Coleman: 'There’s Nothing Like It'

The two North Carolina games Matt Coleman attended during the 2014-15 season set the bar high for future visits. His first trip to Chapel Hill as a recruit was the Tar Heels’ last-second victory over Louisville in January. His second was for UNC’s regular-season finale loss to Duke.

“There’s nothing like it,” said Coleman, a 6-1 guard from Norfolk (Va.) Maury. “It’s a legendary rivalry, probably the best in basketball and sports. It was louder than the Louisville game. It was real tense, but I definitely enjoyed myself.”

“Carolina has a pretty good team and when I was young I liked Carolina,” said Coleman. “I was just happy to be there and check them out.“

Coleman and his parents arrived at the Smith Center about an hour before the game. One of nine recruits in attendance, the class of 2017 point guard mingled with some familiar faces.

“Of course it was already packed when we got there, so I just hung out with some of the other guys there,” Coleman said. “Jalek (Felton), I talked to him and I met Brandon Robinson from Georgia. We talked a little bit prior to the game.”

Since the Louisville game, Felton, a class of 2017 UNC commit, has been in Coleman’s ear about playing together at UNC. The two played on the same team at USA Basketball Mini-Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. this past October.

“I mean it’s the same thing, he was just saying we could be a very good backcourt,” explained Coleman. “I like Jalek. I like his personality. As I told him before, it’s something to look at.”

As for the game itself, Coleman felt the result came down to one thing.

“Carolina came out really tough,” he said. “They jumped on them quick, but in the second half they just couldn’t execute. Duke’s backcourt made plays, but Carolina just couldn’t execute.”

After the game, Coleman and the recruits visited the UNC locker room and spoke briefly with the Tar Heel coaching staff.

“I talked to Coach Roy, Coach Hubert and Coach Robinson,” Coleman said. “They just said they enjoyed watching me last summer and are ready to see me this summer. They said they like watching me play.”

For now, Coleman said his interest level in UNC is “medium.”

“It’s not too high and not too low,” he said. “It’s basically how their interest in me is. They’re recruiting me and they like my game.”

Coleman will again play with the Boo Williams Summer League 17U on the AAU circuit. He is teammates with 2016 UNC target Edrice Adebayo. With his high school season over and a gap until AAU begins, Coleman is working at becoming a better all-around player.

“I’m just working out and getting shots up until AAU starts,” he said. “I have to make sure my jumper is on, on a consistent basis. And I’ve been working on my athleticism a lot. That’s the sneaky part of my game.”

Coleman has offers from VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, UConn and Memphis.

“The ACC is one of the best conferences in the country right now,” he said. “I could see myself playing in it.”

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