Love chose Roy Williams’ program over in-state Missouri. He had previously cut Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Arizona from his final list of six. Love took official visits to both North Carolina and Missouri, and both Williams and Cuonzo Martin visited him multiple times during the month of September.
“I am making this decision because I felt like it was the best fit for me,” Love told ESPN. “[It has] the winning tradition of the school, the opportunity to play under a Hall of Fame coach, the opportunity to play at the highest level, the culture of excellence and the importance of family.”
A 6-foot-3 point guard from Christian Brothers College High School (Missouri), Love is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN 100 for the 2020 class. He’s the No. 6 point guard in the class and was one of just three five-star point guards still uncommitted.
“Love is a true scoring point guard who excels in conversion and is starting to understand how to operate and lead in the half court,” ESPN National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi said. “He is at his best attacking the basket; Love can stop on a dime to score, finish with ease or find the open man. Advanced in ball-screen concepts, Love will read and react against the coverage and navigate the action. The next step in his development is to go from a shooter to a shot-maker with efficiency. Defensively, he gets low to sit and slide to keep the ball out of the paint and will get his share of steals.”
Love averaged 15.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists playing with the Brad Beal Elite grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit. During the 20-game season in the spring and summer, he had five games of 20 or more points and two games of 10 or more assists.
“His natural talent is an ideal fit for North Carolina’s offensive transition game,” Biancardi said. “In some ways he reminds me of Coby White. Good positional size, fast in the open floor and a real scoring threat at all times. Not the shooter that White was at the same stage, but every bit the scorer.”
North Carolina is bringing in the nation’s top guard this season, with Cole Anthony picking the Tar Heels in the spring. Anthony is a projected top-five pick and one-and-done prospect, meaning Love will likely have a starting role from the time he steps on campus in Chapel Hill.
“I love that responsibility,” Love said. “Just me being able to step in from day one and be that lead guard to make plays for my teammates and myself is a great deal.”
Love joins a talented recruiting class that already included five-star big men Walker Kessler (No. 14) and Day’Ron Sharpe (No. 20). Kessler surprised most of the recruiting world when he committed to North Carolina over Auburn and Duke in late September. Sharpe has been pledged to the Tar Heels since the summer of 2018.
Expect Williams to continue to pursue top-10 senior Ziaire Williams (No. 5) on the wing, and North Carolina is also squarely in the mix for top uncommitted prospect Cade Cunningham (No. 2). Both players took their official visits to Chapel Hill for “Late Night with Roy” this past weekend. Love mentioned he would also work to convince five-star shooting guard Bryce Thompson (No. 25) to join him on the Tar Heels.
Author: Jeff Borzello