Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva

Roy Williams Meets With Lauri Markkanen in Finland

Roy Williams was in Finland on Monday visiting with Lauri Markkanen.

When Brandon Robinson announced his commitment to North Carolina on Monday, Roy Williams was more than 4,000 miles away, attempting to add another member to UNC's 2016 recruiting class.

The Tar Heel head coach spent the day in Finland, at the Helsinki Basketball Academy campus, meeting with Lauri Markkanen.

Markkanen is a 6-10 senior and considered one of the top international prospects in his age group. He earned high marks from scouts while averaging 18.2 points and 6.3 rebounds for Finland’s U18 team in the FIBA U18 European Championships this summer. While Scout.com doesn’t rank prospects that reside overseas, Markkanen is equivalent to a five-star, Top 25 prospect. At his size, he’s mobile, has great hands and touch and stretches the floor with his jump shot.

UNC began contacting him last winter and Williams - who coached his father, Pekka, at Kansas - extended a scholarship offer in a phone call during the summer.

Williams and UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson spent much of Monday at the school meeting with Markkanen and his mother.

"It was awesome," Markkanen told Inside Carolina, noting that many topics were covered during the lengthy stay including his potential fit on UNC's roster and the living environment of Chapel Hill. "We talked about everything."

Markkanen said his biggest takeaway was being impressed by Williams, and that the coach's recruiting pitch resonated.

"I just felt comfortable with coaches and my opportunity to play," he said.

UNC was the third and final school to conduct an in-home visit at HBA, following Utah on Sept. 19 and Arizona on Sept. 20.

All three finalists will host Markkanen and his father for an official visit tour that starts in a couple weeks. With the intention of making a decision in time to sign in November, the Markkanens will be at Utah the weekend of Oct. 11, then head to Chapel Hill for an Oct. 13-14 stay, and lastly visit Arizona on Oct. 16-17.

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