Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 9 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In this edition, we discuss how some of North Carolina’s targets performed in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta over the weekend.
Every year, the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta proves to be one of the premier high school basketball showcases in the country, and this year was no different.
The annual showcase has marked an unofficial start to the high school basketball season since 2014 with 37 programs from across the east coast, stretching from Florida to New York.
Among the many talented players at the event were a few North Carolina targets in the Class of 2019. Following Friday and Saturday action, 247Sports’ Evan Daniels discussed a few of the showcase’s top performers, which included a couple Tar Heels Targets.
Ashton Hagans, 5-star point guard, Covington, Ga.
School: Newton High School
Ashton Hagans was among the earliest of North Carolina’s Class of 2019 offers. The nation’s No. 2 point guard and No. 10 overall player per 247Sports certainly showed his ceiling in the Hoopsgiving showcase, putting up a triple-double in his first game against Columbia (Ga.) with 14 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. He followed that up by falling just short of another triple-double against Pebblebrook (Ga.) with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Newton won both of those games and averaged just over 90 points per game between the two.
Hagans received his offer from North Carolina in early August, although he was the second point guard to receive an offer from Roy Williams in the class. The first went to 4-star point guard Jeremiah Francis, who has since committed to the Tar Heels. This certainly brings up the question of where Hagans might fit in the Tar Heels’ Class of 2019, although it appears that they’ve backed off at least some. Daniels spoke with Hagans over the weekend, and North Carolina was not included in the five schools that Hagans feels are recruiting him the hardest.
Jalen Lecque, 4-star combo guard, Arden, N.C.
School: Christ School
Jalen Lecque is another high-upside combo guard, in the same mold as 5-star 2018 combo guard signee Coby White, who could see his stock rise over the course of the next year. He certainly showed why in Atlanta over the weekend. Although Christ School only played in one game, Lecque put up 27 points and 11 rebounds against McEachern (Ga.) on Friday.
Just last week in the Dean’s List, we wrote that Lecque hopes to make a trip to Chapel Hill after the basketball season ends, so he’s certainly got North Carolina on his radar. The real question is just how much interest North Carolina has in Lecque, and whether or not that interest could get lost in the shuffle if it’s delayed too long. North Carolina has reached out to the coaching staff at Christ about Lecque, but that’s about the extent of the relationship. North Carolina is not among the 33 offers Lecque has already brought in, although that’s not to say he won’t eventually garner an offer from the Tar Heels. Lecque is a name to watch, but Williams and his staff are seemingly going after the premier names in the class at this point in the process and will likely expand that list in the spring and summer after the season.
Armando Bacot, 5-star PF/C, Richmond, Va.
School: Trinity Episcopal School
Armando Bacot wasn’t on 247Sports’ list of top performers, but he certainly belongs. The 6-foot-9 power forward/center put up a double-double on Friday with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Monteverde and followed that up with a stellar 34-point, 9-rebound outing on Saturday. You can check out more of his highlights here.
North Carolina has cracked the top 10 for the nation’s No. 4 center and No. 16 overall player, although it’s likely to be a slow process from here out.
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