Monday, September 21, 2009

Sharing The Wealth: ACC Rookies to Watch

Robbi Pickeral of the Charlotte Observer put out an article over the weekend, highlighting the newcomers and explaining which freshman are poised for a big time role this upcoming season, and why. This season the landscape of the ACC will look a lot different than prior years. A good portion of last year's ACC stars were either seniors or have decided to enter the NBA draft, leaving a ton of questions for teams looking to rebuild. NC State is one of those teams. The article highlights one time Wolfpack recruit, Derrick Favors, who signed with the Yellow Jackets in late spring.

The Wolfpack player that they choose to make the biggest impact (with Lorenzo Brown out of the picture for '09) is Richard Howell. Sir Rich is the Pack's next highest rated recruit and comes in with a reputation for a knack to mix it up in the trenches. Howell is a big kid, however he entered camp a few pounds heavier than many expected and is in the process of getting down to his optimum playing weight. Here is a short excerpt from the article.

RICHARD HOWELL, N.C. State: Let the rebuilding continue. Without point guard Lorenzo Brown - who's relegated to Hargrave Military Academy this year - the 6-8 Howell will be counted on to show there is hope for coach Sidney Lowe's Wolfpack.

In the "Other Notables in the ACC," the Charlotte Observer mentions the Wolfpack's late sign, DeShawn Painter. Many forget about Painter's pure ability. Coming up in high school, Painter was a top 15 player and possessed the upside to become an elite prospect in the 2009 class. A back injury halted those hopes, as a bad back hampered his play against some of the elite bigs in the class, dropping DeShawn considerably in the rankings. Today he's healthy and impressing the coaching staff, and the returning players by playing fearless and relentless under the boards and showing all that he isn't afraid to mix it up.


22 Responses to "Sharing The Wealth: ACC Rookies to Watch"
  1. backdpack said...
    September 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    It never surprises me when the N&O or Charlotte Obs. bad mouth NC State. That being said this team has not proved anything yet. They need to stay hungry, and play with a chip on their shoulders. I personally feel this team will surprise many but will need to play hard and smart every play. We are not so talented that players can take games, halves, or even minutes off. Point guard is still the key to the offense and the backcourt is also the key to defense. We can not afford to play "matadore" defense on the perimeter and put our bigs in bad situations.

  2. Pack Leader said...
    September 21, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Very exctied about Painter considering his late commitment and only 2 years ago he was a top 15 recruit looking at anywhere in the nation. WPH has been hinting at him looking at the wing, which could be an interesting idea, but Id rather train him at the block and let him beable to pull bigmen away from the basket, yet have some good lowpost moves.

    I kinda feel in the dark about Howell, not aton of footage on him and his commitment was so long ago not alot of excitment about him but he could really be a dark horse. If he can get down to a playable weight yet still hold his own down low he could really suprise alot of people.

    Im most shocked we didnt see anything on Scott Wood. Some articles ive read puts him in the stop 5 freshman based on his potential and the position being wide open for him. If he can get use to shooting over taller defenders yet shoot like he did in HS, he could be an extremly valuable piece that can strech the D and help break a zone D, which killed us last year so many times because of a lack of perimeter shooting...

    Either way I expect these 3 players to have to make a big contribution...

  3. JAB77 said...
    September 21, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    How big of an issue is Howell's weight? It's disappointing that he's not in the shape he needs to be in to be ready to play big minutes.

  4. redfred said...
    September 21, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    ^PL, I wouldn't be too worried about Wood not being mentioned.
    I don't really need the sports media's hype, as a matter of fact, I'd rather see all of these new Wolfpack players coming in under the radar, and going kind of unnoticed early on.

    The players are now all at their respective universities and the competition for their services is long past, I can wait until the season starts to see which ones are going to be real factors on the BB court.

  5. Pack Leader said...
    September 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    I agree RF, Ill take an overachiever vs a big mac player who never lives up to the hype!!!

    I do know one thing though... I hope Painter,Howell,Smith are already planning on headhunting Favors to prove he made a BIG MISTAKE!!! I still dont see GT winning more than 18-19 games, even with the "best freshman" in the league...

  6. ppack3 said...
    September 21, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    First, you have to earn respect. I expect that this team is hungry for it. Painter, Howell and Wood are going to turn some heads. I expect all three to see plenty of minutes with Costner Fells and McCauley exiting.

    Wood has the unique opportunity to become our best long range bomber very quickly. Mays and CJ Williams can drain them from deep, but not like Wood. Mays, Javi and Farnold just need to set him up when he finds an open look. If that happens, look out. Wood has plenty of height to get his shot off on the perimeter, even in this league.

    The next few years promise to be more exciting than were the past two. I'm looking forward to progress this year and a jump forward in the next 2-3 years. You can do it, Sid! Go State!

  7. Jose said...
    September 21, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Why don't we just go out and say "It's official, nobody that is supposedly in the know predicts that Scott Wood contributes at such a high level".

    How much would you bet that if you were in the same room as one of these talking heads and you asked him directly about Scott Wood: the talented Hooiser state product coming to NC State, you would get a...

    (fumbles around for index card in cheap sports coat then finally pulls it out to read). He is a nice player. In 3 or 4 years he will be a good role player, not an all ACC type, but a nice player.

    As you scratch your head you wonder if you've heard this retort before.

  8. Anonymous said...
    September 21, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    I personally think Painter is gonna have more impact than Howell...don't get me wrong Howell is gonna be big for us, but Ive seen Deshawn play and its scary how long and athletic he is for a kid with that kind of strength. He is gonna be a rude awakening for his defenders. He can run with the guards but is fierce in the low block.

  9. Anonymous said...
    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    dude's a beast in the team pics, he's got 20 pounds on smith. i'm sure he'll have plenty of time to drop a few pounds to optimum game weight.

  10. Eric said...
    September 21, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Anyone heard how Josh Davis is doing in these pickup games? I have heard about everyone else, but very little about the kid.

    For some reason, I think he is another kid (along with Wood) where other teams wonder who the kid is and why he wasn't recruited more heavily.

  11. Pack Leader said...
    September 21, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    I agree Anon.

    Painter will rely on natural athleticism and length where as I feel Howell will be a skill low block guy who will need some time to mature and hone in his skills. I can see Howell very much like Smith but contributing more his freshman year...

    Just let Vandenberg battle against Painter and Smith every day and in a year he will be ready to test the waters IMO. Honestly, I dont see a reason to not redshirt him, Esp if the big men stay healthy all year. The year to get accustomed to the States and ACC level of play could be very benificial. Then you have a 7'1" C who is ready to play in the ACC style and is use to the players... Take the TOB approach and build depth...

  12. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 PM

    Eric -

    From everything I've heard Josh Davis has been working extremely hard. He has played solid defense and shown extreme athleticism. He apparently doesn't look like the glorified bench player that many people were fussing about.

  13. redfred said...
    September 21, 2009 at 5:43 PM

    Totally agree Jose.

    You are exactly right, the talking heads can paint any picture they want. And, 99.99% of the time they will undoubtably cater to masses. If a kid like Wood had committed know where, the talking heads would all over his "sleeper potential". I just hope that at least some these kids realize what we're talking about and are as determined as Ryan Harrow is in proving themselves on the BB court.

    I don't think there is any doubt that we're now seeing an influx of players with a different attitudes about who they are, and what they really want to accomplish out on the BB court. We're not quite there yet, but the pieces are coming together

  14. WolfCamel said...
    September 21, 2009 at 5:46 PM

    Richard Howell is not overweight, I don't know why people keep mentioning that. He may need to be better conditioned, but weight isn't the problem.

  15. redfred said...
    September 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    ^WPH, I remember those negative nancy comments too well, and I would absolutely love it if Davis can manage to break into the rotation.

    In case the nancy's haven't been paying attention, there is already a pretty sizable, and growing, stack of evidence that shows that this coaching staff has a real eye for spotting talent.

  16. theSled said...
    September 21, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    I think 266 is probably too heavy for Howell. I think he'll be fine but will probably need to lose a few to be at his best. It will be interesting to see how these young guys fit into the team early.

  17. ppack3 said...
    September 21, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    If my name were Nancy, I'd be quite offended. Every Nancy I've ever known has been very upbeat about things! ;)

    Seriously, Davis needs to get into the rotation quickly. As premier talent starts rolling into Raleigh, he runs the risk of being lost in the shuffle. I feel like he's going to be an upgraded Simon Harris-type guy. Hustle, heart and Defense. He has a great opportunity to prove everyone wrong and it sounds like that's exactly what he wants.

    From videos I've seen, he has a mean dribble drive, which we desperately need for kick-outs to Mays and Wood (this year. But, he's not going to set the world on fire by backing ACC SF's down and running post moves on them like he was asked to do in High School. This year, and for the rest of his career at NCSU, he is going to fight a bunch of guys for playing time, IMO. He can do it, though. It's been done before.

    Go State!!

  18. Eric said...
    September 21, 2009 at 9:56 PM


    Thanks for the comments on Davis. I like his chances and look forward to seeing him (and everyone else) in action.

    As for Howell being too big, tough to tell. Was big baby too big? Sir Charles? I have seen more video of Davis than I have of Howell, so I can't say that the weight doesn't suit him well.

    Either way, I am sure the coaches and the conditioning will help him find whatever weight he needs to be. Either way, I like the presence we should have down low this year.

  19. Dof87 said...
    September 22, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    If Painter, Howell, and Wood are the real deal, then they will provide Coach Lowe with something he hasn't had since year 1, the ability to make adjustments. The versatility of skillsets should help a lot. If Davis is also ready to go, then even better. Next year even better with the additional guard talent.

    Come to think of it, considering the fact that just 4 years ago Sid had never coached a college game, had never recruited a single kid and had zero recruiting contacts, its impressive what he's done in such a short time. Its pretty amazing that he may haul in a top 5 class next year.

  20. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    September 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    ^ Very good point. I think you see a team this season of much more complete basketball players. All the guys he's brought in can handle the ball, pass the ball, and truly understand the game.

    We've been saying this for a while, but the way Sidney has been recruiting, you have to give him some credit. I know everyone on here absolutely loves NC State and if they had the ability coming out of high school, most of you would have ended up in red and white no matter who recruited you. The thing to think about is that almost all of these kids don't know NC State like you or I know it. It's an ACC school yes, but it's a tough sell to tell a kid he should come to State instead of Kentucky, or instead of UNC. The fact that top players nationally are choosing NC State says something about the history of this University, but with the way kids are these days, it says much, much more about Sidney Lowe as a person.

  21. redfred said...
    September 22, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    WPH, what you're talking about is exactly what drove me crazy about the last coaching regime. That history has always been sitting right there, it was right there and ready to draw upon with EVERY SINGLE RECRUIT and EVERY SINGLE DAY in the decade before Sidney Lowe arrived back on campus to take over the position. The fact that that history was ignored and basically shunned did more damage than any "five in a row" could ever make up for. Sendek and the entire BB program could have profited all along, it was FREE and there for the taking, and Sidney Lowe, or whoever took over after Sendek, could have been so much better off and further along when they took over the reins.

    Sidney Lowe has come in here in the learning mode all the way around, but there has never been any doubt that he has NC State first and foremost, and it shows whenever you hear young kids/recruits constantly bringing up NC State's tradition in their interviews. That was not happening before Lowe came back to NC State. Our history once has again become a major selling point, why it was never even mentioned in the previous decade, is totally beyond me???!!!

  22. Anonymous said...
    September 23, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Dof87:I agree truly amazing what Sid has done in such a short period of time


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