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Pack Announces Hoops Class, Gottfried Talks

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RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State men’s basketball program has added Abdul-Malik Abu and twin brothers Caleb and Cody Martin during the 2013 NLI Early Signing Period. Each player has signed a National Letter of Intent and will suit up for NC State in the fall of 2014.

“We’re really excited about this class. With two perimeter players and a versatile, inside-outside forward, we feel we really addressed some needs,” head coach Mark Gottfried said. “All three guys play with great energy and enthusiasm. But also, they all have great character and will be great assets to NC State University.

“We think all three players will have great careers in our program at NC State.”

Abu, a 6-8 power forward out of Boston, is among the nation’s highest ranked forwards. He was ranked 30th in the nation by ESPN.com, 50th by Rivals and 52nd by Scout. Abu, recruited by assistant coach Orlando Early, plays at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., for coach Mike Olson. He also played in the Mary Kline Classic Underclassmen Game in Philadelphia last spring. He played on the Elite Youth Basketball League circuit with Expressions Elite for coach Ty Boswell.

“Malik plays with a high motor and has tremendous athleticism,” Gottfried said. “He has great strength and can play near the basket and also step out and shoot. ”

The Martin brothers are 6-6 small forwards from Mocksville, N.C., where they both earned all-state honors at Davie County High School under coach Mike Abscher before transferring to powerhouse high school program Oak Hill Academy. Caleb Martin is ranked 46th in the country by Scout and 59th by both ESPN.com and Rivals. Cody Martin is also rated nationally by ESPN.com and Rivals.

“Caleb is a terrific outside shooter and a great athlete,” the NC State head coach said. “He fits perfectly as a wing player in our system.”

Gottfried added: “Cody is a versatile player and a very much improved player. He’s improved greatly during the last 6-8 months.”
The Martin twins, who were primarily recruited by assistant coach Rob Moxley, are the latest standout Wolfpack recruits out of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Current Pack players Lennard Freeman and Tyler Lewis are former Oak Hill players. The Martin twins played for the very successful AAU program Team Loaded, mentored by Ty White.

The pair of brothers is also NC State’s first set of men’s basketball twins since Jim and Joe Mills played for the Pack in 1941-42. The Mills brothers, from nearby Apex, left State after one season to play professional baseball.

The Wolfpack (1-1 overall) will host Campbell Saturday, Nov. 16 at PNC Arena at 7 p.m.

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Basketball Recruiting

4-Star G Austin Swartz Picks Up an Offer from NC State on Visit

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4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Austin Swartz (6’5″/180) took an unofficial visit to NC State yesterday, and he left with a scholarship offer.

Swartz plays for Cannon School in Concord, North Carolina. ON3 ranks him as the #65 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and the #7 player in the state of North Carolina.

He already holds offers from Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia, Illinois, Houston and others.

 

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Basketball Recruiting

247: NC State’s 2023 Recruiting Class Ranks 18th After Miranda Commitment

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After the commitment of 4-Star Big Man Isaiah Miranda last night (who will be able to start playing in a week for the Wolfpack), NC State’s 2023 Men’s Basketball Recruiting Class ranks 18th nationally according to 247Sports.

(247)

Currently, the Wolfpack’s 2023 class ranks 2nd in the ACC behind Duke.

For perspective, Rivals ranks NC State’s class 20th, and ON3 ranks it 23rd.

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I just watched NC State commit 4-star Trey Parker take on 5-star de-commit Rob Dillingham

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I was pretty crushed when Rob Dillingham, the #1 PG in the country, de-committed from NC State.

Keatts really needs to stack some talent for next season with Smith, Joiner,  Clark, Burns, Mahorcic, and Morsell all likely gone. The only guys you can count on to come back are Breon Pass, Ernest Ross, Greg Gantt, and LJ Thomas. And while those guys are good players, that group is certainly going to need some help.

Now, of course, you have the portal, but Keatts needs to start landing some big-time high school talent. The narrative was that it was hard to recruit with the NCAA sanctions hanging over the program, but how true was that? This was the offseason we’d find out.

It took a while, but all of a sudden the dominoes are falling and Keatts is adding some key pieces.

