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Rawle Alkins has been one of the fastest risers in the 2016 recruiting class.  Last summer he was ranked 27th and now he is ranked 9th in the nation by Rivals.  Alkins has the type of game that demands respect, as he is 6’5″ and weights around 210 pounds.  His athletic ability gives him a great advantage, but it’s Rawle’s skill work that has been making waves.  Lets take a look at how Rawle would fit in at NC State and in Coach Gottfried’s system.

Offensively

Alkins has so many physical gifts that it is easy to overlook just how skillful he is.  As I have watched tape on Rawle it is apparent that he works on the fundamentals of the game.  He is extremely comfortable playing off the ball on the wing but is equally adept with the rock in his hand.  He is virtually “unguardable” when he attacks the basket, as he is powerfully built and finishes with both hands admirably.  It is hard to distinguish at times if he is right or left handed.

It is obvious that Gottfried would love to have Rawle playing on the wing and I am sure he wouldn’t mind him initiating the offense at times.  If you recall how the offense looked with Lorenzo Brown making the guard cut, imagine how Rawle would be as he would be going full steam ahead to the basket.  Check out this finish:

He throws it down with his off hand with ease! Few, if any in college basketball players, possess the physical gifts that Rawle has.  The power part of his game is what gets most of the headlines, but it is his polish as a scorer that has colleges fighting over his commitment.

Coach Gottfried loves shooters and uses many wrinkles to get guys open.  Alkins would fit in beautifully as he can run the baseline like Turner and Wood did in past seasons, and he can capitalize from distance.  Shooting was a question in Alkins repertoire, but he answered doubters this summer as he made 35% from three in the Adidas Nations Tournament.  In the championship game he hit 6 of 8 from three.

One thing that Rawle would bring to the table more so than Ralston and Scott is his ability to curl and score in the paint.  Multi-dimensional scorers are becoming a rarity in today’s game, and that is why it would be such a big get for the Pack to land Alkins.

Defensively

Rawle has the ability to be an elite defender given his athletic ability and size.  However, he needs some seasoning on this end of the court.  He has improved in this facet of the game as he showed in the Adidas Nations when he held fellow 5-star recruit Kobi Simmons to 2 of 13 shooting.  I am positive at the next level Alkins will become a force on defense and should be able to defend point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards.

Basketball is trending towards switching pick and rolls and it is not out of the question that Alkins fits this bill perfectly given his size and length.  It is such an advantage having guys that can switch as it limits confusion and mismatches.  If Gottfried can land Rawle, think about the number of lineups he could have at his disposal.  There wouldn’t be a single team the Pack could not matchup against.

Intangibles

It is a skill to play hard, and it’s a skill that Rawle excels at.  Many scouts have declared that Alkins has the best motor in the 2016 class, because he plays hard 100% of the time.  It is key that a player brings his best effort every time out.  The ACC is the best conference in the country and in order to win in the ACC a team must play with heart and intensity each game.  Rawle will demand that his teammates play with the same intensity he does.

Gottfried loves high energy guys.  When you look at his recruits this is apparent.  Cody and Caleb are high energy players.  BeeJay Anya, Lennard Freeman, Cat Barber, and transfers Trevor Lacey, Terry Henderson, and Torin Dorn are as well.  All of these guys play hard and at times a little too fast, but Gottfried wants his guys to play all out.  If you make a mistake, you better make it at 100%.

Improvement

Rawle needs to work on making his moves quickly.  Sometimes Alkins can get a little complacent with the ball when he catches it on the wing.  He must not rely strictly on his athletic ability.  Right now he is almost always the most gifted athlete on the court, and that will change once he reaches college.  He will have to adjust and be strong with the ball in his sweep through and triple-threat position.

The other aspect that he must improve is his playmaking.  As of now Alkins has always been the best option to score, which has limited his development in setting up his teammates.  If Rawle wants to become a complete guard he must learn how to read defenses and make the best play at a given time. It may be to shoot a mid-range jumper, a floater, or to pass.  This will come with time.

Summary

Alkins is a 5-star recruit for a reason.  He is an elite player that any program would love to have, but NC State offers him a unique opportunity to make his own history.  Coach Gottfried is doing an excellent job at restoring NC State’s tradition and has already gotten a commitment from Dennis Smith Jr..  Alkins could be a part of the greatest recruiting class in the history of NC State, and could help take the Pack to places they haven’t been in a long time.

This past weekend Alkins was on campus and posted a picture with Smith and Udoka Azubuike, all wearing NC State jerseys.  It is nice to dream about these three teaming up in Red-and-White.  Don’t expect a commitment from Alkins any time soon as it is widely expected that he will wait until spring to announce.  In the meantime you can check him out as he is playing at Word of God in Raleigh this season.

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BCBoucher
BCBoucher
8 years ago

Come to Raleigh, Rawle!!

TimothyLynch
TimothyLynch
8 years ago

I can’t get Hawkeye Whitney out of my mind when I think about Rawle…. I know Hawk played more inside, but his strength and mid range game was special for a 6’5 guy… Rawle seems like a “take no prisoner” type player who will hurt you if you try to stop him at the rim! Hawkeye did not care about rims or arms, both were victims of his power and relentless tenacity on the court! Rawle, Raleigh really loves you…. Especially those at NC STATE!

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