Indiana Basketball: UNC, IU to square off for top recruit once again

As Indiana basketball ramps up its efforts on the 2021 recruiting trail, North Carolina has put its hat in the race for a top talent.

While North Carolina and Indiana basketball spend most of the season in different regions of the country, both programs seem to meet when it comes to the recruiting trail, and once again that storyline pops up.

Whether it be point guards, wings, or forwards, both programs seem to go down to the wire when it comes to certain players, with the Tar Heels coming out on top more often than not.

Headlined by the 2002 recruitment of Sean May and in 2007 with Tyler Zeller, the Tar Heels were able to land both big men despite Indiana’s pressure to secure the in-state five-star bigs. It  even took place in 2013 when the Heels snagged another five-star talent in Theo Pinson after he named IU in his final three.

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There’s more? In this most recent recruiting cycle, North Carolina and Roy Williams got commitments from two backcourt members, Anthony Harris and Caleb Love. While Love and Indiana had a strong initial connection, it began to dwindle towards the end of his recruitment, whereas Harris was down to IU and UNC – taking official visits to both after decommitting from Virginia Tech.

Yes, Indiana has had some success going up against the Tar Heels as well, with recruiting wins for Cody Zeller, Troy Williams and Robert Johnson, but Roy Williams seems to have a knack for steering Indiana targets away from Bloomington.

So why does all of that matter? On Tuesday night, Roy Williams was in Fort Wayne to see four-star forward Caleb Furst, a top Indiana 2021 target.

Up until now, there had not been a lot of connections between Furst and UNC, but with Williams’ visit on Tuesday, the Tar Heels seem to be amping up the pressure.

As recently as two weeks ago, Rivals analyst Corey Evans said that Indiana could very well be the team to beat for Furst, although Virginia, Michigan State, and Purdue are all hot on the Hoosiers’ trail.

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Furst has a long way to go until making a decision, and because of that North Carolina’s involvement this early could cause trouble for Indiana, and the remaining teams involved.

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