By Jeff Borzello
Joel James is one of the most sought-after big men in the class of 2012. The massive senior is ranked at No. 54 overall and as the No. 12 center in CBSSports.com’s rankings.
James holds offers from Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Georgetown, Maryland and St. John’s.
Plenty of reasons to be happy, certainly.
But one school is showing interest and hasn’t offered just yet: North Carolina.
“I don’t know why they haven’t,” James said. “I’m starting to get tired of waiting. If they want me, offer. If they don’t, just tell me and let me move on with my choices. They haven’t said anything.”
The Tar Heels began pursuing James after stellar play during the spring circuit. They weren’t the only ones – his upside makes him attractive to many schools. James is a mammoth post player who runs the floor and moves around without the ball effectively. He uses his size and strength to overpower opponents in the lane and doesn’t shy away from contact.
Many coaches were hoping to get a look at him during the second half of July after another impressive performance at the Adidas Invitational. Unfortunately for them, James did not suit up with the Florida Rams at the Adidas Super 64 – or any team, for that matter.
“As you could see, the team I was on wasn’t fitting me,” James said. “They were not passing the ball inside. So I felt I was wasting my time playing with them.”
Instead of playing on the AAU circuit during the latter part of July, the 6-foot-10 big man returned home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and worked out on his own at the gym and on the basketball court.
That could end up being a smart decision down the road – if James improves his conditioning, his upside is through the roof.
By then, we expect James will be very content with the status of his recruiting.