Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

2018 UNC Recruit Intro: David McCormack

David McCormack, who made the trip to Chapel Hill on Saturday, is a self-described "powerhouse" in the paint.

David McCormack is admittedly an old soul.

He plays, his coach at Norfolk (Va.) Academy Eric Acra says, a “very classic back-to-the-basket style.” He loves, seeks out and thrives in physical situations in the paint.

And his two all-time favorite players retired before he was born.

“Clyde Drexler and Julius Erving,” McCormack says in a serious, matter-of-fact tone. “I like old school basketball. Julius Erving is one of the most amazing legends. He was long, lanky and could get around the court. He grew into his body early and that gave him a huge advantage, same thing with people like Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. They were just phenomenal players and I love how they played.”

It’s no surprise then that, at a time when traditional post play has never been less popular, McCormack seems himself as a throwback to a time when big men didn’t just rent time in the lane – they lived there.

“I’m known to be a powerhouse on the court,” the 6-10, 287-pound sophomore said. “It’s fun to me being as young as I am, having my size, it’s kind of fun to push around older guys. I get a thrill once I can clear the paint out for myself and get the two-point bucket… that gives me joy.”

McCormack recently gave up football in order to focus on basketball full time. The results have been positive. He’s received scholarship offers from N.C. State, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech and Penn State, as well as attention from many ACC schools, including North Carolina.

Playing offensive and defensive line in football, McCormack and Acra believe, has helped improve his footwork and agility.

“He’s a space maker,” Acra said. “When he catches the ball he’s going to get it to the basket. It’s usually by going through people or over people which is kind of old school when you’re talking about the finesse game of today. His footwork has improved tremendously this year. He’s going to punish you when he gets the ball down low.”

McCormack first entered UNC’s radar during the 2015 spring evaluation period.

“(UNC assistant coach C.B.) McGrath saw our kids played earlier in the spring in the live period last year,” said Team Loaded coach Rodney Gore. (2018 wing) Keldon (Johnson) played for us and went to Midnight Madness. They wanted David to come this week for an unofficial so he could have an intimate look at the school.”

On Saturday, McCormack took an unofficial visit to UNC, his second trip to Chapel Hill this season (he also visited for the Tar Heels’ win over UNC-Greensboro).

“The environment was great,” he said. “There was a lot of Tar Heel energy. I got a chance to walk out of the tunnel onto the first row and watch the game.”

McCormack had his eyes on the UNC big men, specifically junior center Kennedy Meeks. And he liked what he saw.

“I definitely noticed that they feed their bigs a lot,” he explained. “That’s something a big man is looking for when he’s looking for a college. The way Kennedy Meeks was able to score the ball the way he did, he’s a monster in the post. North Carolina definitely looks out for their bigs.”

Following the game, McCormack met with McGrath and Roy Williams.

“I just introduced myself to him,” he said. “They said they plan to get up and see me soon.”

After this second visit in two months, McCormack has a better feel for the Tar Heels and the Carolina program.

“I know North Carolina is a very good school,” he said. “They are great on academics and have a very welcoming environment. The basketball program produces a lot of great players, the campus is beautiful and the basketball atmosphere is great.”

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