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Ron Sanchez and his staff have been busy over the past few weeks. First, the staff has suffered its first assistant coaching change with Kotie Kimble landing an assistant coaching position at the University of Miami. Jahmir Young has also found his way to the Big 10, if he doesn’t stay in the NBA Draft, he’s committed to Maryland. Luka Vasic has landed at Texas A&M University Commerce, and I’ve yet to see an update yet on Jared Garcia’s recruitment since entering the portal.
Signed, sealed, and delivered
Charlotte’s landed 5 commitments (all have since signed) over the past few weeks, and that allows the staff to focus on the 2023 class, which currently has 3 open scholarships. It’s entirely premature to think about what might be needed in that class.
In total the 2022 encompass 2 high school commits (Nic Graves and Rich Rolf) and 4 transfers (Igor Milicic Jr, Lu’Cye Patterson, Josh Aldrich and Montre Gipson). Ultimately they nabbed 3 guards and 3 forward/big men.
In my opinion, Igor Milicic Jr. (UVA transfer) is the biggest get in this cycle. The 6’10 big man has been hailed as having guard-like skills, and will have 3 years of eligibility here. My hope is that a year with Tony Bennett and company shortens the learning curve for him. His ability to play from the perimeter should cater nicely tho Charlotte’s offensive system. I think it’s safe to question how well he’ll handle defending the post. Though his agility should all for him to be more effective at defending pick-and-roll action up top, which was an area that Charlotte struggled with this past season at times.
I can see Milicic playing at the 4 and 5 at times behind Brice Williams and Aly Khalifa.
In addition to Milicic, Charlotte added Rich Rolf and Josh Aldrich. When looking at next season, I’d anticipate Aldrich getting more burn on the court based on Charlotte’s approach to playing freshman (beyond years 1 and 2). Rolf, a Centerville, Indiana product, was courted by the Hoosiers and recruited as a preferred walk-on. He was once a Drexel commit but opened things back up in the Fall of 2021.
Josh Aldrich, a transfer from South Carolina Upstate, will have 1 season left. At 6’8 224lbs I can see him working in a Luka Vasic role, spelling Aly Khalifa, and potentially Brice Williams at the 4 (sounds familiar, right?). This past season Aldrich played just under 24mpg for the Spartans, shooting 46% from the field, 39% from 3, and 89% from the line. Overall he put up 7.2ppg and 4.5 rpg in his role. This, coupled with his experience at the D1-level, should allow Aldrich to be a contributor next season for CLT.
Charlotte has added 3 guards in the cycle, Nik Graves signed back in the fall and Lu’Cye Patterson (Missouri State) and Montre Gipson (Tarleton). To me Patterson projects as the point guard for CLT next season, while his shooting percentage from deep at Missouri State leaves something to be desired, analytical his performance is solid, as well as his ability to score inside the arc. Patterson’s FG % inside the arc on close 2 and far 2’s per Bart Torvik both exceed that of Jahmir Young’s, highlighting his ability to be an effective scorer, even with an inability to be an outside threat to this point in time. Patterson’s BPR via Evan Miya would have placed him behind only Khalifa, Musa Jallow and Young. BPR measures the players overall value to his team while they are on the floor.
.When looking into Montre (Tre’) Gipson you’ll see that both Evan Miya and Bart Torvik have him as the top-rated player for Tarleton last year. Throughout his 2 years for the Texans, Gipson average 15ppg, 4.4 rpg and 3apg, while shooting 47% from the field, 36.5% from 3 and 81% from the charity stripe. I can see Gipson being more of an off-the-ball type of guard in his 1 season here at Charlotte.
Nik Graves, a point guard from Greensboro Day School, is a legacy commit for Charlotte as his mother (then Nikki Richardson) played basketball at Charlotte, a 1,000 point scorer. Looking at the path that Isaiah Folkes and Daylen Berry have taken, I almost expect that Graves will redshirt this fall, though I haven’t heard anything about that at this time.
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