Is North Carolina the best fit for Noah Vonleh?

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Monday, New Hampton forward Noah Vonleh didn’t shock many when he decided to reclassify and join the class of 2013. Vonleh, considered a top prospect in the class of 2014, didn’t really hurt himself by the grade change, as he is still consensus top-10 player.

Vonleh holds offers from Arizona, UConn, Boston College, Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Indiana. But his most intriguing offer hails from North Carolina. Vonleh’s game has some resemblance to former Tar Heel, Harrison Barnes.

Vonleh is a physically gifted young athlete. He already has a strong frame and solid athleticism to go along with height. He is listed as many as a power forward, but don’t limit him to just a stretch four. Over time, Vonleh has been able to expand his game out past the perimeter and he could be considered a three.

Seeing Vonleh’s game (see highlights below) he can do some of the same that Barnes did at two years in Chapel Hill. Vonleh has been able to develop a respectable three-point shot, that he can knock down from off the dribble, as well as a catch-and-shoot.

Watching Vonleh out on the perimeter, he can become a matchup nightmare at the next level. Where Barnes used a variety of pump fakes and jabs to get past his defenders, Vonleh uses quickness and ball handling skills to get to the rim and when he gets in the lane is explosive and crafty enough to finish.

Also, Vonleh, like Barnes is a solid rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. On the defensive end, Vonleh has the tools to be a versatile defender.

The recruiting process should be simple for Roy Williams and North Carolina when going after Vonleh: you play similar to a guy we just had and he was a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft.

(Photo credit: Adidas)

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.