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North Carolina Tar Heels Looking To Add Frontcourt Depth, 5 Potential Targets

The North Carolina Tar Heels are still looking to solidify their frontcourt. The Tar Heels won’t have starters Armando Bacot (out of eligibility) or Harrison Ingram, who has decided to forego his final collegiate season to head to the NBA. The Heels have already missed out on a few top targets, including Cliff Omoruyi.

North Carolina Tar Heels Looking To Add Frontcourt Depth, 4 Options At Power Forward

While UNC won’t have three of five starters, it returns five of the eight regular players in its rotation. Coach Hubert Davis also has a top-10 recruiting class, per 247 Sports, with three freshmen and transfer Cade Tyson. The Tar Heels have three scholarships available for the upcoming season.

“The roster is set 1-3. From a numbers perspective, it’s set at the 4, too, said Sherrell McMillan of Inside Carolina on Coast to Coast Podcast. “There is a hole at the 5. UNC wanted to sign someone who could, at worst, platoon with Jalen Washington or, at best, add someone who could come in and play 30-33 minutes per game.

Looking At Carolina’s 2024-25 Roster

Guards/Wing

RJ Davis

Elliot Cadeau

Seth Trimble

Ian Jackson

Drake Powell

Cade Tyson

Bigs

Jae’lyn Withers

Jalen Washington

Zayden Hight

James Brown

Withers and Washington each appeared in all 37 games last year, as the pair were the primary bigs off the bench for Davis a season ago. Withers has more experience; he has not been overly productive or efficient. He is a good rebounder and can stretch the floor with his shooting while also being a decent shot-blocker.

Washington will likely see major minutes for the first time in his career. However, the former top 55 consensus recruit showed massive improvement on both ends of the floor and was highly efficient around the rim this past season.

High is a 2023 top 70 consensus recruit who saw 103 minutes over 23 appearances. Meanwhile, Brown is rated as a three/four-star recruit in 2024. Brown is a high-energy guy who scores well around the basket. The 6-9 post runs the floor well, is a good rim protector, and is a solid rebounder.

Tyson, a 6-7 forward, is a transfer from Belmont who can play the four in small-ball lineups. Tyson is an excellent shooter with the ability to rebound.

Withers and High are traditional power forwards. Washington and Brown are centers, but Washington can also play power forward.

“Jalen Washington put up pretty crazy efficiency numbers on offense, said Sean Moran of Inside Carolina. “But there’s a concern with him on defense from body type to agility and strength.”

Tar Heels 6 Targets

Here is a look at possible options at the center and power forward positions, according to Jacob Renfrow of Carolina HQ.

“They are re-evaluating their goals, added McMillan. “We are midway through the portal season. There’s still lots of time for guys to pull out of the NBA Draft. They’re working their contacts. They’re talking to coaches, figuring out who’s there and who might fit. From there, they’ll create another recruiting board or add to the recruiting board that they already had. It’s a really good chance to recalibrate, reset, see what else is out there and move forward.”

Coleman Hawkins, Illinois

Coleman Hawkins is in the transfer portal and testing the NBA waters. The 6-10 forward played his first four collegiate seasons at Illinois and had his best campaign this past year.

Hawkins can score off the bounce, in the post, and knock down triples. He can also guard multiple positions due to his athleticism and length.

CBS Sports Matt Norlaander recently discussed Hawkins options:

 “Coleman Hawkins, it sounds like that is Arkansas, (North) Carolina, Louisville, Kansas State, there could be others. He will command a very, very high NIL price. He really does want to go the NBA route, but I’d say the buzz on Hawkins at this stage is more likely than not that he would return to college, although no sure thing.”

Dillon Mitchell, Texas

Dillon Mitchell, a top 5 consensus 2022 recruit, doubled his production this season as a sophomore compared to his freshman campaign. The 6-8 power forward is an elite athlete who thrives around the rim on both ends of the floor. He is an outstanding rebounder, a good shot-blocker, and a solid defender overall.

JT Toppin, New Mexico

JT Toppin is coming off a fantastic freshman season at New Mexico. Toppin produced 11 double-doubles this past season. He scored in double-figures 23 times, topping the 20-point mark on three occasions, and grabbed double-digit boards 15 times.

Ven-Allen Lubin, Vanderbilt

Ven-Allen Lubin is in the portal for the second consecutive season. The 6-8 forward, a top 60 consensus 2022 recruit, nearly doubled his scoring average while playing for Vanderbilt. He is an outstanding rebounder and rim-protector.

Ugonna Onyenso, Kentucky

Ugonna Onyenso is in the transfer portal while also testing the NBA draft waters. It is unknown whether the athletic 7-footer will return to school or remain in the draft.

Although Onyenso is still very raw offensively, he is an outstanding shot-blocker and rebounder. Onyenso produced one double-double and grabbed double-digit rebounds on three occasions.

 

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