Basketball Recruiting Roundup
In this week's Basketball Recruiting Roundup, we continue our 10-part series breaking down the nation's Top 10 hoop recruiting classes.
In the previous two weeks we tackled No. 1 Kansas and No. 2 Duke. Now it's time to move on to No. 3:
3. North Carolina
Things are finally looking up again for the Tar Heels. After a few successive seasons that weren't up to UNC standards, this year's team once again has the look of a national title contender.
And not only has coach Roy Williams invigorated the Tar Heels on the court, but he has done the same on the recruiting trail, bringing in a class that includes four Top 50 recruits and is among the nation's elite.
We have UNC's class ranked a little higher than most other recruiting analysts, and maybe others have overlooked them because the Heels didn't sign any flashy recruits with big names. Even their top recruit, Poplar Bluff (Mo.) power forward Tyler Hansbrough, is much more substance than style.
Add in Brother Rice (Ill.) point guard Bobby Frasor, Bishop O'Connell (Va.) shooting guard Marcus Ginyard and St. Mary's (N.Y.) swingman Danny Green — all of whom are arguably underrated despite their Top 50 status — and it's obvious Williams has prioritized hard-working, versatile players who will do the little things to help the Heels win.
Nobody personifies that more than Hansbrough, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound workhorse who is rated the No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.
Hansbrough, who averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds per game last season, refuses to get outworked on the court and is a constant blur of motion. He is a strong offensive rebounder because of his strength and desire to stay with the play, and his rebounding skills on the defensive end help kick start the fastbreak.
And he proved he won't back down from anyone when he dropped 16 points and 12 rebounds in a nationally televised game against 7-foot junior phenom Greg Oden last week. That had to put a smile on UNC fans' faces.
Frasor, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who can play either backcourt position, is rated the No. 23 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com. His gritty and unselfish playing style has drawn comparisons to Kirk Hinrich, who starred for coach Williams at Kansas.
Frasor, who averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game as a junior, is a heady combo guard who always looks in control. He's a deadly shooter from 3-point range and shoots well coming off screens, but he's also dangerous as a penetrate-and-dish playmaker.
Ginyard, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder who is rated the nation's No. 38 recruit by SchoolSports.com, is another versatile backcourt player. Though he's best suited for the off-guard spot, Ginyard can play the point in a pinch if needed thanks to his ball-handling and passing skills.
He's a jack-of-all-trades who won't immediately jump out at you but does all the little things well. And though his offensive game is quickly improving, Ginyard's biggest contributions may be on the defensive end, where he has the potential to be a lockdown defender at the college level.
Ginyard averaged 13.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game last season, but he's the epitome of a guy whose contributions go well beyond the stats.
The fourth and final member of UNC's recruiting class is Green, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound swingman who is rated the No. 45 recruit in the Class of 2005.
The senior class co-MVP (along with Top 10 recruit Monta Ellis) at this past summer's Reebok ABCD Camp, Green impresses with a versatile game that might not have the flair of other top recruits but more than makes up for it in the results department.
Green can score, pass, rebound and defend, and he really fills the stat sheet. As a junior, he averaged 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and five blocks per game.
It's hard to know exactly what role many of UNC's recruits will play next year because a lot depends on whether guys like Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants bolt for the NBA.
But with a recruiting class like this, the Tar Heels are once again in good shape for seasons to come.
Check back next week for our breakdown of the No. 4 recruiting class from Oklahoma State.