I think now, it’s calmed down for him. It’s been a little bit of a breath of fresh air lately. It’s allowed him to just play. I think he’s still just trying to find the right fit. He’s still very much processing everything.”

Ingram plans to watch a lot of college basketball games over the next few months. The ability to make an impact during his freshman season will be carry a lot of weight in his decision.

“My dad, my mom, my brother and Coach Tyndall are going to help me make my decision,” Ingram said. “I want to make an impact my freshman year. I want to see what guys are leaving, seeing how I can get a certain position, work for a certain position or work for a certain role and then playing style and tradition.”

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