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AAU and exposure tournaments seem to be taking over, especially since the big time shoe companies have begun sponsoring their own tournaments and camps. If one looks at a Top 100 recruit’s summer it would be astonishing at how many games and miles these kids are playing and traveling.

Every weekend seems to be littered with an event; whether it be an Adidas, Nike, or Under Armour sponsored camp or tournament. It is no secret that the all mighty dollar is responsible for the chaotic pace and seemly endless tournaments all over the country throughout the summer. The shoe companies have more influence in today’s recruiting than it did a couple of years ago. Now the company sponsoring the school has a big pull in whether a kid will look into their program.

Look at the Maverick Rowan recruitment, it was rumored that his dad wanted him at a Nike school but he preferred Adidas. Dennis Smith Jr. has played on an Adidas sponsored team and therefore was a staple at all the Adidas tournaments and exposure camps. This is another reason why many predict that he will end up at NC State.

However, one has to question if this is in the best interest of the high school athlete. On one hand there is no doubt that these camps can be a great springboard for a student athlete to gain an opportunity at a four-year degree. Tyson Carter is a case-in-point at how a strong summer showing can catapult one’s status. At one point Carter was a lowly rated two-star recruit, but he picked up 12 offers in July alone. Most of these offers from high level D1 programs, NC State included.  Now he’s a four-star recruit The exposure and stage of these events gave him the chance to shine.

Then you have a case of a player getting injured who was setting the country on fire with his elite athleticism and skill in Dennis Smith. Smith could have gotten hurt practicing or playing a pick-up game, but his hectic schedule could have been a factor in him tearing his ACL. Dennis was injured at the Adidas Nations event in Los Angles at the end of July. Leading up to this event Dennis played in the following locations in July alone: Atlanta, New York, Las Vegas, and in between these he went to the Stephen Curry Select Camp in Oakland. He also played in two more tournaments in Myrtle Beach and Richmond.

That is a jammed pack July. One that will take a tole on even the best athletes in the world, especially a teenager who is still developing physically. I am not going to place blame on his schedule completely, but it could have been a factor.

In my opinion, and I am not alone, I think that they should allow for a longer recruiting period for college coaches. This could smooth out the schedule and give recruits more time to recover and practice. I also think that AAU is causing players to be less prepared for college basketball.

Summer is the prime time to get better through skill work and drills, but AAU forces a kid to play so many games that they have little time to devote to getting better. With the travel and the amount of games played, a team cannot have more than a couple of light shoot-arounds and walk-throughs in order to be physically ready for the grueling AAU schedule.

Kobe Bryant has spoken out about how European players are more skilled and developed than U.S. kids. He says the main factor is,

“AAU basketball, Horrible, terrible AAU basketball. It’s stupid. It doesn’t teach our kids how to play the game at all so you wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don’t know how to post. They don’t know the fundamentals of the game. It’s stupid.” (NBC Sports

When asked how this could be corrected he responded,

“Teach players the game at an early age and stop treating them like cash cows for everyone to profit off of,” Bryant said. “That’s how you do that. You have to teach them the game. Give them instruction.”  (NBC Sports

“That’s a deep well because then you start cutting into people’s pockets,” Bryant continued. “People get really upset when you start cutting into their pockets because all they do is try to profit off these poor kids. There’s no quick answer.” (NBC Sports

Unfortunately, Kobe is right.  There is no quick answer as to how this could be ironed out, yet the answer is simple. Cut the schedule down and allow these kids the needed time to get better. Stop treating teenagers like dollar signs and give them an opportunity to grow.

If AAU was cut in half I guarantee that these tournaments would hold much more value. The games would be better, because the individual parts would be better, and the kids would not be fatigued from games and travel. It is common in today’s AAU to see some of the worst displays of basketball, as teams are not coached properly.  In their defense, they do not have the needed time to construct proper principles.

I am pleading for an amendment to the current system. It is going to take more people like Kobe Bryant to stand up and call out the AAU and the companies making kids their cash cows. It will also take the NCAA to make more changes that allow more flexibility in allowing coaches the opportunity to see kids play.

