CHAPEL HILL - North Carolina, which already has a commitment from one of the state’s top two basketball prospects in the Class of 2010, soon will host the other.
Raleigh Word of God Academy forward C.J. Leslie said Friday night that he will take an unofficial visit to North Carolina some time next week.
Leslie, who’s 6-foot-8, scored 17 points in a Carolina Cobras opening night win in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions on Friday at the Smith Center. He recently withdrew his commitment from N.C. State but said he still is considering the Wolfpack.
He said he is wide open in terms of schools, and said he is being recruited by every school in the ACC except Duke.
“Seeing all the great people that came from out of the school (North Carolina), I guess I’m really going to see what they’re about this week,” said Leslie, who also said he likes N.C. State’s coaching staff and head coach Sidney Lowe.
Leslie and his teammate, Tashawn Mabry of Rocky Mount, overwhelmed the Mississippi Basketball Elite on Friday night as homegrown talent shined simultaneously on two of the three courts at the Smith Center.
While the Cobras ran out to a 13-0 lead, the Chris Paul-sponsored CP3 All-Stars scored the first 12 points of their game against an opponent from Colorado. CP3 features 6-7 wing Reggie Bullock, the North Carolina commitment from Kinston who’s considered a top-20 prospect in the Class of 2010 along with Leslie.
CP3 also has Wake Forest commitment Melvin Tabb of Raleigh Enloe and Greensboro Dudley wing P.J. Hairston on its roster. Hairston is considered the top player in the state in the Class of 2011.
Some additional news, notes and observations from the Tournament of Champions, a summer club team tournament that continues Saturday and Sunday at gyms throughout the Triangle:
- Duke backcourt target Kyrie Irving of Elizabeth, N.J., got off to a strong start for the New Jersey Roadrunners.
He scored 23 points in a win and appeared extremely comfortable in a motion offense. Irving said he and his father spoke with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski before he left for the tournament.
At Duke’s practice facility on Friday afternoon, he ran into incoming Duke freshmen Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee while they were working out in the weight room.
“It’s a great program,” Irving said. “The name itself stands out. It’s a blessing to be recruited by Duke.”
Irving is a long way from making a decision. He said he has interest in 10 schools and could add more schools to his list. He plans to trim the list to five schools and make campus visits in the fall before committing.
- After scoring 12 points in a tournament-opening win, Nashville Celtics wing Casey Prather of Jackson, Tenn., said he planned to walk around the North Carolina campus Saturday to get a feel for the school.
He said North Carolina is one of many schools recruiting him, and he has heard from Duke a little bit. But he doesn’t have a scholarship offer from either school.
- Forward Mike Gilchrist of Elizabeth, N.J., scored 24 points for Team Final in its tournament-opening win over the Michigan Hurricanes.
He is one of the top-rated players in the Class of 2011, but said it’s too early for him to have a list of schools he is interested in.
- Ken Tysiac
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