Only two days after the departure of twins David and Travis Wear left North Carolina with just two big men on next season's roster, Tar Heels coach Roy Williams may have found a potential replacement.
Unsigned 6-foot-9 forward Kadeem Jack, who initially turned down several scholarship offers to attend a Connecticut prep school next year, reportedly has been in contact with North Carolina and is planning to take a visit. The New York native's interest level in North Carolina is high enough that Manhattan Rice High School coach Maurice Hicks told Adam Zagoria that it's possible the senior could commit while in Chapel Hill.
"He's the type of kid, he'll probably wind up doing that," Hicks said. "If he goes down there for a visit, he'll probably go."
Swooping in to land a consensus top 50 recruit like Jack this late in the recruiting process would be a huge coup for a North Carolina program that was definitely put in a tough spot when the Wears announced they were transferring earlier this week. In addition to the Wears leaving, Deon Thompson graduated and Ed Davis turned pro, meaning that only John Henson and oft-injured 7-footer Tyler Zeller remain from the Tar Heels' stable of talented big men.
Usually, a coach's quotes from a press release are tamer than tame, but Williams was surprisingly blunt on Thursday, making it clear he's unhappy with the Wears' father for orchestrating the transfer and leaving North Carolina scrambling this late in the game.
"Their father called me last night and asked for their release, which came as a complete surprise," Williams said in the release. "I met with both kids in mid-April for our typical end-of-year meetings and together we worked on their development plans for next season. Both David and Travis seemed to be excited about their futures at North Carolina.
"Our coaching staff will look at whatever options are available but it’s hard to replace two quality players at this time."
Jack had initially considered Arizona, UConn, Miami and St. John's and more recently has drawn interest from Texas and Memphis, according to Zagoria. If North Carolina strikes out with him or decides to go in another direction, Williams could look internationally or try to get involved with 6-foot-7 former Clemson signee Marcus Thornton.