The state of college basketball would undoubtedly improve if kids had more time to devote to the fundamentals and skill development, instead of running and gunning in  glorified pickup games. Kids nowadays are more athletic than in any generation, just think if this athletic ability was coupled with the proper fundamentals. The product on the court would be unprecedented!



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Basketball Recruiting

NC State Offers 4-Star 2026 SF Cole Cloer



NC State offered 4-Star Small Forward Cole Cloer (6’6″175) earlier this week.

247Sports ranks Cloer as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2026 recruiting class, the #10 Small Forward and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina. Cloer plays for Orange High School, which is right down the road, in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Cloer also holds offers from Wake Forest, Mississippi St, App St, High Point and Iowa.

Last season, Cloer averaged 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game for Orange.


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Basketball Recruiting

NC State Men’s Basketball Recruiting Update (9/21/23)



There’s been quite a bit going on in the world of NC State Men’s Basketball recruiting. Below I’ll summarize quite a bit of it.

4-Star Power Forward Kendre Harrison (6’7″/230) out of Reidsville High School (Reidsville, NC) took in the NC State vs. VMI game on Saturday, and walked away with an offer from the NC State Men’s Basketball coaching staff. Harrison already received an offer from the NC State Football coaching staff back in January.

ESPN ranks Harrison as the #20 overall basketball player nationally in the 2026 recruiting class, the #5 Power Forward and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina. Harrison already holds offers from Wake Forest, FSU and Texas A&M. Harrison is the #5 overall football player nationally in the 2026 class according to 247Sports, and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina. Harrison is a unicorn. He projects to be a 5-star prospect in 2 sports.

Did I mention that Harrison is the nephew of former NC State basketball player C.C. Harrison?

On September 12, NC State offered 4-Star 2025 Point Guard Jordan Lowery (6’1″/175) out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He already holds offers from TCU, SMU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, St. Louis, Wichita St, ECU and Virginia Tech. Rivals ranks Lowery as the #110 overall player nationally, and ON3 ranks him as the #9 player in the state of North Carolina. Lowery took an unofficial visit to NC State earlier in the month.

Last week, the coaches were in to visit 4-Star 2025 Small Forward AJ White (6’8″/180) out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Rivals ranks White as the #28 overall player nationally in 2025, and he is the consensus #1 player in the state. White holds offers from NC State, South Carolina, Cincy, Texas, Syracuse, Georgia, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Mississippi St., LSU, FSU, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgetown, Ohio St. and others.


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While the coaching staff was in to see Lowery, they were also checking out 2024 Center Chol Machot (7’0″). ON3 ranks Machot as a 3-star prospect, and the #14 player in the state of North Carolina.

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Basketball Recruiting

4-Star PF David Punch Takes Official Visit to NC State



2024 4-Star Power Forward David Punch (6’7″/190) is on an Official Visit to NC State this weekend.


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Back on August 24, Punch included NC State in his Top-7, which also included Penn St., TCU, UVA, Virginia Tech, TCU, and Xavier. Punch took an Official Visit to Penn State last weekend, and has Official Visits scheduled for the rest of his Top-7, except for VCU.

Apparently Punch has an insane 45-inch vertical.

ON3 ranks Punch as the #97 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and 247Sports ranks him as the #5 player in the state of Texas (Dynamic Prep/Harker Heights)


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Basketball Recruiting

4-Star PF David Punch Sets Official Visit to NC State…Wolfpack Makes Final 7



4-Star 2024 Power Forward David Punch (6’8″/215) announced his Final 7 schools yesterday, and NC State made the cut along with Penn State, TCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, VCU and Xavier.

Punch has scheduled Official Visits to all but VCU in the very near future. He will be taking his Official Visit to NC State on September 15th.

ON3 ranks Punch as the #97 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, the #17 Power Forward and the #8 player in the state of Texas.

NC State offered Punch back on July 21st.

Check out his highlights below.

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