Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calipari to Kentucky: How Could This Affect the Pack's Chances With Wall and Cousins?


The man who once entertained the thought of taking the head coaching job at our very own University is finally on the move. John Calipari is leaving Memphis for greener...or should i say "blue-er" pastures in Kentucky. Year after year Calipari has teased the notion of moving to a bigger conference, then has accepted the bonus money Memphis would throw at him. This time, a downtrodden economy and the realization that someday it's all going to have to come to an end, has caused Memphis to finally step aside and bid Calipari farewell.

Here's where the story gets sticky. Demarcus Cousins and John Wall are two of the top recruits in the nation, and both named NC State in their final lists. The problem is, both of them also listed Memphis. Wall has yet to make his decision, but Cousins went ahead and verballed. Calipari bolting to Kentucky is the little wrinkle that Sidney Lowe and the Pack may need to attempt a pretty big heist. There will be a small window of time, and that time may be occurring soon, where Cousins and Wall are questioning what to do, or what the situation is. This will give the Wolfpack, or any other program for that matter, the chance to get in and sway these kids based on the question marks that this move presents.

- Do the recruits simply follow Calipari? They likely do not know the returning players, the area, the campus.

-Who are the returning players? Are Jodi Meeks and Patrick Patterson both going pro? How will playing time shape up?

-Kentucky has inked the #3 center in the nation. Does he de-commit or does he stay with Kentucky? If he stays, where does this leave Cousins? Would Cousins think about sharing minutes?

- What is the scholarship situation? Are there enough scholarships to go around at Kentucky with the expected exodus from Memphis?

- When reached for comment, Cousins stated "Coach (Cal) is not leaving, I talked with him as soon as I heard the rumor and he told me it's 100% false." Obviously he lied to a kid that trusted him with this college career. How will this play out? Will Cousins feel betrayed?

- And lastly and most importantly. If Calipari and Memphis ARE out of the picture, is NC State the next school on their list?

These are all questions that will be asked, and questions that need to be answered. To get them all answered will take time and that's something these recruits are running out of. With signing day right around the corner players are feeling the pressure to make their pick. Calipari will surely go after Wall and Cousins, but are they committed to Cal and buying whatever he's selling? Or are they ready to be recruited again to a more stable, sure situation? Some will surely want to follow, but there will be a window of time where these recruits begin to question if they are making the right move. That is when a coach needs to step in a make contact, (and get a visit lined up)...and we think Sidney Lowe is preparing to do just that.

** Our goal as a site is to encourage you as NC State fans to think objectively. We want you to be able to think logically, come to your own conclusion and connect the dots. A fan base that thinks objectively tends to take a more stable stance in their opinions. This post is rooted in fact and possibility, yes, but it is purely speculative. We're not trying to play on emotions or become a hype machine, we just feel our job is to report on every story that could affect NC State Basketball, and this one certainly does. Tell us what you think about Cal to Kentucky!

March 31, 2009

Catching up with Josh Davis


A lot has been written about Josh Davis fulfilling his dream of becoming an NC State basketball player. We’ve gotten the chance to speak with Josh on numerous occasions now and we thought you would enjoy learning a little more about him.

WolfpackHoops: How did you become a NC State fan?

Josh: I grew up liking some of the players that played for UNC, but in Middle School I became an NC State fan. My mom graduated from NC State and that influenced me as well.

WolfpackHoops: Who is your favorite NC State basketball player that you grew up watching?

Josh: I’d have to say Julius Hodge. I loved how versatile he was. That’s kind of how I play.

WolfpackHoops: This might sound like a random question, but do you think being a lefty has helped you become a better basketball player?

Josh: Yeah, I think so. The main reason is that when everyone defends me they try to force me to use my right hand and I actually dribble better and dunk prominently with my right hand. I’m not really sure how that happened but it has made me more versatile.

WolfpackHoops: What are your plans for the offseason?

Josh: I’m really working hard on my jump shot. In fact, here recently Garrius Adams and I have been working out together doing shooting drills and skills drills. I’m also looking to attend summer school at NC State and major in Sports Management. I want to get there as soon as I can so I can go ahead and start working out with the team this summer.

Josh seems to be doing everything that he can to get ready to be a part of the team next season (working out with Garrius Adams and taking summer school so he can work out with the team). In fact, we bumped into him this past Sunday at the ScoutsFocus.com Elite 80 Showcase. He drove down to check out his future teammate, Ryan Harrow. We were very impressed with that.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ryan Harrow Highlight Reel: Elite 80 Showcase

Ladies and Gentlemen...sit back and enjoy. Here is Ryan's highlight reel from yesterday's ScoutsFocus.com Elite 80 Showcase in Wilson, NC.

Ryan Harrow makes it look easy. What you are about to see will put a smile on your face. Thanks for the show Ryan!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Carolina Challenge Video: The Wolfpack Recruits

This Saturday we were at Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge at Cary Academy filming and interviewing the Wolfpack recruits that were participating. Overall the event was well run and had the best talent North Carolina had to offer. We took video of CJ Leslie, Bishop Daniels, Deuce Bello, and Reco McCarter. Here is the highlight video we put together from the Challenge:

CJ Leslie 2010 Former NC State commit, CJ Leslie was up to his old tricks this Saturday, wowing the crowd with his athleticism, swagger, and versatility. Leslie was at times extremely active and aggressive, with drives to the hoop and thunderous finishes, and it was obvious that CJ was the most talented player at this event. At 6'9 and possessing the ability to dribble, shoot, or play (way) above the rim, Leslie at points seemed disinterested or annoyed at the fact that either he wasn't being challenged, or that his surrounding team members weren't playing up to par. His ability and ceiling is undeniable and he will make a big, big impact wherever he lands. CJ told us that he is wide open and lots of schools have been inquiring. He also told us that he recently visited with Coach Lowe and talked about his situation. Leslie said he felt it went good and that the Wolfpack are still a big player in his recruitment.

Bishop Daniels 2011 This is first time we had the opportunity to see Bishop play live and wow was he impressive. The kid is only a sophomore, yet watch him and you'll swear he's more experienced than that. Daniels gets to the rim with ease and has some ridiculous bounce. If he gets close to the hoop and you're anywhere near him, look out below, cause Bishop is about to give you a face lift. He is strong, smart, has a good handle, and his shot is progressing. This is an elite talent that will be blowing up in the near future. Daniels holds an offer from State and told us that NC State and Wake were coming at him the hardest. He also mentioned that he was a huge ACC fan and staying close to home is very important to him. He seemed very favorable to State in our time talking. Bishop was certainly one of the top 3 players we saw at the challenge and we're excited to see how high this kid's ceiling really is.

Reco McCarter 2010 We've seen Reco play before and Saturday was more of the same. He is long, he is quick, and he is aggressive. Reco projects as a wing in college and will need to hone his jumpshot before he becomes a lethal scorer, but McCarter slithers his way to the hoop and is very long and athletic, thus making him a very tough matchup.

Deuce Bello 2011 You wouldn't guess that Deuce is a sophomore by looking at him, and you certainly wouldn't have a clue he's a sophomore by watching him play. Bello is an absolutely athletic monster. His game is a little raw, but who's isn't at 16 years old. Bello gets to the rim, and when he does watch out, because he has some serious hops and likes to finish with authority. Bello will need to harness his jumper, but that will come in time. Deuce told us he was wide open in his recruitment and that he would be interested if NC State decided to offer. He will be playing this summer for D-1 sports.

There were a few other Wolfpack targets in the building but these were the 4 that we felt should be on everyone's radar. Chris Coleman and Luke Cothron did not attend the event, although they were scheduled to be there.

Ryan Harrow Dazzles at Showcase

Ryan Harrow flew up to Raleigh this morning to participate in the ScoutFocus Showcase held at Barton College. We got to spend our entire time there talking with Ryan, his Mom, his aunt, and his brother and we can't say enough about this kid and his family. This is no jab at other recruits, but Ryan Harrow is the most polite and genuine kid we've talked to and his family is no different.

