UNC Basketball loses No. 1 recruit to a surprise school

UNC Basketball lost the national championship game and now lost one of their top recruits to a surprising team.

After blowing a 15-point lead in the national championship game against Kansas, the UNC Tar Heels have suffered yet another loss, this time in recruiting.

No. 1 2023 basketball recruit GG Jackson, initially committed to the Tar Heels, has decided to change course, de-committing from the Tar Heels and choosing the South Carolina Gamecocks as his school of choice. Jackson is scheduled to enroll early in the upcoming weeks.

The news is undoubtedly a big blow to the Tar Heels and head coach Hubert Davis, coming off a season where, as an 8-seed, UNC ended the tenure of Coach K by knocking off Duke in the national semi-finals before a collapse in the second half against Kansas denied the Tar Heels a chance to win another national championship.

Meanwhile, for the Gamecocks, it is a tremendous get for new head coach Lamont Parris who takes over for Frank Martin, who at one point had the Gamecocks in the Final Four in 2017, losing to eventual runner-up Gonzaga. The winner in 2017? Coincidentally, the Tar Heels.

UNC losing GG Jackson to South Carolina is a massive blow for the Tar Heels

What makes this all the more surprising is that Jackson is the first prospect to decommit from North Carolina in nearly 20 years. For those who will recall, J.R. Smith committed to UNC in 2003 but instead opted to go straight to the NBA out of high school.

Ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100 for 2023, Jackson averaged  22.1 points and 10.9 rebounds in his junior year at Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina. At 6-foot-9, the forward is an exceptional player and will likely make an impact for the Gamecocks early in his career.

However, the Tar Heels still have a plethora of talent coming in this year. A quartet of four-star players, C Jalen Washington, PG Seth Trimble, PF Tyler Nickel, and C Will Shaver, announced their commitment to play at Chapel Hill. The lack of having Jackson certainly hurts, but the Tar Heels still have enough of a team to be competitive this year and potentially finish what they started a year ago.