There’s not much left for P.J. Washington, his family, and Roy Williams to learn about each other.
Washington, one of North Carolina’s top remaining targets in the class of 2017, has unofficially visited Chapel Hill, previously hosted Williams and spent countless hours on the phone with him.
That meant Williams and assistant coach Steve Robinson’s visit on Sept. 11 focused on only one thing.
“It was a really good visit, a personal visit,” said Paul Washington Sr., P.J.’s father. “Coach Williams got a chance to let P.J. know how he fits into Carolina’s system. It makes you feel good, from a parent’s standpoint, that your kid would be in good hands. Coach Williams has seen him play a quite a bit, so it’s not about if P.J. can play. These visits are making sure P.J. understands how bad they want him."
The meeting took place at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, where Washington Sr. is now the head coach.
“As far as the fit, they’re not comparing him to a particular player,” Washington Sr. said. “ I don’t think Carolina has had a player like P.J. in the last few years that can play both forward positions – that can be a '2,' '3,' and a '4.' It’s just a matter of them understanding that he’s a player. They’re going to utilize him wherever he’s a mismatch.”
In addition to discussing his fit at UNC, it was also a chance for the Tar Heels to gauge Washington’s interest.
“With recruiting, things can change on a dime,” said Washington Sr. “You can feel you’re in on a kid and someone else swoops in all of a sudden. So these meetings, with all the schools, are just gauging to see where the kid is at, where the parents are at, 'are we (the school) one of your top schools?' It’s just the schools reinforcing what they already knew.”
So, is North Carolina still one of Washington’s top schools?
Yes,” Washington Sr. said. “I wouldn’t let them come in on a visit if they weren’t in P.J.’s top four.”
The top four references the four schools Washington is scheduled to officially visit – Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona and Texas. No decision has been made on a fifth official visit. He takes an official visit to North Carolina beginning Sept. 23.
“Starting this weekend (official visit to Kentucky) he’s gone every weekend through November and then the season starts. We’ll see. It’s just about what we could fit in right now.”
No matter how successful an individual trip is, Washington won’t commit before he's taken officials to his top four schools.
“I really don’t want to rush him, because it’s a lifelong decision,” said Washington Sr. “My only thing to him was you have to go on the visits to figure it out. Besides that, we’ll see.”
And North Carolina figures to be in Washington’s recruitment until it ends.
“Coach Williams said he’s going to recruit P.J. harder than anybody,” Washington Sr. explained. “He said he’ll see him more than any other coach.”