All I can say is WOW. After coming from watching 8 hours of top tier high school athletes (@ the Carolina Challenge) I was unsure if anything could outdo what I had just seen. I found out very quickly that Ryan Harrow could. All you've been hearing about this kid is true. He stands at a legit 6'0, is a little slight of build, and really didn't stand out upon first glance. That was until the tip-off. I'm not sure how exactly to describe Ryan's game other than smooth and exciting. He doesn't just move, he glides. His ball handling is just silly. The kid had the ball on a string all day, shaking, crossing, and humiliating anyone who decided to guard him. He blew past nearly everyone that tried to stay in front of him, and if they were quick enough to defend his deadly first step, he hit you with a violent spin and finish. "Too thin, too small were the ways coaches described him," said his mother. He attended Georgia Tech's summer camp 3 years in a row, but Paul Hewitt failed to see what was right in front of him because of his small stature. Say what you want but there were some big boys out there today and the play was rough, but Ryan took every hit, every bump, every foul and still was able to finish at an astounding rate. His shot looked pure, his passes carved up the defense with ease, oh and by the end of the camp no one was attempting to stand in his way on the break, word was out that this kid could and will get up and throw it down. If you can't tell by now, I was blown away by his performance and you will be too, soon enough.

I know what you're thinking. Wolfpack Hoops is bias. Wolfpack Hoops is stretching the truth to make NC State look good. That simply is not the case here. Ryan Harrow is a serious, serious talent and Coach Lowe should be credited for seeing this first. You want proof? Check back in the next few days for a highlight reel that will have you verifying our every word.

**Ryan also let us know that he reads WolfpackHoops.com , so if you want to say anything to him or simply welcome him to the Pack, there is a very good chance he'll be reading it.

The Ultimate Josh Davis Highlight Reel


We told you on Friday that Josh Davis Hooked us up with a new highlight reel. We were having technical difficulties and we were only able to put up a small sample. Well my friends, the wait is over. This video showcases every aspect of his game. What you get to see in this video that you might not have seen before is Josh's perimeter game, his ability to create and run the break, his ball handling skills, and his defensive game. This kid is a freak athlete and he has a really good skill set. Josh has a tremendous upside. Watch the video...you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

JOHN WALL : The Interview


**A WOLFPACK HOOPS EXCLUSIVE**Today we had a chance to do something we've been wanting to do for some time, and something Wolfpack Nation has been wanting to read for even longer. A surprise guest at the Carolina Challenge, John Wall, the #1 player in the nation, and NC State recruit, sat down for an interview with us and answered some pretty tough questions about his recruitment and the Wolfpack. He also shed some light on his commitment date, his process, and what he looks for in a team. Here's how it went down:

Wolfpack Hoops: So John, what brings you over to the the Carolina Challenge today?

John Wall: I just wanted to come out and show some support to my Word of God teammates.

WPH: Well, we recently had the chance to talk with your coach, Levi Beckwith, and he mentioned that you don't have any real commitment date and that you might not even decide on signing day, which conflicts with reports that you'll announce at the Jordan Brand All-Star game, can you shed some light on that?

John Wall: Yeah, well actually I said I'd announce at the Jordan All Star game, but I don't think I'm going to now. I don't have to decide on signing day, so i might wait. I'm not sure yet. I want to make sure I give every school a fair look. Tomorrow I'm going to meet with Coach K at Duke, because I haven't got to sit down and talk with him yet. Then, I need to talk with Miami too. After that I'll need to sit down with my Mom and my Coach (Beckwith) and decide which school is best for me.

WPH: That sounds like a good plan to me. What about the reports that have you stating Memphis as being the leader? Can you talk about that?

John Wall: I'd say yeah, right now Memphis is leading, but that can change easily. I mean, remember when OJ Mayo was being recruited. He had his favorites early on and they'd change. Nobody ever thought he'd pick USC until right at the end you know what I mean.

WPH: Yeah, I hear what you're saying. So I'm going to let you go watch this game but I just want to ask you one more question. With a lot of these schools you'll be just another great player fitting in on their team, then there are a few schools on your list you can go to and completely change their program, maybe become a legend. Which sounds better to you?

John Wall
: I'd say that I could be a program changer, or I could just fit in at a school, either way I'm going to sit down with my mom and my coach and just figure out which school is best for me.

WPH: Thanks so much for your time John and good luck with your decision!

John Wall: Thank you.

*** We at Wolfpack Hoops would like to thank John for taking time out of his day to talk with us, and we wish him success wherever life leads him.

Wall Named AP Men's Player of the Year in North Carolina


Yesterday the Associated Press named John Wall the men's prep basketball Player of the Year. John carried 6 out of a possible 16 votes and barely clipped junior Reggie Bullock by one vote. John averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists for Word of God Academy this season and led them to their third straight State Championship game (WOG lost to United Faith in the title game). Reggie Bullock, who came in second with 5 votes, averaged 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for Kinston this year. C.J. finished third, receiving 3 votes. Harris, a Wake Forest commit, led Mt. Tabor to the 4-A State Championship and averaged 23 points a game as well.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reminder: Carolina Challenge Tomorrow in Cary


Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge is taking place tomorrow at 9:30am in the Cary Academy gyms. Yes, we already ran a story on this event last Sunday, but we thought it'd be a good idea to remind you in case you forgot. We encourage you to come and wear your Wolfpack red.
The top 100 underclassman from around the state will come together and compete. The event starts at 9:30am and it's free, but you'll want to bring $5 to buy a program so you can figure out who's who.

Players of interest include:

Deuce Bello
Chris Coleman
Bishop Daniels
CJ Leslie
TaShawn Mabry
Reco McCarter
Brian Richardson
Dezmine Wells

**We will be there, and if there is wireless internet available we will update you game by game in our comments section of this post.

The Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Basketball Team Announced: Wolfpack Commits Represent


The Georgia Sports Writers Association has unveiled their end of the season accolades and their All-State teams and the list has Pack commits plastered all over it. I guess you can say Sidney's Georgia pipeline is flowing at full capacity these days. Read the list below and be proud my friends.

Class 5A Player of the Year: Lorenzo Brown

Class 5A Coach of the Year: Coach Lipscomb, Wheeler

Class 5A All-State 1st Team:

Lorenzo Brown, SR, G, Committed to NC State

Trae Golden, JR, G, Uncommitted

Ryan Harrow, JR, G, Committed to NC State

Glen Rice Jr, SR, F, Committed to Georgia Tech

Richard Howell, Sr, F, Committed to NC State

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catching Up With Coach Beckwith


We had the privilege of catching up with Word of God's Head Coach Levi Beckwith earlier this week. This was Beckwith's third season with Word of God and any head coach would dream to have the first three years that he has had. In his initial 2006-07 campaign he led the Holy Rams to the NCISA 1-A State Title with a 27-3 record. The 2007-08 season was another year of etching a few marks in the record books. Word of God won the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational, which made them the first team from North Carolina to do so since 1989. The Holy Rams also took home the State Title in a dynasty esque back-to-back manner. This year Coach Beckwith boasted the #1 player in the nation-John Wall-and he took the Holy Rams back to the State Title game for the third straight season. The only thing that could deny the Holy Rams a three-peat was a controversial buzzer-beating three point shot by United Faith (which should not have counted). Coach Beckwith's coaching record speaks for itself and I'm glad we have a coach of his class embedded in the heart of Raleigh. In our conversation with Coach we covered topics including Bishop Daniels, C.J. Leslie, Dezmine Wells, and of course John Wall.

WolfpackHoops: Tell us a little bit about Bishop Daniels.

Beckwith: Bishop is a real good athlete. In fact he is one of the, if not the most athletic guard in the state as a sophomore. It says something about him as a player to come on to a team full of Division-I upperclassmen and accept his role and fit in. The AAU season is coming up and Bishop will be playing some point. The AAU season is a good chance for players to work on things.

WolfpackHoops: How is Bishop's jump shot?

Beckwith: For a sophomore Bishop has a really good jump shot. How good can a high quality player shoot as a sophomore? A lot of players are great shooters but that is all they can do. As a coach I like to see players developed into all-around players.

WolfpackHoops: When we watch C.J. Leslie we feel like we are watching a younger Kevin Garnett? Does C.J. pattern his game after him?

Beckwith: Actually, C.J. will be doing something in practice and he will say "That's how Kevin would do it." C.J. can actually do things in the open court that Kevin can't do. I'm not saying that he is as good as Kevin, I'm just pointing out C.J.'s versatility. I have been criticized for letting C.J. dribble as much as he does. How many kids do you know at his height that can handle the ball like he can?

WolfpackHoops: Obviously hearing about C.J.'s decommitment from State was not the news we were hoping to hear last week. Can you shed any light on the situation?

Beckwith: He just wants to look at different schools, but NC State is still a big player.

WolfpackHoops: We know the Pack has also shown interest in Dezmine Wells. Tell us a little bit about him.

Beckwith: Dezmine is a basketball player. He is such a valuable player because his game is so complete. He is kind of a 'tweener.' He reminds me a lot of P.J. Tucker who I coached a couple years ago. P.J. might have had a better post game but Dezmine has a better jump shot.

WolfpackHoops: What has it been like coaching John Wall?

Beckwith: It has been great coaching John. Anytime you get to coach a talent like John it is a privilege. Everyone at Word of God are proud everytime we hear people talk about him. I'm proud to know that I have had an impact on his life on and off the court.

WolfpackHoops: We have heard that John might commit at the Jordan Brand Classic. What do you think?

Beckwith: Spring signing period begins on the 14th and the Jordan Brand Classic is on the 18th. I wouldn't be surprised to see John wait until after both of those dates. He isn't in a rush.

We are very grateful for Coach Beckwith's time and we look forward to talking with him again in the future as we track C.J. Leslie, Bishop Daniels, and Dezmine Wells next season. We hope to see Coach Beckwith have continued success and continue to bring Pack recruits through his prestigious program.

Richard Howell State Championship Video

There's always a little room for more Sir Rich video. Check out this video of 2009 recruit Richard Howell showcasing his game in the State Championship. Take note of Howell's court vision, his soft touch and his ability to finish effortlessly on the break (Howell is #21). Also take note of the recent recruits Lowe has been bringing in and how they all come from winning programs....coincidence? Not a chance. (skip to the action @ 2:06)

AP North Carolina All-State Teams Announced


The AP North Carolina All-State Teams were just released. We thought that you would be interested to see how the rosters broke down:

1st Team:

- Reggie Bullock (Kinston), JR, G, Committed to UNC

-C.J. Harris (Mount Tabor), SR, G, Committed to Wake Forest

-John Wall (Word of God), SR, G, Uncommitted

-Ryan Kelly (Ravenscroft), SR, F, Committed to Duke

-J.T. Terrell (Cummings), JR, G, Committed to Wake Forest

2nd Team:

-Ian Miller (United Faith), JR, G, Committed to Florida State

-Eric Mayo (Shelby), SR, F, Uncommitted

-Mason Plumlee (Christ School), F, SR, Committed to Duke

-Aaron Toomey (McGuinness), G, JR

-Akeem Richmond (Southern Lee), G, SR, Uncommitted

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Could Seth Curry Land at NC State?


**UPDATE: We have learned that there were no prior deals, or arrangements made between Curry and NC State. This means that if it was a done deal before he even transferred, then it's not NC State. However, we have confirmed that our staff has contacted the Currys .... we'll have more when we know more

**UPDATE: ESPN's Andy Katz Reporting Curry to Transfer to an ACC School in the State of NC. This Confirms Our Previous Report

If you have not heard, Seth Curry, the nation's leading freshman scorer (20ppg) has decided to transfer from Liberty University. Seth is the son of Hornets guard Dell Curry and brother of Davidson superstar Steph Curry. Curry was under-recruited out of high school much like his brother. He chose Liberty around the time his brother really began to emerge on the national scene. Now he's having second thoughts and has made news across the nation that he will be transferring to a bigger school, in a bigger conference.

Here are some quick hits about the situation:
- You can believe that just about every major program you can think of is inquiring about Seth in some degree

-We are hearing that NC State is one of those who has inquired

-The Curry's reside in the Charlotte area

-850 The Buzz, the sports talk radio station, has apparently reported that Seth wants to stay in NC and play in the ACC. (which narrows his choices down to NC State, UNC, Duke, or WF) This is Confirmed

-Sidney Lowe and Dell Curry played together on the Charlotte Hornets during the 1988-89 season and we've confirmed that they "know each other well"

While most of this is speculation and hearsay, I do think it is certainly something worth watching. We'll be doing our best to keep you on the forefront of any breaking news or turns in this story.

Josh Davis' Senior Campaign


We hope you enjoy this video. We went by Athens yesterday and Coach Clemons gave us this highlight tape. One of the students at Athens Drive High School put this together and did an excellent job. In our opinion, this kid was a diamond in the rough just sitting in Raleigh. He has unbelievable athletic ability, a soft touch around the basket, the ability to control his body while he is in the air and a solid post game. He also shows off his shot-blocking ability a little bit at the expense of Garrius Adams (who is headed to Miami).

While we were there yesterday we got the chance to catch up with Josh. We can testify to what Coach Clemons told us a couple days ago. Josh is an incredibly nice and polite young man who carries himself with humility and class.

We'll have an interview with Josh up on the site in the near future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wolfpack Hoops Exclusive: JOSH DAVIS


As far as we know this is the first Josh Davis video to hit the web. With a frame like his, and ups like this, there is no reason to believe Josh is anything but a serious "sleeper" in this 2009 recruiting class, and could prove to be a big piece to this Wolfpack team for years to come. We'd like to thank Webb Wellman over at OneEntertainment for mixing this for us! And keep checking back because we got to hang out and talk with Josh a little today and we'll be posting everything soon!

Allow Us To Introduce Josh Davis


Josh Davis is the newest addition to the Wolfpack '09 recruiting class. He is from right down the road, yet we don't know all that much about him. Last night we got the chance to talk with Athens Drive's Head Coach Robert Clemons. Coach Clemons led Athens to a 22-6 record this season which happens to be their best season under his watch (since '01). He has actually been a Pack fan for a very long time. In fact, his dad was the first African-American to graduate from NC State. Since we didn't know too much about Josh before yesterday, we wanted to get a breakdown from the man who has watched him develop as a basketball player as well as a young man over the past four years.

WolfpackHoops: Tell us about your experience coaching Josh Davis.

Clemons: It has been great coaching Josh. He is a respectful young man who has a tremendous drive to get better. He has never been one of those kids who had an attitude and believed that he didn't have to work. Josh is a total team player. Coming into this season Josh knew that his perimeter game was the area that he needed to work on the most, because he would probably play on the wing at the next level. With that being said I told him before the season that what would be best for the team and his future would be for him to play on the block this season. I told him that in order for him to make it to the next level he needed to put up big numbers. He did put up numbers and his willingness to play the block helped us as a team and also helped him put up big numbers and diversify his game.

WolfpackHoops: Why do you think that Josh put up major numbers and managed to fly under the recruiting radar?

Clemons: I really don't understand why some teams shied away from him. Kids at his position are usually good perimeter shooters. Ross and Adams have a little bit better jump shot than Josh at this point. That is also partially due to the roll that we asked Josh to fill this year. A jump shot is something that a kid can work on. He just turned 18 years old. He's a young 18. This kid has so much upside. And I'm not saying Josh can't shoot, he has a really nice mid-range game.

WolfpackHoops: Tell us a little bit about Josh's game.

Clemons: Josh has a finesse game in the post. He can turn and face you and he also has a great drop step. He is a great leaper and he leaves the floor quicker than most kids I've seen. He can thrown the ball down in a crowd. Josh can use his size and take kids off the dribble and finish at the rim. He is a playmaker that can create his own opportunities to score. Josh is definitely a scorer, but his game goes beyond his scoring ability. He is also a lock-down defender. He is so athletic that he can guard anyone on the court. In fact, Josh did an excellent job shutting down Garrius Adams at Middle Creek this past season. The kid plays with passion and intensity. He leaves it all on the court. Josh also has a great basketball IQ.

WolfpackHoops: Let's build on that last statement. Why do you say that Josh has a great basketball IQ?

Clemons: Josh knows how the game should be played and he plays it the right way. His knowledge of the game is enhanced because he knows how to play every position on the court and at different times we have used him in all of them. He can play the point, the wing, and the block. He can also defend all of these positions as well. All of this mixed with his will to win gives Josh a great basketball IQ.

WolfpackHoops: Tell us about Josh's leadership ability.

Clemons: Josh isn't necessarily a vocal leader, rather he leads by example. Josh's energy and intensity that he brings to the court is contagious and the other player follow suit.

WolfpackHoops: How do you see Josh fitting into Coach Lowe's system at State?

Clemons: I'm not sure how Coach Lowe will use him next year but I know he is athletic and smart enough to play at the next level right now. He can be used to do so many different things on the court. Josh knows that he needs to work on his jump shot this offseason but Josh is not afraid to work. He isn't afraid to come to the gym and work. He just shows up and works. Josh is a high character kid that just shows up to the gym by himself, works on his game, and cleans up after he leaves.

This past weekend Josh played in the North Carolina vs. South Carolina All-Star game in Myrtle Beach. He took home the MVP award as he put up 15 and 10. His 10 rebounds were a record for the event. Also, he shot 5-5 from the field.

Josh is a 6'7 combo forward that averaged 25 and 10 for Athens Drive High School last year. To put things in perspective for you, he outscored local stars Garrius Adams (Miami), Earnest Ross (Auburn) and John Wall (Uncommitted). Am I making a case that he is better than these guys, not necessarily. But I am making the case that he deserves to have his name mentioned in the same sentence with these guys.

Here is a complete breakdown of Josh's Senior campaign:

*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pack Gets Commit from Local Wing Josh Davis


Sidney Lowe picked up his 4th commitment for the class of 2009 in local star Josh Davis. Davis (6'6 or 6'7, depending on who you ask) averaged 25 and 10 in his senior year at Athens Drive in Raleigh.

Davis is said to be a freak athlete with not only talent but brains as well. The recruitment was started by Monte Towe and the scholarship was presented in person by Sidney Lowe today. Josh is a long time NC State fan and this is a dream come true for him.

Stay tuned, as we'll soon be providing you with the most in depth Josh Davis material available on the web in the coming days.

Brandon Costner to Test the Waters; Will Not Return


We've received word from a source close to the Wolfpack program that "it seems as if redshirt junior Brandon Costner is not planning on returning next year". This is confirming what numerous media sources are also reporting. From what we understand Brandon may test the NBA and or the European waters. This would leave a hole in the Wolfpack frontcourt, soon to be filled by freshman big man Richard Howell and returning senior Dennis Horner.

His dad most likely has some connections in Europe, so he'll probably catch on with a team there. The question is what if he pulls out of the draft, and doesn't catch on with a team overseas? Does he attempt to come back to the Pack? Does Sidney allow that? It's most likely something that was talked about in the meeting they had last week, and something we may never know until it happens. As more comes out, we will pass it on.

Brandon had a truly peculiar tenure at NC State. He was dubbed the next big thing at NC State as a freshman, but after a knee injury and the addition of JJ Hickson his sophomore year, Brandon fell from grace a bit. He found himself a scape goat and target for criticism from the fans and media as his numbers dipped considerably.

Brandon will leave NC State with his degree and we at Wolfpack Hoops wish him all the luck in the world. Wherever you end up we will be following you and updating Wolfpack Nation on your progress.

Wolfpack Hoops now on Twitter!


Now you can follow WOLFPACK HOOPS on Twitter. Actually you could've been following us for the past week, but you probably didn't scroll down and see our new Twitter ad at the bottom of the page. With us now on Twitter, you can be the first to know when we have a new article posted, or when a Pack recruit is playing in the area. Stay current with all Wolfpack Basketball news through Wolfpack Hoops and Twitter as we update you daily with what you need.

*Just click the logo above to follow us*

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trevor Ferguson Will Not Return to Team


We've just received word that redshirt junior Trevor Ferguson will not be returning to the NC State basketball team next season. Trevor will most likely be attempting to graduate and will opt to forgo his final year of eligibility at NCSU. We'd like to thank Trevor for the hard work, hustle, and passion he exuded every time he stepped on the floor for us.

Trevor averaged 5.5 points per game and shot 35.4% from beyond the arc this season. Ferguson seemed to step up and step in whenever he was called upon. Whether it was running the point briefly last season, or stepping in at shooting guard when Sid had to go with a smaller line-up this season.

This news means that now Sidney Lowe has another scholarship available for next season, which is certainly good news for a thin frontcourt that could get much thinner if Brandon Costner decides to leave.

Thank you Trevor and good luck wherever life may take you!

Pack Recruits Take the Stage at Dave Telep's "Carolina Challenge"


What: The Carolina Challenge
When: March 28, 2009
Where: Cary Academy, Cary NC

In it's third year of existence the Carolina Challenge is turning into an event that coaches and recruiting analysts mark on their calenders. Lately the North Carolina high school circuit has been gaining recognition as a breeding ground for big time hoops talent. Dave Telep, one of the most well known recruiting analysts in the area, has put together an event that gives these players (NC's top 100) the chance to showcase their talent in a one day, action packed array of games and skill sessions.

Here is what Telep's site had to say about the challenge:
"All eyes will be on the state of NC this March. The only statewide event of its kind in America tips off March 28 in Cary.
We had a strong event in 2007 and a banner year last season! It’s possible three Carolina Challenge alums could find their way into the McDonald’s All-American Game. We anticipate no less than two dozen members of the Class of 2009 will sign Division I scholarships by the end of the spring, including three Scout.com Top 20 prospects and the nation’s top point guard, John Wall.
In short, the Carolina Challenge is the place to kick-start your spring traveling team season or put a capper on your high school year! Our scouts are out looking for the best talent our state has to offer!"

We at Wolfpack Hoops will be in attendance and we hope you will too. Come out and support the Pack recruits. Games will begin at 9:30am. Here are the rosters; those in bold are the Wolfpack targets, and the ones you should be checking out.

Keith Bellfield 2011 Cannon School
Deuce Bello 2011 Westchester Academy
Devince Boykins 2011 East Rutherford
DeMon Brooks 2010 Hopewell
Jarrick Brown 2010 Millbrook (injured)
Reggie Bullock 2010 Kinston
John Cannon 2011 Mount Heritage
Jay Canty 2010 Ragsdale
James Carlton 2010 South Central
Emanuel Chapman 2010 Enloe
Justin Cheek 2010 Ardrey Kell
Chris Coleman 2011 Mount Zion
Luke Cothron 2010 Flora McDonald
Bishop Daniels 2011 Word of God
Luke Davis 2010 Ravenscroft
Jacoby Davis 2011 Vance
Manny Dias 2010 Veritas Sports Academy
Reggie Dillard 2012 Dudley
Jordan Downing 2010 Hopewell
Jarell Eddie 2010 Cannon School
Monroe Faulkner 2011 Person
Tevin Friday 2010 United Faith
Jonathan Frye 2010 Northern Guilford
Anthony Gill 2011 Charlotte Christian
Kadeem Green 2010 United Faith
P.J. Hairston 2011 Dudley
Julius Hamilton 2012 West Charlotte
Donta Harper 2011 South Central
Damontre Harris 2010 Trinity Christian
Jeremy Ingram 2010 East Mecklenburg
Jeremy Jeffers 2010 Greenfield Schol
Madison Jones 2012 Ravenscroft
Tony Kimbro 2011 Christ School
Sebastian Koch 2010 Christ School
Paul Larsen 2010 Lake Norman
Jacob Lawson 2011 Northern Guilford
Deng Leek 2011 Veritas Sports Academy
Leek Leek Malual 2010 Veritas Sports Academy
Travion Leonard 2011 Wakefield
C.J. Leslie 2010 Word of God
Tyler Lewis 2012 Forsyth Country Day
Stargell Love 2010 Quality Education
TaShawn Mabry 2010 Rocky Mount
George MaNgoue 2010 Forsyth Country Day
Reco McCarter 2010 Wayne Country Day
Josh Mellette 2012 Southern Lee
Tony Menton 2011 Waddell
Ian Miller 2010 United Faith
Quincy Miller 2011 Quality Education Acad.
Akil Mitchell 2010 Charlotte Christian
Jacquise Moore 2011 Concord
Weston Murphy 2010 Apex
Michael Neal 2011 Norhern Guilford
Braxton Ogbueze 2012 Vance
Reggie Perkins 2011 Western Guilford
Keynan Pittman 2011 Pender
Marshall Plumlee 2011 Christ School
Tyler Poole 2011 Hickory
Jervon Pressley 2011 Waddell
Reggie Price 2010 Lake Norman
Corey Raley-Ross 2010 Gaston Day School
Marquis Rankin 2011 Vance
Jonathan Rice 2010 Fayetteville Academy
Brian Richardson 2010 Greenfield
Jordan Robertson 2011 Greensboro Day
Jackson Simmons 2011 Smoky Moutain
Josh Smith 2012 Bessemer City
Anthony Stitt 2011 Butler
Bernard Sullivan 2011 North Mecklenburg
Melvin Tabb 2010 Enloe
J.T. Terrell 2010 Cummings
Anthony Thomas 2010 Winston-Salem Prep
Aaron Toomey 2010 Bishop McGuinness
Daryl Traynham 2010 Vance
Dezmine Wells 2011 Word of God
Terry Whisnant 2011 Cherryville
Jermaine White 2010 Butler
Anthony Williams 2011 Waccamaw Academy
Terrence Williams 2011 West Mecklenburg
Chris Wilson 2011 Terry Sanford
David Wishon 2010 Concord
Brennan Wyatt 2010 Dudley

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Luke Cothron's Junior Campaign in a Nutshell


Luke Cothron, a 2010 Wolfpack target, put together a Junior Campaign that raised the eyebrows of college coaches all across the country. I mean how does a season average of 30 and 20 not cause any coach to salivate. Luke led his team to a 22-10 record and deep into the State Playoffs. These kinds of stats got the attention of Sidney Lowe who is in the market for a 2010 big. Cothron has been spotted at at least 2 State games this season and has mentioned the Pack as a potential suitor. We did our best to accumulate every stat that Luke put up, but we had trouble tracking them down. Here is a sample taste of what Cothron's season looked like:

-On November 7th Luke smashed 33 on Village Christian Academy in a 109-76 victory.
-On November 14th Luke put a double-double of 27 and 11 in a 96-84 victory over Forsyth Country Day in the opening round of the Canon School Classic. Flora MacDonald went on to win the Classic.
-On November 28-29 Luke put up 57 points and 37 points in two games at the Word of God Invitational. This young man had a double-double before halftime in both games.
-On January 17th Luke made the Quality Education Academy fans weep as he put 43 and 17 on 'em.
-Ten days later on January 27th, Luke splashed 22 and 12 on Trinity Christian.
-On February 9th Luke gave Word of God a taste of his talent with 41 points and 19 boards.

We look forward to keeping up with Cothron this Spring and Summer on the AAU circuit. We also have made connections with Flora MacDonald in hopes that we will be able to provide you with consistent information regarding Cothron next season.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Look: The 2009-2010 NC State Wolfpack

After another season in which the rotation has been in flux, it seems as if 2009 is the year that Sidney Lowe finally has the pieces that will allow players to finally settle in. Here is a look ahead at the position breakdown:

Javi Gonzalez's first two seasons at NC State have been a roller coaster ride to say the least. A 3 star PG out of Miami came in as somewhat of a project. A firey scrapper with a smooth jumper and the ability to make plays at the high school level, Javi had a tough time adjusting to the speed and physicality of the ACC. Gonzalez was never supposed to be in the position to be logging serious minutes for the Pack in his freshman year, but an early injury to Farnold Degand left Lowe with no choice. A baptism by fire of sorts, Javi took his lumps, and he's surely better because of it. He's been knocked down over and over, has taken criticism and has been left for dead in the minds of many Wolfpack fans, but this son of a boxer never gave up, picking himself up off the ground and finally at some point it all began to click. The game began to slow down and Javi grabbed a position up for the taking. Javi improved in every possible area of his game. While he averaged practically the same playing time this year as last year, he improved his FG% from 33% to 47%, his 3PT% from 28% to 43%, his scoring average from 3.8 to 6.6 and his assist average from 2.1 to 3.3. This is drastic improvement. Coming into the 2009 season Gonzalez will be walking into a season with the confidence of knowing he belongs. The final 10 games of the season Javi showed real poise, an ability to create and a juicy 3 ball. He will be coming into his junior season already a seasoned veteran, with 2 years of playing time under his belt, and with the confidence of the coaches, Gonzalez is poised for a breakout season.

Farnold Degand
came into the 2007 season as the starting point guard before a torn knee derailed his season. 2008 was more of the same as Degand could never truly shake his bum knee. It was a game by game experiment for Farnold who lack of lateral quickness really caged in the speedster from Boston. Coming into 2009 Degand should be a much different player. For one, he should finally be healthy. The job will most likely belong to Gonzalez but Degand is surely a capable backup when healthy and should prove to be so coming into next season.

Lorenzo Brown will only be a freshman coming into the '09 season, but expectations are high for the silky smooth combo guard out of Georgia. The 2 guard spot was a under-discussed problem last season that plagued the Pack for the majority of their ballgames. Coming into the 2008 season the job belonged to Trevor Ferguson (who most likely will be on the outside looking in, in 2009), who's outside shooting was supposed to open up the lane and extend the defense. Instead Ferguson went cold and in stepped Courtney Fells who's conversion to a small forward was short lived. Fells, a senior with endless upside, never really found his groove thanks to the mid-season position switch compounded with a nagging ankle that never seemed to heal. Fells gave it his all, but was never really cut out to be a true 2 guard. His ball handling and decision making were continuously shaky, leaving the Pack vulnerable to the full court press and pressure defense. Out is Fells, and in is Brown. Lorenzo is a 4 star recruit, categorized by most as a PG because of his ability to create and find his teammates in manner that makes it seem effortless. Brown can score when called on and has great touch on his midrange jumper, but the most anticipated aspect of his game is his ability to handle the ball and his high basketball IQ. Brown will also be looked to, at some point, to become the team's defensive stopper.

Before you go and crown Brown the starting SG, you might want to remember a certain combo guard that left a sweet after taste in the palates of Pack fans. Julius Mays poured in 18 points in only 24 minutes to close out the season against Maryland in the ACC Tournament loss. Mays is what coaches refer to as a "gamer." The kid wants to win and while he doesn't posses the build or the athleticism of most, he makes up for it with his heart and his brain. A combo guard out of high school, Mays stepped in occasionally to fill the point guard role, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Mays transfer over to the 2 as he shot 46% from the field, 45% from 3-land, and 85% from the free strip. Add the fact that he showed real promise as a scorer as he slashed and showcased his potent midrange game on numerous occasions, and you're working with the makings of a real threat. State will now have 4 guards, all capable, and with experience at the point guard position, a problem any coach would love to have. Look for Mays to garner a lot of attention and push the coaches to really increase his workload next season because of, not only his talent, but his natural leadership ability that started to shine through as a freshman.

Two years ago it was point guard, last year it was the 2 guard and in 09-10 it looks like the position of question will be the 3. There are many ways Sid can play this, but from the early going it looks as if you could see CJ Williams slotting in here, and State going with a smaller more guard oriented line-up. This is all speculation however, as we surely won't be sure how this works until the team comes together next season. Williams was a true surprise to most, as he was billed to be nothing more than a role player, 6th man type coming out of high school. Many may have forgotten that as a junior in high school CJ was a scoring machine, dropping 27 points on a nightly basis. It wasn't until a back injury at the end of that campaign hampered his summer production and he never fully regained his swagger as a senior. Lowe has shown the ability to get the aggressiveness out of CJ, something his high school coach admitted he struggled with. A leader by example, Williams was one of the emerging "leaders" Lowe mentioned in his post season press conference.

Another option at the 3 will be new comer Scott Wood. This 6'6 dead eye shooter could prove to be a real sleeper for Sid and the Pack. Coming off another stellar high school campaign for Marion, Wood will come in knowing how to win and knowing how to score. Scott can shoot the lights out from anywhere on the floor and has a scorer's release (quick and high). While he's most comfortable coming off screen and spotting up, he also can handle the rock. After a dismissal of the team point guard, Marion looked to Wood to run the show. Scott, without having any experience running the point, took Marion deep into the playoffs in a highly competitive Indiana high school circuit. With the loss of Courtney Fells and State not having a true 3 point specialist, Scott could come in a fill the role with ease if he can prove to show poise and enough quickness to check an opposing 3.

A third option, and this is depending on health, is red shirt sophomore Johnny Thomas. JT played minimal minutes this season, due to an on again, off again ailing knee. When Healthy Thomas plays hard, rough neck basketball. The guy does the little things that will get you on the floor. Oh, and did we mention the fact that JT is an uber athlete with hops that can bring put an arena into a frenzy when he gets into the open floor.

-Power Forward-
Brandon Costner is the obvious choice to start at the 4. Although, the question remains on whether Costner will even be around. Speculation that he will put his name in the draft or move on to Europe is rampant. While he had a bad second half to the year in 08-09 he was a our leading scorer with (13.3), second leading rebounder with (6.0), and second on our team in assists (2.4). Costner returning would mean a deep frontcourt and one last chance for BC to prove to the NBA that he can swing it in the big show.

If Costner doesn't return, you're looking at two guys, both that offer real positives, but both with questions as to how they'll perform over a long season. Dennis Horner put most questions to rest this past season when he went from averaging 15 minutes last year to 19 this year. He improved his FG% from 38% to 45%, 3pt% from 29% to 36%, FT% from 64% to 82%. He doubled his scoring average from 3.2 to 6.4. He also boasted the highest assist to turnover ratio on our team this year with a 2:1. Horner arguably played with more passion and hustle than anyone on the Wolfpack roster this past season and with a positive year to build on Horner may step in as a real pivotal player in 09-10. The only question with Dennis is his athletic ability and his rebounding. While he is always finding his man and boxing out, he just doesn't possess the hops or the length to battle in the paint with some of the ACC bigs.

The other option at the 4 is freshman Richard Howell out of Wheeler. Howell is an undersized post player with tenacity and intensity matched with fundamentals and talent, which my friend, is a deadly combination. Howell has the gift of athleticism and the basketball IQ that will allow him to make an immediate impact for the Wolfpack. He can bang you in the post with his wide shoulders and muscular build, or he can step outside and drip a 3 ball with ease with his silky stroke. Howell is going to be a key player in whether or not the Wolfpack can hang in paint with the rest of the ACC.


Tracy Smith is always being billed as undersized, but ask any ACC opponent that has checked Smith and "undersized" won't be the word that first comes to mind. Powerful, relentless, vicious are words that better describe Tracy. His post game took giant leaps this past season as he learned to use his pivot and his body to completely damage anyone who got in his way. His ability to finish strong and play above the rim proved to be a real difference maker in a number of games in 08-09. An off season of weight lifting and free throw shooting should do the trick in turning Tracy Smith into an All-ACC caliber big man. Just take a look at this: Smith doubled his playing time this year from 9 to 18 minutes per game. He also went from a measly 3.3 scoring average to juicing double digits at 10.0 per. He also boasted a gaudy 54% FG% that if he were able to maintain, would land him in the top 10 all time in shooting percentage at NC State.

The fact that I'm unable to name a back-up to Smith may prove to be the real problem next season. Lowe will and is, working hard to land a back-up big that can step in and give Tracy a breather, or give the Pack a little insurance if Smith were to fall into foul trouble.

Although there are a lot of questions to be answered, this Wolfpack team will be able to do a great deal of things that last years team were simply unable to do. High IQ, high character players who know how to win will step in and add a new attitude to the Pack. Sidney has and is bringing in basketball players, not system players and that will prove to work in his favor in 2009-2010.

First Two Rounds of the State Playoffs for Wheeler


You don't get to see to much of our boy Rich but he does throw down two dunks, a nice mid-range jumper, and a strong finish on the break.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Interview With The Coach: Wayne Country Day's Head Coach Terry Jones


Earlier this week we got the chance to talk to the Head Basketball Coach at Wayne Country Day, Terry Jones. We were able to talk to him about his experience coaching Pack recruit Reco McCarter and we are extremely grateful for his time. It encourages me that there are coaches out there like Coach Jones. He views his role as the head coach at Wayne Country Day as an opportunity to truly pour into these young men as people, not just as athletes. He spends time investing in each individual and also takes them on team building trips to the beach, bowling, etc. I can't say enough about Coach Jones. He led Wayne Country Day to a 21-13 record this season and to the quarter-finals of the State Playoffs. Here is how the conversation went down:

WolfpackHoops: Tell us about Reco McCarter.

Coach Jones: Reco is definitely a great ball player. He has been blessed with a lot of natural gifts and abilities. This was my second full season coaching Reco and I have really had the chance to watch him develop as a player. When Reco first came here I wasn't sure what type of player he was going to be. I've watched him develop a great work ethic. This season he really fine tuned certain elements of his game. He began to work on some fundamentals and his improvement resulted in us having a better team. His jump shot really became a lot more polished as the season progressed and his ball handling ability improved a lot as well.

WolfpackHoops: Reco seems like he has raw athletic ability. His length seems like it would make him a really capable defensive player. Tell us about Reco's defensive ability.

Coach Jones: There is no doubting Reco's athletic ability. He is truly a defensive hound. For him to be able to play the way that he does offensively and guard the opposing team's best offensive player night in and night out truly puts him in a category that not many players are able to get to.

WolfpackHoops: Tell us about Reco's leadership abilities.

Coach Jones: When you have a kid of his caliber you want him to be a vocal leader. With that being said, one of the things that we teach here is that before you buy into someone's message, you have to buy into the messenger first. Reco is an unselfish young man who is developing character and integrity. Reco is definitely becoming a vocal leader and no one would disagree with him being in that position. His greatest strength is his intensity and it is contagious.

WolfpackHoops: Talk to us about Reco's recruitment.

Coach Jones: The recruiting process has definitely picked up. His opportunities are becoming greater. He’s getting recruitment on all different levels. Some players like to go to a smaller school and be a take over guy like Curry at Davidson, whereas other players like to go to the big universities where there is a big family environment. When it comes to NC State, Reco likes that it is local, and he is also a family oriented young man. He has had the opportunity to go to a couple ball games and he speaks very highly of the environment and the fans.

Post-Season Accolades For Brown and Wood


This upcoming Monday night, March 23rd, Lorenzo Brown will be honored with the Metro Atlanta Player of the Year award by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The Atlanta Tipoff Club's Naismith Award Banquet will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Each of our other Pack recruits has scooped up 2 invitations to play in post-season All-Star games. It looks like Scott Wood will keep in tune with the others. Marion Head Coach Joe Luce was quoted in the Marion Chronicle-Tribune as saying:

Wood and McCallum ended their Giants careers Saturday evening, but Luce believes both will have at least two more prep games to play in June’s Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series. Wood is an almost certain All-Star, and Luce said McCallum has the credentials to make the team.

“Even though we lost our last game, I think Scott made a case for Mr. Basketball and he will get votes,” Luce said. “Every other leading candidate played their natural position, but Scott Wood did not and made that sacrifice for the betterment of our team.

Check out the rest of the Chronicle-Tribune article that this quote came from.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

RYAN HARROW: "I'm Not Going Anywhere"


Ryan Harrow made his first year at Walton High School a year to remember. He also made it a year full of individual and team records as well. In Ryan's Junior Campaign he broke the school's single-season scoring record and assist record. Glen Rice Jr., a Georgia Tech commit, also broke the assist record this year and eclipsed Ryan by 6 assists. Walton also broke their school record for wins in a season with 19. The Raiders made it to the second-round of the State Playoffs for the first time since 1998 and they beat Richard Howell's Wheeler for the first time in over 10 years. Ryan finished the season averaging 28.3 ppg. His most explosive performance of the season came at the beginning of the season on December 6th against Lenoir City when he had 43 points and 11 assists. Ryan scored 30+ points in 14 out of the 28 games he played and he scored under 20 points only twice all season.

I talked to Ryan yesterday to catch up and get his thoughts on the season, the future AAU season, his relationship with the Pack coaches, and a personal message from him to the Wolfpack Nation.

Thoughts on the season:

Ryan: This season was definitely an experience. It was my first season playing public high school basketball. I had to step up my level of play in order to play against the high level of competition. I'm actually expecting us to be better next year. We have around 5 or 6 players transferring in that play on my AAU team. I think we will have great team chemistry.

The future AAU season:

Ryan: I will be playing for Team Atlanta this season. It's the same team as last year, the name of the team just changed. We will actually be playing a tournament up in Raleigh. I'll let you know when. I'm also looking to go to the Deron Williams Camp, the Nike Camp and the Pangos Camp.

Relationship with the Pack coaches:

Ryan: I e-mail back and forth with Coach Lowe about everyday and Coach Harris e-mails my mom about the same amount. Coach Lowe just keeps telling me that I'm his guy and that I'm going to be a difference maker as soon as I get there.

On recent worries about recruits decommitting:

Ryan: "Tell the Wolfpack fans not too worry, I'm not going anywhere"

Here is a new video we just found of Walton vs. Milton on January 6th. Milton won the game 74-70. Don't forget that Milton faced Wheeler in the State Championship game last week. Ryan had 24 points in the contest.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


We've been receiving quite a bit of email lately wondering about things from our off-season plans to comments...so here is a little update on what we're planning, what we stand for, and why we do what we do. Enjoy.

What will be going on this Off-Season? Will you still be updating the site?
Yes, We will be going harder than ever this offseason. We are going to be traveling the east coast hitting AAU Tournaments and All-star games and keeping you up to date with videos, interviews, and updates of our recruits. One other main goal is to remind you, or in some cases educate you on the history of this storied program. As former Pack player Kenny Inge told us, "It's not just the fans that need to learn the history of NC State, it's the players. Some of these guys just don't understand what it means to put on the red and white!" We'll be doing this with interviews of past players, Profiles of the Jerseys in the Rafters, and stories of past Championship teams here at NC State.

What's With The Comments?

We've recently been experimenting with new ways to allow you, our readers, to interact with us and each other through comments on our articles. While we have really appreciated a great deal of them, we've had quite a few very disrespectful and derogatory posts. We've since went to "reviewing comments" which has not been the most popular with some.

I would like to take this time to go over a few things and explain our vision one more time. We at Wolfpack Hoops are here to provide information on the past, present, and future of NC State Basketball with a positive voice. If you've read our post game assessments, you have seen that we never forget to point out the positives, but we do also provide constructive criticism when it's necessary. I'm not sure what to make of many fans these days who just want to put down the players and rip the coaches. I understand that many are frustrated about the current state of the program, but if you really understand the inner workings of a basketball program and the recruiting circuit then you can see this as more of a big picture project that will take time to take shape.

If you read our interviews, many former players hit on the fact that negativity is cancerous, and can spread from the bleachers to the huddle very quickly. While we respect what everyone has to say about the program, we encourage you to post with a little respect for those who represent our University. Constructive criticism and questioning our program is ok, but not in a fashion where you are bashing a person or a coach. The program, sadly, is getting a reputation for negativity and we'd like to be the one shelter from that subgroup. We know for a fact that recruits such as Ryan Harrow, John Wall, and Scott Wood as well as many high school coaches and former Pack players have at some point read this site. That means what you post could and may have an impact at some level to the way recruits see our program.

We've even talked to a current player's dad who told us that the negativity surrounding the program (he was a frequent message board reader) made him question his son's decision to attend here. Now I know every recruit does not read this site, nor do all of them scavenge the message boards, but you can be sure that either their parents, their friends, or their relatives do, and word will get back to them. This is another reason we aim to keep things as positive as possible. So make sure before you post you have the best interest of your University in mind. Criticism and suggestions are fine, but bashing and ripping our own players and coaches has no place on this site. I'm sorry if that frustrates some, but there are a lot of State sites out there that focus on the negatives...fortunately we're not one of them.

"Positive things happen to positive people"

Harris and Towe Head to JUCO Tournament

Assistant coaches Larry Harris and Monte Towe are in Hutchinson, Kansas today taking in the 1st round of the NJCAA Tournament which is the JUCO National Tournament. We're not exactly sure who they're there to see, but we'll keep you updated when we find out.

Wheeler vs. Norcross Highlight Reel

Wheeler 60 Norcross 44 (Elite-8 of State Playoffs)

This was a huge win for the Wildcats. Norcross had won the previous three State Titles and Wheeler wanted their title back. Richard Howell (#21 in White) finished with 13 points. Sir Rich seems very comfortable with the ball in his hands. He had a nice little pull up jumper and showed strength down low and on the break.

"Brackman Shows Some Polish"


Andrew Brackman pitched a 2 inning simulated game this past Sunday during live batting practice sessions. He was scheduled to throw 20 pitches in each frame. In the first frame he struck out all three of the batters he faced. The next inning was a little more wild as he got into full counts against each batter, but nonetheless, he didn't give up a run. It was his command and mechanics that caught the eye of many onlookers. This information was found in a article on RaysDigest.com. We will keep you posted on the Brack Attack all season long.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Update From Across The Pond


Illian Evtimov - Shoush has done quite well since he left the Pack. In his three years pro he has averaged double digits in each season. In his first season in Manchester he averaged 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists a game. He has made a home for himself in Frankfurt with the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. Last year he averaged 13 points and 5 boards for the Skyliners. This year he has helped turn this program around. Last year they were 21-24. This year they already have as many wins as they had losses last year. They are currently 24-14. Illian is averaging 10 points per game and he is stroking 39% of the treys that he is putting up. He put up his statistical 'bests' in the month of November. He scored 23 points on the 23rd and he ripped down 10 boards on the 4th. The Skyliners are back in action on March 22nd. We will keep you posted.

Anthony Grundy - Anthony Grundy's Panellinios squad is currently sitting in 4th place (15-6) in the Greek League. Also, Grundy is the 5th leading scorer (15.2 ppg) in the league. Panellinios will be back in action tonight against Panionios who sits only one game back from them in 5th place.

Update From the League


Josh Powell - Josh earned the picture at the top for the 2nd time in three weeks. Josh is literally etching out a pretty solid place within the Lakers rotation. While he might average 12 minutes per game on the year, he notched 22 per last week. Last Wednesday night Josh put together the best game yet in a Laker uniform. He played 35 minutes and dropped a line of 17 and 9 in the box score while shooting 8-14 from the floor.

