Two Va. hoops stars visit UNC

<i>Inside Carolina</i> has learned that two central Virginia stars will take in the action today at the Smith Center when the Tar Heels host Wake Forest.

These two guard prospects -- Tyrese Rice and Devin Johnson -- are probably two of the highest rated guards in the entire state of Virginia, and both already being recruited (as much as they can be at this age) at the mid-to-high Division I level.

Rice, a 6-1 lefty combo guard from L.C Bird High School in Richmond, is a sophomore who ranks as one of the area's top scorers as well as one of the most accurate three-point-shooters. We have had the opportunity to check out Rice and his squad earlier this year and wrote down several notes on the quick-triggered sophomore. Here's what we had ...

* Very quick with the ball. Able to shoot with lots of range and can do so off the dribble or from the catch and shoot. Tough competitor. Pretty good handle, but needs to shapen some of his point skills. Very high arcing shot with plenty of backspin and a quick release. He's able to shoot with pressure and releases the ball at the apex of his jump. Size (6'0-6'1) may be an issue playing at the next level, especially if he wants to play the two.

After being named the city Player of the Week by the Richmond Times-Dispatch this past season, Rice, who was born in Salisbury, N.C., was quoted as saying his goal was "To get a scholarship to play basketball at North Carolina, but that might not happen." He is currently averaging 23.8 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 1.8 turnovers; is shooting 43 percent on 3-pointers.

And the other prospect that will be present at today's game is Devin Johnson, a tremendous prospect in his own right from Meadowbrook High School in Richmond. Johnson, who participated in yesterday's Super SlamFest in Ashland, Va., is only a freshman. But at 6-2 and a very strong 185 pounds -- Johnson is a high major prospect, without question. He is ultra-athletic, very savvy and mature beyond his years. He is quick with the rock and able to penetrate the defense at will -- and he does so without any hesitation. This was our first look at Johnson and we'll be honest, he looks to be a very intriguing prospect to watch down the road, despite only being a freshman.

The two Richmond prospects will travel with Squires' coach Mac McFarland.

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