Heels Make Pitch for Samuels

No 'Late Night'? No problem. Samardo Samuels' late arrival into Chapel Hill didn't put a damper on a memorable visit. The Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict standout learned a lesson from Tyler Hansbrough and found out just where he stands with Roy Williams.

Samardo Samuels, who was accompanied by his AAU coach, Karriem Memminger, was forced to take a late flight so he missed the ‘Late Night' festivities last Friday. He did, however, arrive just in time to see the big crowd at the Dean Smith Center.

"We got there a little late so we were getting there right when the crowd was leaving," Memminger said. "But we still got to meet with Coach Roy and go to the offices."

Saturday was full of activities for Samuels, but one of the highlights was watching the Tar Heels' first practice of the year. Samuels, who is Scout.com's highest rated center in 2008, paid close attention to Tyler Hansbrough and how last year's National Freshmen of the Year plays the game.

"Samardo was just amazed at how hard Tyler works in practice," Memminger said. "The guy just doesn't take a day off."

"He saw how he responded when a 6-9 guy was guarding and then he saw how he responds when a 6-5 guy is guarding him, and it's no different to Tyler. He treats them the same. Samardo sees how hard he works in practice and how he's the best player on the court and he's working the hardest."

After watching Hansbrough in person, Samuels watched a video of of UNC's star sophomore from last season.

"Coach Roy Williams talked to us a lot and he showed us a tape of Tyler Hansbrough and showed us how he's going to get him the ball. Basically he said if he goes there he'd pick up where Tyler Hansborough left off."

After practice Samuels met with academic advisors, toured the campus and tailgated with the team before Carolina's football game against South Florida. The football game gave Samuels a chance to develop relationships with some of the UNC players and a fellow 2008 top ten player.

"He basically hung out with Danny Green and talked to Tyler Hansbrough a lot. The visit was nice, he had a nice time."

"He got to meet Delvon Roe and they hung out a little bit at the tailgate and at the football game and they talked for a while. They both actually sat together while watching practice."

Samuels and his AAU coach also spent a lot of time conversing with Roy Williams. Williams and his staff expressed their interest and made it clear to the 6-8, 240-pound center that there was a scholarship offer on the table.

"They offered and if Samardo wants to commit to UNC, it's [there for] him. They basically had offered, but when we sat in his office he basically said if Samardo decided he wanted to come to UNC then they want him."

"We like the vibe we got from him. He basically said that Samardo is his guy. They aren't really looking at anybody in ‘07, they're saving for ‘08. They said Samardo is their guy. He wants him to play power forward and Delvon to play small forward."

During their meeting Williams made his opinion of Samuels' game clear.

"If he goes there, Coach said that he could probably be one of the best power forwards ever to put on a UNC uniform. Those are some big shoes with Rasheed Wallace and Sean May and all of the great ones that went through there."

The visit definitely left a lasting impression on the visitors.

"It was nice. At the end of the day it's the University of North Carolina," Memminger explained. "[They have] 52 pros and 14 active pros right now."

But keep in mind, Samuels recruitment is far from over. Memminger said UConn, Louisville, Georgetown, Rutgers, St. Johns, Florida, Miami and Seton Hall are all still firmly in the mix.

The next step in Samuels' recruitment is to take a few more unofficial visits.

"We're going to visit unofficially Georgetown. We're going to visit UConn. We're going to visit unofficially Florida, Louisville of course and maybe Miami."

Memminger said they hope to eventually narrow it down, take five official visits and make a decision next year.

Samardo Samuels Profile

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