(CJ Leslie , pictured above, was given over $400 from former Wolfpacker and current booster, Eric Leak. Leak is now banned from stepping foot on NC State’s campus)
USA Today ran this article last night about NC State banning the booster (Eric Leak) who gave money to both CJ Leslie and Tracy Smith.
According to the article Leak (a former NC State wide receiver) was given notice (in 2011) that he was to stay away from NC State after they found out about the benefits he was handing out to Leslie (and previously Smith). Leslie was suspended a few games and it seemed like it was over with. Then Leak was caught again, this time after contacting Wolfpack football standout David Amerson in 2012. That’s when NC State send him a cease and desist letter, banning them from the University and saying this:
“N.C. State will not tolerate aberrant conduct from an agent, runner or financial adviser. Furthermore, N.C. State will seek to take all actions necessary to protect its interests and to preserve the eligibility of its student-athletes.”
That should have been the end of it, but it wasn’t. Yesterday news broke about Eric Leak’s wife, Emily, had her car ticketed while on NC State campus. This put up another red flag that maybe the Leak’s aren’t complying to the University’s request. Here is what NC State sent to the Leak’s after the most recent episode:
Dear Mr Leak
This letter and the attached notice is a trespass warning from NCSU Campus Police Department. We have been recently made aware of a disassociation letter issued to Mr Leak by the NCSU Athletic Department on November 23, 2011. The Transportation Department at NCSU has a record of one or more of your vehicles being on campus and receiving parking citations for violations in areas are Athletic Facilities as recently as May 2013. In addition, a background check of Mr Leak has revealed a current Order of Arrest out of Union County from 2003. Due to these situations and your non-affiliation with the university, you are hereby trespassed from ALL OWNED OR LEASED NCSU PROPERTY and not allowed to be on such property. This order is in effect as of this date and will be in effect immediately.
If you feel this action has been unfairly taken upon you there are instructions on the reverse side to appeal the trespass warning. If you wish to appeal, follow those instructions to the letter, but do not return to campus until you are instructed that you are allowed to do so or you will be arrested for trespassing.
OUR TAKE: So what does this all mean? And why the heck is PI posting this? It makes NC State look bad!
We’re posting this because, in our opinion, this makes NC State look good. With all the news about boosters and agents handing out money and universities getting caught with their pants down, NC State is making news by cracking down on these people. No one can stop individuals from contacting players but if players know that it’s illegal and the university is getting aggressive in trying to stop this, then the Wolfpack is doing their job. Now, to be clear, this news doesn’t incriminate Leak or prove he’s doing anything wrong. His wife may have been on campus for any number of reasons, however it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Ever since Debbie Yow got here the University has been on lock down from agents. Even former players who are now agents have had their season tickets removed and haven’t been allowed to get tickets left for them by friends in the University. I, for one, am impressed with the lengths that Yow and the administration have gone to make sure that the Wolfpack doesn’t end up like a certain lawless institution down the road.
NC State vs. UMES: BY THE NUMBERS
NC State defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 93-61 on Wednesday night. Here’s a look at the Wolfpack victory BY THE NUMBERS.
NC State dominated in all 4 Factors that lead to victory. They shot better, won the turnover battle, grabbed more offensive boards and got to the free throw line more.
Six NC State players scored in double figures. Last time that happened? March 6, 2020.
Junior Jayden Taylor led the Wolfpack in scoring with 21 points, shooting an impressive 8 of 11 from the field, and 3 of 5 from three. Over the past 2 games, Taylor is shooting 68% from the field and 63% from beyond the arc. Taylor has now led NC State in scoring in 3 of their 8 games, and is averaging a team high 14.9 points on the season. He is also shooting an insane 50% from deep, which is obviously a team high. What makes that number so impressive, is the fact he shot 32.6% from three last year at Butler.
Senior DJ Burns had 15 points, and was back to his normal self, shooting an efficient 7 of 9 from the field. Over the prior two games, Burns had made only 40% of his shots, which isn’t like him.
Senior Casey Morsell had 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting (1-4 3PT) and 5 rebounds. Morsell is shooting 36.1% from three on the year.
Sophomore MJ Rice made his NC State debut, and made the most of his 10 minutes of playing time, scoring 11 points and grabbing a team high 6 rebounds (2 offensive boards). He shot 5 of 6 from the field.
