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UNC basketball rumors: Could star recruits reclassify, boost Tar Heels rebuild?

Hubert Davis has done a phenomenal job scrambling to reshape the UNC basketball roster but could a pair of star recruits really change the calculus?

UNC basketball didn’t appear to be a great spot coming off of the highly disappointing 2022-23 campaign. The Tar Heels not only had a 2023 recruiting class that didn’t rank inside the Top 30 but North Carolina then saw the likes of Caleb Love, Puff Johnson, Tyler Nickel and more enter the transfer portal.

So it’s a deserved hats off to head coach Hubert Davis for working the portal in his favor by landing the likes of Harrison Ingram, Cormac Ryan and more to help rebuild the roster — and the returns of Armando Bacot and RJ Davis don’t hurt the cause in Chapel Hill either.

But now even more help could be coming for the 2023-24 season if a pair of stars choose to reclassify from 2024 to 2023.

Elliot Cadeau and Ian Jackson, two 5-star guards currently committed to UNC basketball in the 2024 cycle, were listed as two potential candidates to reclassify for 2023 by Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports. And one or both showing up to Chapel Hill would be a massive boost for the Tar Heels this summer.

UNC basketball rumors: Elliot Cadeau, Ian Jackson could reclassify for 2023 class

Of the two players, Cadeau appears to be the most likely to eventually reclassify, as Jenkins noted a decision is expected sometime this summer and he’s been rumored to be a likely candidate to do so for some time now. Jackson could as well given that he’s physically ready for the college game, but there has been less murmuring about the possibility of him making that decision.

In any case, though, one thing that UNC lacks in its current, reshaped form is a true point guard, something that Cadeau would help tremendously. The No. 9-ranked recruit in the 247Sports Composite for 2024 has shown tremendous ability as a floor general and has drawn rave reviews that express the potential for his ability to translate immediately at the college level.

Adding him to the incoming 2023 group of players would be huge for the Tar Heels. Cadeau would give North Carolina the ability to have a much deeper perimeter rotation with him, Davis, Ryan, Payton Wojcik and Seth Trimble all seeing minutes and playing meaningful roles around an increasingly strong frontcourt with Bacot, Ingram, Jae’Lyn Withers and more.

Though things looked dire for Hubert Davis and Co. in the immediate aftermath of this past season, things have been trending up. And Cadeau (or Jackson) reclassifying would be an even bigger boost, one that could propel North Carolina back to the heights fans expect the program to be at quickly.

For more NCAA basketball and March Madness news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.

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