North Carolina Basketball: Sales Pitch for Each Top 2014 Recruiting Target
North Carolina's Roy Williams has already built up a very impressive cast of 2014 recruits. Top-15 prospects (ESPN 100) Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Joel Berry have all verbally committed to the Tar Heels, and Coach Williams has his eyes on three more at the top of the class.
Each of the three could fill the greatest void on UNC's prospective 2014-15 roster.
Leslie McDonald will be playing his final season at Chapel Hill in 2013-14, and one can assume P.J. Hairston won't be returning for his senior campaign—no matter the outcome of his legal troubles.
That will leave the program with no true shooting guards, making the position Roy's highest priority during the final stretch of his 2014 recruiting.
The sales pitch he uses will either have the Tar Heels sitting pretty or seriously lacking depth at the 2. Over the next three slides, we will break down the skills of Rashad Vaughn, Devin Booker and Justise Winslow, and how they fit within Roy's system.
And how the program would secure their futures at the next level.
Rashad Vaughn, SG
With Rashad Vaughn's skill set—and the vacancy at his position in Chapel Hill—he should be able to step right in as the starting shooting guard as a freshman.
That's a rare opportunity for anyone under Roy Williams. But Vaughn would not disappoint.
North Carolina thrives on guards that can bury the catch-and-shoot threes when posts kick it back out. Vaughn not only excels in this area, but he can also create space to drop one with a pull-up or step-back move.
In order for the Tar Heels to fire on all cylinders, though, guards also need to make themselves a threat in the paint and in transition. This is where Vaughn truly separates himself and shows potential to be an instant contributor at Carolina.
He is very quick with his lateral movement, slicing through defenses to get to the bucket. Unlike many recruits at this stage, he also has very tight handles to go with his agility.
His quickness and ball skills also help Vaughn on the defensive end and in transition. He can take a steal coast-to-coast for a jam or fire an outlet pass to the runners.
With all of his skills and a 6'6" frame to boot, Vaughn is a threat to score from any area of the court. He is a perfect match for Roy Williams and his system.
Devin Booker, SG
When discussing the 2014 recruits with the sweetest strokes, Devin Booker has to enter the conversation. That's something the Tar Heels can't get enough of.
Booker's release is so quick, it's almost impossible to combat if the defender isn't right on his hip. And when he lets it go, it's pretty much automatic for the 6'5" shooting guard.
If you didn't see the name on his back, you'd think he was a Curry.
With the plethora of scorers already lined up for the 2014-15 squad and three excellent point guards, Booker would find himself open on the regular. That's good news if he plans on grabbing the attention of NBA scouts.
He would also be able to expand his game and improve his stroke with the help of assistant coach Hubert Davis—one of the greatest perimeter shooters in NBA history.
Booker has the basketball IQ and work ethic to make that happen.
At this time, Carolina is looking pretty loaded at the 3 with J.P. Tokoto and 2014 recruits Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson. More than likely, at least one of those guys will also see time at the 2, possibly taking minutes from Booker.
If Roy snatches up Vaughn, Booker's playing time could be reduced even more. But it will increase as the years tick by, and Coach Williams always finds a way to get his best shooters in the game.
Booker may not get the most playing time as a freshman at Carolina, but the exposure, coaching, competition and potential title contention will serve him well in the future.
Justise Winslow, SF
If there is anyone that could help Carolina get past losing do-it-all wings Reggie Bullock and, presumably, P.J. Hairston, it's Justise Winslow. This kid can score from anywhere—including the post—and he has the passing ability and vision of a point guard.
Winslow sports a rock-solid 6'6", 210-pound frame as a junior in high school. He's only going to get bigger, too. You can just see it with his build.
The King's name gets thrown around a lot with recruiting—pretty loosely, I might add—as folks search for the "the next" LeBron James. Winslow may be the first recruit I can actually see having the same mindset, ability and build of the two-time NBA champion.
Now that's the kind of do-it-all Bullock and Hairston can't even touch.
Winslow is always lurking in transition to block shots from the side or behind. When he drives, his head is up, scanning for open shooters, while maintaining tight handles. If he decides to take it himself, he can overpower the opposition or use a solid Euro step to slide by the defender.
The plethora of small forwards at Carolina could be a deterrent, considering that is Winslow's primary position. But he can also be considered a point-forward with his skill set, which means he would be perfectly comfortable at the 1, 2 or 3.
That kind of versatility and talent won't go to waste at Carolina. And if he chooses North Carolina before Vaughn makes his decision, he probably won't have to worry about much competition at the 2.
It would most likely be between Winslow and Jackson for the starting spot, and he would have a slight edge with his size and intangibles—despite Jackson holding a higher ranking.
There just aren't many recruits that do as much as Winslow on the hardwood, and being surrounded with talent will only accelerate his development.
Forget the rankings. Winslow is the guy on this list that will make the Tar Heels perennial title contenders every year he is on the roster.
And titles only boost NBA draft stocks.