While North Carolina was already on the board in the Class of 2017 with the commitment of Jalek Felton, head coach Roy Williams and his staff had yet to land a player in the Class of 2016. That changed Wednesday night, as four-star center Tony Bradley Jr. announced that he’s verbally committed to the ACC program.
“Prayed about it, I am proud to say that I will be furthering my education and basketball career at the University of North Carolina,” Bradley Jr. said via his Twitter account.
The 6-foot-10 Bradley is a native of Bartow, Florida, where as a junior he was a first team Class 7A (second-largest division) all-state selection. Bradley played his grassroots basketball for the Each 1 Teach 1 program, averaging 12.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on the Nike EYBL circuit. In the Rivals.com rankings that were released Wednesday, Bradley is rated as the 30th best prospect in the Class of 2016.
In regards to both talent and numbers, Bradley’s a key commitment for North Carolina as they look to build a recruiting class while dealing with an ongoing NCAA investigation. While guard Marcus Paige is the senior who receives most of the attention nationally, the Tar Heels have two seniors in their front court in Brice Johnson and Joel James. Add in the fact that Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks are both juniors, and bringing in a young big man was something North Carolina needed to do.
With eight of their 13 scholarships being used by upperclassmen (three seniors), the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes will be important ones for Williams and his staff.
Video credit: Courtside Films