It is a three horse race for five-star Iman Shumpert. The 6-foot-3 guard from Oak Park (Ill.) River Forest High School has one more visit in mind and likely fall decision to follow.
Shumpert trimmed his list to three final suitors – Georgia Tech, Marquette and North Carolina. The process to get to a final three wasn't easy, as he had to part ways with Bradley, Clemson and Illinois.
"I'd say it was real difficult because it's hard when you have to develop a relationship with all of those coaches and then you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. That's why you have to step back and know that they are doing their job and so are you," Shumpert said. "You have to find a person that is the most genuine with you. That's why I picked those three schools."
North Carolina made the cut despite being the last school on his list to officially offer a scholarship. The Tar Heels offered shortly after the LeBron James Skills Academy.
"The reason they got in is because when a North Carolina or a Duke comes in, no matter how late they come in, it's a once in a life opportunity. It's an honor to be recruited by someone like that," Shumpert said.
"So when Coach Williams was recruiting me and before they put out an offer, I was just seeing what kind of interest they had in me. They saw me for the first time and offered, I decided to take them a lot more serious and looking into them. He said he could run a three guard system and he gets players better and he gets players to the NBA. It's a program that I think I could play in."
Shumpert said he has yet to visit the Chapel Hill campus and hopes to get to North Carolina soon, stating that could potentially be his last visit. He has already visited Georgia Tech and Marquette, where he visited earlier in the week.
"Coach (Tom) Crean is a player's coach. I can talk to him about basketball, about life, about whatever. With Coach Crean, it's all him…He's been the first guy from the school to recruit me. He came and saw me first," Shumpert said.
"With his program, they don't have a football team. It's all about basketball there. Their facilities are nice. Whatever his players need, he's going to get it for them. In talking with him, that was my best relationship with a school in the Midwest. So I felt that if I was going to stay in the Midwest, I'd go to Marquette. That's why they are the only team in the Midwest that I have on my list."
Marquette, just an hour and a half from his Chicago area home, is the closest to Shumpert. Georgia Tech is the furthest. He visited the ACC school earlier in the year and spoke highly of the Yellow Jackets, who were the first non regional school to recruit him. Shumpert said he has developed a relationship with assistant coach Peter Zaharis first and then with Paul Hewitt.
"When I went there, I fell in love with the campus. I know all of the coaches and their whole staff. I met with all of their players and played with their players," Shumpert said. "North Carolina is the only place where I haven't played with their players. I hung out with the players and spent a day on campus and walked around and they showed me the academic stuff and met their advisors. Georgia Tech seems really good fit for me."
With a final three in hand, Shumpert knows his next step is important. With no official visit date set up with North Carolina, the combo guard said he likes the place where he is at in the recruiting process.
"I'll probably just keep at the three and then make a decision. I don't think I want to trim it down anymore than it is. I want to see North Carolina with both of my parents and maybe a couple of others. It might be all three visits. But for now, I want to see North Carolina. If it takes two more visits, then I'll take them."