UNC basketball lives by its recruiting prowess, and that means keeping a close eye on events such as the 2014 Nike Peach Jam. The championships of the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) played out in South Carolina last weekend, and a healthy supply of the stars who were on hand are on the radar of Roy Williams and his assistants for their 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes.
Of course, some of those potential Tar Heels fared a lot better than others as the weekend unfolded. Here’s a rundown of how the top prospects in North Carolina's sights looked in Peach Jam action:
Ivan Rabb (2015): B-
Touted as a contender for the No. 1 spot in the overall class rankings, Rabb underwhelmed. His team failed to impress, and his own performance—including 13.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game—did nothing to support superstar billing for the California standout.
Stephen Zimmerman (2015): C
Zimmerman, whose build will remind Tar Heels fans of a young Tyler Zeller, may prove to resemble him as a late bloomer, too. Despite the lanky Nevadan's immense potential, he looked dreadful on offense (.421 shooting) as his Oakland Soldiers suffered an early exit in the quarterfinals.
Antonio Blakeney (2015): B
The hard-driving Blakeney is tough to beat as a pure scorer, as he proved with 20.8 points per game at the Peach Jam. However, his weak long-range shot (.235) and one-dimensional game are questionable fits for a UNC squad that prefers do-it-all wings a la Reggie Bullock.
Tyler Davis (2015): A+
Many of the EYBL’s best regular-season centers imploded in South Carolina, but Davis went the opposite direction. A phenomenal effort, including 18.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game, should raise the profile of this Kennedy Meeks clone.
Malik Monk (2016): B-
Monk was on display at his streaky best and worst at the Peach Jam. The Arkansas scoring machine single-handedly upset tournament runner-up Team Penny with a devastating 40-point game, but totaled just 54 points for his other four contests on the weekend.
Harry Giles (2016): B+
Even more than Monk, Giles was facing an uphill battle as a big man against players with a year of extra physical development on their side. He played respectably for the tourney as a whole, but it was his effort in the play-in game—21 points and 15 boards—that saved Team CP3 and highlighted his immense long-term potential.