Tar Heels move in on Blatche

The search is on for who will be Sean May's successor in the middle – and it may just end in Syracuse, N.Y.

After missing out on pure point guard Greg Paulus, a Syracuse native who committed to Duke over UNC, it appears as if the Tar Heels have a chance to land another elite player from the city, junior big man Andray Blatche.

Blatche is a 6-11, 225-pound athletic post player who runs the floor, blocks shots, rebounds and also has good soft hands and a nice touch. There aren't many of those around, especially in the Class of 2005.

The Henninger High (N.Y.) senior needs a year of prep school to get his academics in order and will play at South Kent (Conn.) next year. Blatche has rattled off a list that includes UConn, Georgetown, Syracuse, West Virginia, Kansas, St. John's and Rutgers in the past, but now there's really only one school that matters.

"I always wanted to stay in the Big East, but North Carolina called my coach and they want to set up a visit," said Blatche, who won Syracuse Post-Standard Player of the Year honors over Paulus after averaging 24.5 points, 18.3 boards, 8.1 blocks and 4.1 assists per game.

"I'm definitely going to take a visit there," he added. "I've always liked them since I was a little kid. If I get the chance to [attend UNC], I'm going. It'll be done."

Roy Williams and the staff will evaluate Blatche this spring and also make sure he can qualify academically. Blatche will play with Paulus on SRAP, which will make its first major appearance at the Kingwood Classic (Houston) on April 23. SRAP, which is coached by Paulus' father, will also play at the Tournament of Champions, Three Stripes and will head to Las Vegas in July.

Blatche still has some question marks in addition to his grades. He'll need to add some strength, but in this day and age if he can put on 10 or 20 pounds, he can more than hold his own with most big men in college basketball.

"He blocks everything," South Kent coach Raphael Chillious said. "He's much stronger than he looks and could be a Kevin Garnett-type down the road. He's not as athletic, but he has the potential to be that kind of player. He can put it on the floor, is a great passer and defensively, he reminds me of a longer Emeka (Okafor) as far as blocking shots."

"I grew up liking them (UNC)," Blatche said. "I have family that lives down there, so I used to go down there all the time. Michael Jordan went there – and that's probably why I liked them so much."

VIDEO LINK: Blatche's Post Moves

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