North Carolina recruiting: Where things stand with PF Vernon Carey Jr.; 5-star PF E.J. Montgomery’s timeline

Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the team. Read his daily notebooks  here  at 7 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. In this edition, we discuss the Tar Heels’ standing with 5-star 2019 power forward Vernon Carey Jr. and how soon we might hear from 5-star 2018 power forward E.J. Montgomery.

Recruiting analyst has 3 in lead for Vernon Carey Jr.

It’s still very early in the recruiting cycle for the Class of 2019, but it seems pretty clear that North Carolina has two names near the top of its recruiting board in 5-star power forward Vernon Carey Jr. and 5-star center Armando Bacot.

The latter has been written about a lot in the Dean’s List over the last two months with several visits to Chapel Hill and trips from Roy Williams to see him in Richmond, Va.

Carey, on the other hand, has not been to Chapel Hill, although he’s had several visits with Williams in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

So where do things stand with North Carolina and the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2019? Evan Daniels, a recruiting analyst for 247Sports, was asked just that in his most recent mailbag.

According to Daniels, North Carolina may have some catching up to do. He identified Michigan State, Duke and Miami as the schools “out in front at this stage,” which coincides with the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Carey.

There’s no indication that anything is particularly close with Carey, though he has begun taking his official visits with his first going to Michigan St. on Feb. 10. It seems highly likely that those three schools will get official visits from Carey, which leaves North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky, among a few others, to vie for those last two spots.

If North Carolina is going to make up ground with Carey, getting him on campus is priority No. 1. Even if North Carolina does end up with one of those official visits, however, it seems like it’s pretty likely that the Tar Heels staff should have its plan B in mind, which should become more concrete after the summer evaluation periods, which tend to yield more offers.

E.J. Montgomery decision likely won’t come soon

In the same mailbag, Daniels discusses when we should expect a decision from 5-star power forward E.J. Montgomery, the last player on the Tar Heels’ Class of 2018 board.

The short version is that we shouldn’t expect anything anytime soon.

As Daniels notes and we wrote on Wednesday, Montgomery wants to take some of his official visits, one of which will go to North Carolina and another to Duke, although those dates haven’t been finalized yet.

Daniels also adds that from conversations with the Montgomery family, it’s clear that there’s no rush to make a decision. That should come as no surprise, given how heavily these blue-blood schools are recruiting him. Montgomery, the No. 12 overall player and No. 3 power forward in the class, is one of just three top 15 players left on the board and because of the timing of his recruitment, he’s the last player on a lot of teams’ boards.

Also complicating matters is the fact that Montgomery and Wheeler High School are still in the Georgia 7A state playoffs. A win on Wednesday would carry the season through at least one more weekend, which is certainly delaying his ability to take visits and truly focus on the recruiting process.

Considering everything, Daniels indicates that he doesn’t expect anything from Montgomery until “late spring.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every ACC DieHards daily North Carolina Tar Heels recruiting notebook right here.

The post North Carolina recruiting: Where things stand with PF Vernon Carey Jr.; 5-star PF E.J. Montgomery’s timeline appeared first on Diehards.

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