Kentucky center Aaron Bradshaw should be a UNC target

If you were up late on Monday, April 7 and had your mind on the sports world, chances are you came across some shocking news.

John Calipari, the legendary coach who spend the past 15 seasons leading the Kentucky Wildcats back to prominence, is getting set to leave Kentucky and become the head coach at the University or Arkansas. This announcement came not too long after Eric Mussleman left to become head coach at USC.

When a well-respected head coach leaves one program for another, players tend to leave because of close relationships and recruiting ties. I understand trying to stick it out for a new coach, but it can be challenging playing for someone new.

One player who left Kentucky, shortly after Calipari was hired away, was former 5-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American Aaron Bradshaw. He’s a big, 7-foot-1 center who can not only dominate the paint, but also shoot the occasional 3-pointer.

Enter the North Carolina Tar Heels, who will be inexperienced at a spot where they like to run their offense through. Armando Bacot held down center the past five seasons (and started 168 games), but he has now exhausted his eligibility.

UNC has Jalen Washington primed to take over the center spot. I really like his chances to shine – despite only averaging 8.4 minutes per game last season, he showcased he can be special with his combination of paint presence and jump-shooting ability.

If incoming 4-star James Brown will also see minutes at center, why does North Carolina need Bradshaw?

He has tremendous height, something the Tar Heels tend to lack behind their starting lineup. Bringing in Bradshaw would almost certainly improve the play of Washington and Brown, who will already be competing for a starting spot.

Bradshaw has a game similar to Washington, in that he can bully opponents down low or shoot a jumper when needed. I love Bacot – there’s no doubting he’s an all-time great – but he did most of damage in the paint.

Bradshaw also came from a reputable, Power 5 program that’s amongst the SEC’s best. I’m all about the best players transferring in from wherever, but bringing in a player who plays against 5-star competition certainly helps.

Will Bradshaw choose UNC or follow his former head coach to Kentucky?

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire