Richard Howell to NC State

July 28, 2008

Last week Georgia Tech was getting the ink, this week it’s NC State. Scout.com is reporting that Richard Howell (PF, 6’7″, 2009) has committed to NC State.

Sidney Lowe has had a big week.

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Lorenzo Brown finally commits to Wolfpack

July 27, 2008

Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2009) finally made it official and chose the Wolfpack. A great commit for Sidney Lowe, who had been leaning to the Pack for a while.

Brown is a ‘real’ combo guard; meaning, not really a pure PG and not really a pure SG. A lot of times, players will try to play a ‘smaller’ position, such as a SG playing point, but those combo guards are really players slightly out of position. Brown is really a combo guard, who has some PG skills, such as passing and court vision, and he can slash and shoot like a SG.


Tony Chenault video; Lance Stephenson rumors

July 24, 2008

Some video of Tony Chenault (PG, 6’1″, 2010), a Wake Forest recruit:

Chenault has Wake on his list of options and seems to like the Deacons at this point.

The Lance Stephenson Saga: St. John’s Edition

At one time, way back in the day, hearing that a top recruit was considering St. John’s was just another day in college basketball. Now, it seems unlikely, so when a story….er, rumor…surfaced that Lance Stephenson, a player who already has as many detractors as fans, was suddenly thinking of playing closer to home, people started wondering what was up. It seems the story, expounded and debunked by Adam Zagoria, was that a position would be given to Lance’s high school coach if he played for St. John’s.

Lance Stephenson Dime Magazine

The saga of Lance Stephenson has officially put Lance into the category of ‘more packaging than player’ as a high schooler. A few weeks ago, Lance made news when he was cut from the USA basketball U-18 roster. When Brandon Jennings decided to try his luck playing in Italy instead of Arizona, people immediately started talking about Lance doing the same. Bear in mind that almost none of these things which have gotten so much attention were Lance playing well, or even at all in the case of the USA Basketball roster.

FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman has been a critic of Stephenson in the past and wrote this about Lance’s recruitment:

How about the fact that Kansas’ Bill Self was the only high-major coach in the gym watching Stephenson.

That’s right. Self and his good buddy, Norm Roberts of St. John’s, are basically the only ones actively recruiting Stephenson.

In short, Lance has become famous in the recruiting world for being famous. He’s a very good player, but he’s not – at this point in his career – even the best player in the class of 2009. This is not to say he doesn’t have promise and star potential, but at this point, the media machine around Lance is more interested in “Lance the Personality” instead of “Lance the Basketball Player”. Here is the blunt truth: right now, the NBA isn’t any higher on the Lance Stephenson Show than Bob McKillop was. In other words, Lance needs to play a lot stronger to secure a place in the first round. Right now, we are not talking lottery. We are talking maybe first round. This isn’t to bring Lance down, but it’s time to stop talking about Lance going the Brandon Jennings route until Lance proves himself a lot more.

John Henson

While Lance has been getting press for things other than basketball, UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) has been getting press for playing the game well. Here is an interview with the future Tar Heel, in which he expounds on his game and why he chose UNC:

What do you contribute your high level of play and improved stock to?
“I think it’s just a combination of my hard work and being in the right situation to perform and show my skills against the best players.”

Right now it seems like there are three players in the running for the #1 ranking: Henson, Favors and John Wall. Of course, there is still a year left before the final rankings (which are worth about 8 cents American) are published, but Henson has not just played well, he’s been absolutely phenomenal, against Renardo Sidney (PF, 6’9″, 2009) and Derrick Favors(PF, 6’10”, 2009). The most interesting thing about Henson is that even though he’s playing against the best power forwards in the country, he’s most likely a wing in the NBA.

Ryan Harrow, suddenly popular

Think the phone stops ringing when a player commits? Not always, especially when that player is a relative unknown and hasn’t signed a LOI. Ryan Harrow was contacted by several schools after he committed to the NC State Wolfpack:

“I’m going to State,” he said. “That’s my school.”

Since his commitment to State, several schools, including Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, have called.

“But I’m going to State,” he said. “I like Coach [Sidney] Lowe and the atmosphere there a lot.

In high school football, players commit and de-commit all the time, which makes the recruiting process almost silly by comparison to basketball. But with more de-commitments happening in the b-ball world, it’s small wonder that players keep listening to offers even after they make their decision. Although players can change their minds until they sign their LOI, players committing early cause problems for colleges, who take the scholarships off the board once they get a player’s verbal agreement. Maryland coach Gary Williams would have rather spent his scholarships elsewhere rather than have a player hold onto it for months and then bail to another school. There probably needs to be limits as to how early a player can commit, and most college coaches agree.

Ra’Sean Dickey to leave Georgia Tech

Some news that slightly affects recruiting for Georgia Tech: fresh on the heels of getting the commit from Mfon Udofia, fifth year senior Ra’Sean Dickey has decided to leave school and pursue his pro career overseas. I remember watching Dickey play in rural Marlboro county, SC, at a time when he was being looked at by schools like UNC, not far from where Charlotte Bobcats PG Raymond Felton played high school ball. Ra’Sean’s potential took a detour due to injuries, so hopefully he can find success playing pro ball elsewhere.


Ryan Harrow commits to NC State

June 30, 2008

Ryan Harrow (PG, 6’0″, 2010) has made it official: He’s headed to play at NC State. The Georgia star had made no secret that he liked the Pack.

Wake Forest, Clemson and Auburn were some of the other schools that were in the picture, although only NC State had offered from the ACC. Harrow is a very quick guard with excellent ball handling. He can burn and slip right through the defense, but will probably need to get stronger by the time he gets to NC State.


Lorenzo Brown, Wolfpack bound?

June 16, 2008

Trying to read the tea leaves in recruiting is about as accurate as trying to guess which Hollywood star is going to enter the Betty Ford center in two years. But I thought I’d take a moment to point out that Lorenzo Brown (6’4″, PG, 2009) has visited the state of North Carolina three times in the past month; once for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions (which was unscheduled AND he had to tag along with another AAU team), the Chris Paul skills camp in Winston-Salem and now the NC State elite camp. I know Wolfpackers are really hoping Sidney Lowe can close the deal on Brown, and he certainly seems to like things in North Carolina, or at the very least is doing a very good job of learning as much as he can about the area and NC State.

Even though Brown is a top player who will see significant minutes and has gotten offers from schools like Florida and Memphis, the ACC hasn’t really poured out offers for Brown. I have not read of a single ACC school with a confirmed offer except the Pack. So it stands to reason that Brown’s visits to NC are related to the Wolfpack offer.

Brown certainly fits the profile of recent Lowe recruits, versatile decision makers with a strong mid range game. It was pretty obvious last season that the Wolfpack had issues with poise and running the offense, and their best floor general was a big man. Lowe’s recruits in 2008 should help, and if he secures Brown it will further the cause.


Jeremiah Rivers to Indiana

May 29, 2008

A few Wolfpack fans emailed me a while back and asked if I knew anything about a rumor that Jeremiah Rivers might transfer to NC State. At that time all I had heard was Indiana was an option. Turns out it will be Indiana, and Rivers will play there after sitting out next season.


Cheek still interested in Wake, Negedu to visit IU

May 28, 2008

Dominic Cheek (6’6″, SG, 2009 ) may be off the UNC radar, but he’s still on the Wake Forest prospect list, and he’s certainly interested in the Demon Deacons, according to this interview at Rivals.

Negedu sets up Indiana visit

Emmanuel Negedu ( 6’7″, PF, 2008 ), a Georgia Tech recruit has set up a visit at Indiana for June 3.

Scout.com is reporting that following his Indiana visit, Negedu will visit Georgia Tech on the 8th, Tennessee on the 10th and Memphis on the 12th.

Daniel Orton no longer considering ACC

According to several recent news reports like this one, Daniel Orton ( 6’10”, C, 2009 ), is no longer considering any ACC schools, with his list now consisting of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC. Too bad for Maryland, who could have used Orton’s physical presence inside.

Brandon Knight

Amazingly, Brandon Knight ( 6’3″, SG, 2010 ) plays in the same backcourt as Kenny Boynton (6’2″, SG, 2009 ), and still has emerged as a spectacular player and lists several ACC schools that are interested, including Florida State, Georgia Tech and Clemson.


Ryan Kelly’s list

May 27, 2008

A name that has become hot among ACC teams is Ryan Kelly ( 6’11”, PF, 2009 ), a highly rated player who is orginally from Pawling, NY but now plays high school basketball in Raliegh. Kelly’s current list, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, is North Carolina, North Carolina State, Davidson, Wake Forest, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and Stanford. UNC and Wake have offered scholarships already.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, 5/26/2008

May 26, 2008

So much to get to today, we might as well dive right in…

Derrick Favors

According to this article which discussed the 2008 Bob Gibbons TOC, Derrick Favors ( 6’10”, PF, 2009 ) has narrowed his list to ….fourteen schools. Also, I never thought Favors fell out of the #1 spot and it seems like his play this weekend solidified that.

John Wall, Derrick Favors, Kenny Boynton video

Meanwhile, WRAL in Raliegh has posted some video of John Wall (6’3″, PG, 2009 ), Derrick Favors, Kenny Boynton (6’2″, SG, 2009 ) and others who participated in the TOC.

Florida in the mix for Kenny Boynton

Now it appears that Florida is in the thick of Boynton’s recruitment following a campus visit.

Dominic Cheek

Is Dominic Cheek ( 6’6″, SG, 2009 ) still being recruited by North Carolina? At one time, it was considered a lock, but now some people think things have cooled and UNC may not even be recruiting Cheek anymore. This may be the case, as Cheek now lists his schools as Villanova, Wake Forest, Kansas, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Florida, Connecticut, Texas and Maryland. So Wake and Maryland are options, but no UNC is listed.

Nolan Dennis, Ryan Kelly

Meanwhile, two more UNC targets, Nolan Dennis ( 6’5″, SG, 2009 ) and Ryan Kelly ( 6’10”, PF, 2009 ) , played their games at the Dean Dome. Kelly has been coming on strong and looked good at the tournament. Dennis is a hot target for UNC right now.

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ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, 5/24/2008

May 24, 2008

Mason Plumlee excites Cameron

Future Duke big man Mason Plumlee (6’11”, PF, 2009) enticed fans at Cameron Indoor on Friday with a 14 point outing during his debut on Coach K Court.

Lorenzo Brown and NC State

Lorenzo Brown (6’5″, G, 2009) is an excellent guard and I’ve mentioned before that he seems to be leaning toward NC State, and a lot of Pack fans would like to see him commit while he’s playing in Raliegh this weekend.

Kenny Boynton scores 33

Duke and Miami target Kenny Boynton (6’2″, G) is one of the best guards in the class of 2009 and he put up 33 points in his TOC opener.