J.J. Hickson - J.J.'s playing time seems to be dwindling a little bit. He is averaging 12 minutes per game on the season but last week he only averaged 4 minutes a game. His most noteworthy statistic of the week was a 3 rebound performance in 5 minutes of play on Tuesday night.

Cedric Simmons - For the second straight week Ced City didn't see the hardwood but this week we have some answers. Ced is being held out due to a sprained ankle.

Richard Howell & Lorenzo Brown To Tag-Team in Baltimore


Sir Rich and Zo are going to get a chance to don the same jersey before next season. The two will be playing for the United States All-Stars in the 9th annual Charm City Challenge. The game will be played at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, April 5th at 3pm. The Charm City Challenge puts the best players in the Baltimore area up against some of the best players from around the rest of the country every year. Lorenzo and Richard will be surrounded by some future ACC ballers on the United State All-Stars Team:

Erick Green - G - Virginia Tech
Mfon Udofia - G - Georgia Tech
Donte Hill - G - Clemson
Ari Stewart - F - Wake Forest
Tristan Spurlock - F - Virginia
James Padgett - F - Maryland
Shawn Kemp Jr. - C - Alabama
Jordan Williams - C - Maryland

Check out the Charm City Challenge home page for ticket information.

Richard Howell will also be playing in this year's Capital Classic in Washington D.C. on Thursday, April 9th at American University. Sir Rich will be amongst good company as many of the Basketball Greats have played in this game. For instance:

From its prominent beginning in 1974, the Capital Classic has introduced fans to the next generation of superstars. The greats, including Moses Malone, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, and Dominique Wilkins have all participated in the Capital Classic, as well as the new age All-Stars of Lebron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

Check out the Capital Classic home page (That is where the above quote came from).

We are excited that both of our boys get to show their stuff in two post-season all-star games. Both of these games aren't to far from the Raleigh area and we are hoping that many of us can make it out and support Richard and Lorenzo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

N&O: Light Shed on Leslie Situation


Today the N&O caught up with Word of God's Chief Operating Officer, Mitch Summerfield . There are some very telling quotes in this article that shed a little more light on the situation with Leslie. It also mentions that he will be playing his AAU ball with the Lake Norman Wizards instead of D-ONE. This is a surprise, as rumor of the Clifton's (who are affiliated with D-ONE) being involved with the decommitment were running rampant earlier in the day.

"CJ really hasn't thought that whole process through yet," Summerfield said.
"I'm in N.C. State's corner, of course," he added. "I'm pushing [N.C. State]."
Summerfield said that the chances are, "still very strong," that Leslie will wind up at State. "He actually talked to Sidney Lowe directly to let him know they are still on his list," Summerfield said. "He just wants to make sure he’s not hurting his chances of being ranked and all of the things that go along with his summer this year."

Check out the whole article HERE.

C.J. Leslie Pulls Verbal Commitment

We received word from a person who works directly with Word of God and D-One sports last night that C.J. Leslie has officially decommitted from the Pack and has reopened his recruitment. He said that C.J. had called him around 9pm last night to give him the news. State fans were aware for quite sometime that this might be a possibility and there have been grumblings about it on message boards for awhile.

We talked to a source very close to the program a couple weeks back about the possibility of this happening. He told us that this might happen but many people close to the situation still feel strongly that C.J. will end up with the Pack. He also said that a huge X-Factor in this whole thing is the fact that C.J.'s Mom feels very strongly about him attending NC State. Remember, C.J. never really got to experience the 'recruiting hoopla' due to his early verbal commitment to the Pack. While this definitely doesn't fall under the category of 'good news,' we are not shocked by this. There is obviously a chance that Leslie could play elsewhere; but, call me optimistic, I think that there is a good chance that he still ends up at State.

Marion Loses In Regional Championship Game


It's not easy for any team to win two games in a row, let alone two games in one day. Marion beat Kokomo in a semi-final game yesterday morning 59-56 in a screamer. Marion was losing at halftime, built up a double-digit lead, and almost gave the game away at the end. Scott Wood was big with 24 points. Next up for the Giants was the Regional Championship game versus powerhouse Fort Wayne Snider. Snider came into the title game with only one loss on the season. They left the game with still only one loss on the resume after beating Marion 80-59. Snider also beat Marion earlier this season on February 27th 66-82. Marion fell short of their third straight Regional Championship. Scott Wood had 18 points in the loss. The Marion Giants should still be given a hand for having an unbelievable season at 21-4. Hopefully Wood's performance yesterday caught the attention of some of the people who will be voting for the Mr. Basketball award.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Luke Cothron: Profile


Height: 6'9
Weight: 220
Position: PF
Class: 2010
Team: Flora MacDonald (Red Springs, NC)
Stars: Scout and Rivals - 5 Stars (Scout #16, Rivals #17)
Status: Prospect
Offers: NC State, UCONN, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Georgetown, Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma State, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, UAB, Auburn, Cincinnati
AAU Team: Boo Williams


Take a quick glance at Cothron's offer list and you begin to wonder...who hasn't offered Luke Cothron? Luke is a 6'9 'big' who literally fills the roll of the point guard from time to time on his high school and AAU squad. He has no problem putting the ball onto the floor. He has reminded many recruiting analysts of Pervis Ellison with his game and his a haircut. Luke has very good footwork in the post and has a fairly mature post-game repertoire for his age. He has a nice touch around the basket and he also has a nice stroke on his jump shot. Cothron isn't the least bit shy when it comes to poppin from behind the arch. His height and length make him a dangerous shot blocker and a vacuum for rebounds. Cothron was the definition of production this past season for Flora MacDonald. He averaged a ridiculous double-double of 30 points and 20 rebounds a game. Coach Lowe personally offered this young man a scholarship after the Maryland game this season. Luke also made it to the game vs. UNC earlier in the season. The fact that he is familiar with some of the soon-to-be Pack players definitely doesn't hurt our chances. He has played against Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown and speaks very highly of their ability. The addition of Cothron would put together a ridiculous class in 2010.

Sharing the Wealth: "Scott Wood Deserves Mr. Basketball Award"


Chuck Landis is a sports writer for the Marion Chronicle-Tribune and he believes that Scott Wood deserves to be Mr. Basketball for the State of Indiana this year. I don't know if you realize how prestigious of an award this is. The last three names to don the title were Tyler Zeller, Eric Gordon, and Greg Oden. Landis is going to give his vote to Wood but fears that Elston or Hulls will bring home the award due to their Indiana college destination. Nothing is set in stone at this point and a strong performance from Scott this weekend might prove his doubters wrong.

Here is the article where we found Landis' quote.

Wheeler Cruises To State Title


Wheeler was predicted to win the State Championship this year and they did not disappoint the bookies. Wheeler made it a handful of State Championship trophies back in their home gym after last night's 73-53 thrashing of Milton in the title game. Richard Howell capped off his Senior campaign by leading his team with 20 points in his last game donning the Wheeler jersey. Wheeler made it to last night's title game by beating Westlake 71-54. Wheeler finished the season 25-7 and they also claimed their 4th State Title of the decade. One thing is for sure, Sir Rich is coming to State next year with the taste of a State title in his mouth.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Zo To Play in All-Star Game...John Wall To Announce at JBC?


Lorenzo Brown will be playing in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic on April 11th. The game will be in Louisville at the Freedom Hall (7pm). The game will boast 3 McDonald's All-Americans in Peyton Siva, Michael Snaer and Maalik Wayns. 17 of the 20 players in the game are ranked in the Top 100 and 10 of the 20 are in Rivals Top 50. Dave Telep stated that he believes that Zo is one of the Top 30 players in the country in an article previewing the Classic in the Courier-Journal. It is exciting that Lorenzo gets to play in this All-Star game even though he deserved to be in many others.

John Wall has come out and said that he thinks it would be cool to announce his college destination at the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden on April 18. This is not completely etched in stone though. He also told PackPride that if it didn't work out while he was up in New York then he would do it back down here in Raleigh.

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