18th Birthday to R.J. Davis – October 21, 2019 is one that he will not forget soon.
During a ceremony at his high school – Archbishop Stepinac of the White Plains (New York) – Davis announced a verbal commitment to North Carolina Monday morning, he selected North Carolina over the finalists Market, Georgetown and Pittsburgh.
"I was heading to UNC and felt it was the right situation for me and my goals that I wanted to achieve" Davis told 247 Sports . "They are a great school and obviously have a winning tradition and I just feel like the relationship that was there with the teammates and the coaching staff was amazing."
Davis joins guard Cable Love and forwards Walker Kessler and Day & # 39; Ron. Sharpe in the Tar Heels & # 39; 2020 class. Davis is ranked No. 57 overall in the senior class by the 247Sports Composite. In addition to his four finalists, he has conducted offers from California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, UCLA and Vanderbilt.
After signing only one player from New York for their first 13 seasons, Roy Williams and his staff have made commitments with Empire State's guards in three of the last four classes. Junior Andrew Platek signed in 2017, freshman Cole Anthony in 2019, and now Davis. They join a long list of New York guards who went south to Chapel Hill to play college basketball, including Tommy Kearns, Jimmy Black, Kenny Smith, King Rice, Derrick Phelps and Ed Kota.
According to Stepinac coach Patrick Masaroni, the Tar Heel coaching staff – led by UN chief recruiter, assistant coach Hubert Davis – likes Davis' skills.
"What comes down to it is that they are huge fans of his ability to score the ball, make it easy and get guys involved," Massaroni explained. "Obviously they have Cole Anthony and Hubert, they were involved in that. (Hubert) had a great time playing with the Knicks and loves the players in New York. He loves the New York mentality, the toughness and the pride they play with."
In the last set of games – the last day – at the Nike EYBL weekend in Atlanta in April, Hubert Davis had his eyes on one court but kept seeing RJ Davis scored another. Three here, an assistant there, and finally he turned his attention to the leading guard. R.J. Davis, facing former five rookie R.J. Hampton finished with 30 points (9-12 FG, 6-6 3pt, 6-7 FT) and has a new fan following at UNC Assistant Coach.
The conversation continued over the next few weeks three chances for college coaches to evaluate players in June. All UNC staff met R.J. Davis at the NBPA Top 100 Camps in Charlottesville, Washington Two weeks later, Hubert Davis flew to an event in New York during the research evaluation periods in June. North Carolina's interest was evident after Hubert Davis left the tournament after a glance at R.J. Davis.
"He shoots in the mid-40s out of three and has control of the pace of play and rhythm," Massaroni said. "He never loses flow and has a sense of play – that's something Hubert really likes. He's just an amazing kid. But when he turns it on, he's a bad dude on the floor. They (UNC) are big fans of that."
Davis lifted a bid from UNC on July 17, just over a week after presenting at the Nike EYBL stand-up finals at Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC . At Peach Jam, playing for the NY Rens, a member of the Carolina staff was at a glance at all Davis games and watched him post 20.6 points (45.1% FG, 42.5% 3pt, 81.6% FT ), 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
" He is a phenomenal, phenomenal kid and a great student," said Rens head coach Andy Borman. "He can do anything about team management and he can get you buckets. The best thing about RJ is his efficiency. He is really good with very few shot attempts and has the ability to reach the free line throws … he's so effective and decision-making is a few years ahead of his age. He's a really good basketball player. "
After his official visit a week ago, Davis said Inside Carolina what qualities he wanted in his choice for college.
"I want to have real college experience with a winning program," Davis said. "I want to go to a place where I can get in touch with the coaching staff, get in touch with them before or after training and have meaningful conversations. I just want to make an impact and be able to play wherever I go."
The North Carolina basketball program clearly fits this description for it.