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Four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams commits to North Carolina


Jon Lopez/Nike

Jonathan Lopez

While North Carolina enters the summer as one of the teams expected to contend for a national title in 2015-16, perimeter shooting remained a question that the Tar Heels needed to address. While North Carolina shot 35.3 percent from beyond the arc, a lot of that was thanks to rising senior guard Marcus Paige who hit 92 three-pointers. No other Tar Heel made more than 26 (Nate Britt and Justin Jackson), so finding another perimeter shooting option would not have been a bad deal for Roy Williams and his staff.

Saturday afternoon North Carolina did just that, as four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams announced his decision on Twitter. Williams, originally a VCU signee who picked the Rams over North Carolina, was also considering Virginia. And with an official visit scheduled for UVA this weekend, the feeling was that the Cavaliers were the frontrunner. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

“The addition of Kenny Williams gives North Carolina another floor spacer that they desperately needed,” NBC Sports recruiting insider Scott Phillips said of the commitment. “Even if he only plays a few minutes a game next season, Williams is lethal enough hitting tough 3-pointers off of curls and screens that he’ll draw defenses closer to him and free up more space for Carolina’s other players.

“Williams is the kind of perimeter shooter who works hard to get open and knows how to properly use screens to free himself up to get a quick look.”

The 6-foot-4 Williams joins a perimeter rotation led by Paige, with Jackson expected to take a big step forward as a sophomore and players such as Britt, Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson on board as well. Williams, who attends L.C. Bird HS in Chesterfield, Virginia, joins Luke Maye in North Carolina’s 2015 recruiting class.