Bradley is a true big man and increasingly has embraced his stature and identity as a post scorer. He stands 6-9, 230 pounds and thus — in a recent rarity for UNC — should be physically ready for the rigors of ACC competition his freshman season.
He has a wide body type and hips that could be classified as weapons. His self-awareness pertaining to his hips enabled him to compensate for lacking vertical leap (more on that below) progressively during his high school career.
Playing on the 2015 EYBL circuit, Bradley pieced together solid, albeit unspectacular averages. He went for only 12 points per game but did so shooting 60 percent from the field, showcasing his efficiency and understanding of how he can be most effective.
He stepped up his production his senior year at Bartow, topping the 20-point mark on 20 separate occasions. He also led them to a deep tournament run in a highly competitive state.
In terms of style, Bradley isn’t a battering ram but does employ nuanced power to create angles for short-range attempts, and he has large, sure hands to snare the ball in traffic. He utilizes the glass well and quickly advances from catch to shot inside. His high shoulders and long arms are additional factors that augur in his favor.
For perspective, current Tar Heel center Kennedy Meeks has been measured with a 7-0 wingspan; Bradley’s has tested at 7-4. That’s a significant difference and partially explains why he has enjoyed impressive efficiency against elite opponents.
He doesn’t do much that’s flashy but stays within himself and utilizes craft and intelligence to take the shots that he wants to take, not those that defenders attempt to coax him into taking. He also does possess effective jump shooting range to 15 feet, albeit with a low release point that needs a mechanical tweak.
Defensively, he possesses a strong grasp of position and is a steady defensive rebounder, averaging eight boards per contest in his 23 EYBL games last year. He also blocks some shots thanks to his length and good timing.
The UNC coaching staff should warm to him quickly. He’s a quick learner and highly dedicated to his craft, and he has become more outwardly vocal as he has matured. He’s unlikely to become the Tar Heels’ fiery leader but should provide a steady, serious court presence.
Straight-up leaping ability is critical for a 6-9 post player, and Bradley struggles in that capacity. He rarely dunks the ball, can eat some shots inside and generally may be susceptible to the rangiest of athletes at the college and professional levels.
To his credit, he appears to understand his bread and butter — which explains his efficiency — but to develop into an all-conference or better type player, he’ll simply have to develop a way to take more shots than he does presently.
He also doesn’t possess quick feet laterally and ideally will guard the biggest opponent on the floor at all times. To become an offset post or stretch, he’ll have improve both his quickness and shooting range.
Bradley should provide immediate scoring punch for Roy Williams’s program. Most players need time to fashion an identity, but he’ll arrive much more invested in his own style and with an innate ability to detect dangerous situations. Even if he doesn’t attempt multiple shots per game as a freshman in a likely backup role behind Meeks, he should become a reliable threat and someone the Tar Heels can use to punish smaller, finesse teams.
Over time, as his role and playing time expands, he should thrive both as a primary scoring option and as a trailing shooter and passer in secondary break. He’s also a fine outlet passer who can initiate the primary break following a rebound, a staple of UNC big men.
Although I could be wrong, Bradley strikes me as a two-year and potentially three-year college player. Thus, he could emerge as a pivotal factor for multiple teams and provide valuable experience down the road.
His commitment to the Tar Heels last fall spearheaded a top-10 class and therefore he already has contributed significantly to the program’s continued success.