Sophomore LJ Thomas continued to provide a spark for the Pack, and like Rice, maximized his playing time, scoring 10 points in 9 minutes of play. He also had a team high 3 steals.
Senior DJ Horne had 10 points, shooting 4 of 7 from the field, and 2 of 5 from three-point land. Horne also led NC State with 4 assists, and now leads the team in assists on the year.
Junior Ben Middlebrooks picked up his first start of the season. Middlebrooks and Junior Mohamed Diarra ended up playing equal minutes (14). Diarra was seemingly more productive, with 8 points and 5 boards (averaging a team high 6.9), compared to Middlebrooks’ 2 points and 4 boards. Before you write off Middlebrooks’ impact in his first game as a starter, NC State was +23 with him on the court, which was a team high, compared to Diarra’s +7.
The Wolfpack will be back in action next Tuesday night in PNC Arena, against UT Martin at 7pm.
NC State’s NET Ranking After Defeating Maryland Eastern Shore
NC State defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 93-61 last night, improving to 6-2 on the season. Ironically, they fell one spot in the NET Rankings, from 51st to 52nd.
NC State’s two losses were against #1 BYU (!) and Ole Miss (#89). BYU was a Quad 1 loss, and Ole Miss was a Quad 2 loss.
The Wolfpack currently rank 7th in the ACC.
ACC Teams in NET Rankings
52) NC State
71) Virginia Tech
91) Boston College
105) Wake Forest
107) Florida St.
159) Georgia Tech
212) Notre Dame
For a refresher on how the NET Rankings are calculated:
Using the quadrant system, which was in its fourth season in 2020-21, the quality of wins and losses will be organized based on game location and the opponent’s NET ranking.
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (NCAA)
Kansas Transfer MJ Rice Makes Quite the Impression in his NC State Debut
We’ve seen a lot of new faces on the NC State Men’s Basketball team this season, but one face we haven’t seen yet is Kansas Transfer Guard/Forward M.J. Rice (6’5″/215)…until tonight.
Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons earlier this Fall, and when he returned, he had a little catching up to do. It wasn’t until today during shoot around that Rice and Keatts both knew that tonight would be his debut.
“He’d been practicing for the last couple of weeks, and you know, I was just trying to figure out when he was ready. He and I, we talked a little bit after shoot around today and I said ‘MJ you ready to go tonight?'” said Kevin Keatts. “and he had this big huge smile on his face. He’s like ‘You sure you ready?’ He’s like ‘Ask me some plays.’ So he and I sit over there on the scores table at the Dale and we went over plays and I was like ‘You know what, you are ready to play.'”
Out of all the transfers Keatts brought in this offseason, Rice might have the highest ceiling. Rice was a 5-Star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, and ON3 ranked him as the #24 overall prospect nationally. He committed to Kansas, where he played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman in 2022, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. Rice was a huge pickup in the Transfer Portal, ranked as the #2 player in the Portal, with three years of eligibility remaining.
Rice also isn’t new to the area either, playing high school ball at Durham Academy, before heading off to Oak Hill Academy and Prolific Prep.
In a short sample size, Rice gave us a glimpse of what the hype is all about tonight. He scored 11 points in 11 minutes of play, also grabbing 6 boards. Rice was 5-6 from the field, and hit the only three he took. In the most electrifying play of the night, Rice took it coast-to-coast, finishing with a soaring dunk.
“He gives us another dimension. We’ve been playing with six of our new dudes. Now we added the seventh and I’m happy for him. He’s going to help us. He’s going to be really good for us.” said Keatts. “I said this on the radio just now…we’ve got some older guys, but two really good young players in Dennis Parker Jr. and also MJ Rice. It was good for MJ to see the ball going in. I think he played 10 minutes had 11 points. He made a three. He had a big time dunk, so I was excited for him.”
“He gives us the ability to play a little bit more small ball. If we have to, we can play him and Dennis Parker both at the three and four. Really good defender at that position and can rebound the basketball,” said Keatts. “It’s going to take time. I’m trying to figure out how to kind of put him into the rotation, and now we’ve added another really good exciting piece to it, but it was good to have him back out there.”
Welcome to the Pack MJ! We’re glad you’ve arrived!