First up was Dennis Parker. He’s a 4 star forward who is athletic, long, and can stretch the defense with a good outside shot. This is a key position for Keatts, but so is SG. With Terquavion Smith leaving, there are a lot of points to replace.

That’s why the commitment of Trey Parker is so important.

We’ve been calling Parkers a 4-star  because On3 has him ranked as such. However, both Rivals and 247 have him ranked as a 3-star. Why would Keatts take a 3-star at such an important position at this stage of the game?

I watched his highlights. I quickly understood.

Trey Parker is not a 3-star. Trey Parker might not be a 4-star. At the end of the day, he’s going to be very close to being a 5-star guard. That’s how good he is. In fact, he’s is very similar to Terquavion Smith. Both have unlimited 3-point range, very stright-up, nice elevation jumpers, both have good handles and both are super athletic. Smith might have a little tighter handle, but Parker is more athletic. They are both elite scorers.

Parker passed my eye test with flying colors. In fact, his highlight reel is one of the best I’ve ever seen for a kid coming to NC State.

So how could 247 and Rivals miss this bad? I had to watch a full game. Maybe he was mistake-prone, or maybe he was a really poor decision-maker. I decided to watch a full game where he took on Robert Dillingham, the 5-star PG who decommitted to NC State. This will really be a test.

My take on the Parker vs Dillingham game

First off, Robert Dillingham is elite. I mean, he’s NBA-ready right now. He might not ever play a game in college and if he does, it’s going to be the Robert Dillingham show. If you’re into team basketball or if you want a player to help build the program, Dillingham won’t be it. He’s going to be more of a Dennis Smith type in my opinion. He’s going to have some gaudy numbers, but I’m not sure how interested players will be in playing with him.

This wasn’t just my take. The announcers had this to say about the 5 star guard in this game

“Rob Dillingham. Like, I’ve never seen a green light like this. I don’t know what coach said to that man, but he must’ve said ‘Do whatever you want to do.’ and he’s doing whatever he wants to to.”

Dillingham went off. He scored 36 points. He had some insane highlights, but all in all, it was a one-man show. Oh, and his team ended up losing.

Meanwhile, Trey Parker looked legit.

It seems as if Parker took everyone by surprise recently because the announcer said “When Trey Parker got drafted to the Cold Hearts (Overtime Elite League team), I didn’t expect him to have this role, but he’s kind of taken on a lead role and he’s doing a good job.”

Parker finished with 18 points and 4 assists and was hounding guys on defense. In fact, he stripped Dillingham at midcourt and went down for a massive dunk. There weren’t any red flags with his game. He’s strong with the ball, he’s unselfish, he locks in on defense, he will be one of the most exciting dunkers NC State has ever had and he’s got unlimited range.

Oh, and NC State fans are going to love him. Here is what he had to say at halftime.

” I’m feeling good, man. Me and my team gotta play as a team on defense. And we got to talk on defense also. Defense wins games… We gotta talk more. communicate on defense. Defense is everything. Our offense is great right now.”

This kid has a chip on his shoulder. Maybe it’s the 3-star ranking? Maybe it’s because he only had offers from Kansas State, Mississippi State and TCU. Who knows, but this is another huge get by Keatts.

Remember, Terquavion Smith was a 3 star when he committed to the Pack and now here’s Parker committing with 3 stars (and just about ready to rise in the ranks.) Keatts is at it again, scooping up high-level talent before others realize it.

If you ask me, Parker has enough talent to come in and be a high-impact player from day 1. He might not be as flashy as Robert Dillingham, but he’s the guy I’d rather have. He’s going to be team-focused, hungry, and excited to play for fans in his home state.

Watch the whole game above and let me know what you think.

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NC State Offers 4-Star Wing Kris Parker

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Yesterday, NC State offered 2023 4-Star Wing Kris Parker (6’8″/175) out of Crossroad Academy in Quincy, Florida.

Parker also holds offers from Villanova, UCF, Illinois, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Virginia Tech, St. Johns, Florida St, Kansas St, Ole Miss, Florida and others.

ESPN ranks Parker as the #58 overall player nationally in the 2023 recruiting class, and the #5 player in the state of Florida.

Parker took an Official Visit to Alabama in September, and just took one to Villanova this past weekend, and picked up an offer afterwards.

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