To think, just a month ago we were hearing a lot of questions about Mark Gottfried. After the Martin twins transferred and news spread that Abu was contemplating leaving, some wondered if the Pack would even put a competitive team on the floor in 2016. They wondered if Gottfried really had what it takes to turn this team around for good.
Today there is a much different tone. Over the past month NC State went from questionable to serious contender. It all started when Abu made it known that he would be returning for his junior year. The bouncy forward was always going to be a key piece for State if they were to make a serious run in the ACC this season, but even with Abu NC State was going to need more pieces. That is when Gottfried somehow pulled off adding Omer Yurtseven. The Turkish big man is a 5 star talent who many think is going to be one and done. He immediately slots in at a high end scoring option and NC State’s starting center.
Those two moves has NC State’s starting 5 looking very dangerous. Dennis Smith Jr, Terry Henderson, Torin Dorn (or Mav Rowan), Abu and Yurtseven. But five or 6 players is not going to win you the ACC. Gottfried was still lacking a backup PG and a backup forward and it looked like they may not be able to land high caliber players at those positions for 2016-17. However, things might be changing on that front.
PG Markell Johnson from Cleveland who was originally slated to be a 2017 recruit has reclassified and rumor is that he’s favoring NC State. With the NBPA going on, news on Johnson will likely be easy to come by over the next day or two. We’ll keep you updated.
Markell Johnson Crystal Ball:
42% – NC State
33% – Louisville
8% – Xavier
8% – Virginia Tech
8% – Texas A&M
— College Basketball (@cbblatest) June 17, 2016
If State were to land Johnson it would be huge. This is a kid who is probably not ready to lead a team at this point in his development, but he’s very close. The tools are all there in abundance and a year as a backup behind Dennis Smith Jr will be very beneficial and likely have him ready by his sophomore season.
If the Pack could have a backup PG committed, it would then come down to finding a backup at forward. Normally Lenard Freeman would be your man, but Nard might be looking at a red shirt year with his leg injury. This leave the Pack in a spot where they need to get some depth. Enter Ted Kapita.
Ted Kapita is a beastly body that could fill in nicely as a backup to Abu. He’s a 6’9, 245 machine. He recently decommitted from SMU and is on NC State’s campus today for an official visit.
4???? Ted Kapita is currently on an official visit to N.C. State, per source. Malik Newman & Markell Johnson visited NCSU recently #wolfpack
— Andrew Slater (@ASlater247) June 17, 2016
He might not be the most athletic big you’ve ever seen, and his footwork and touch aren’t super polished, but he’s a guy who given a season or two could be a major factor in the paint for NC State. We’ll keep tabs on the situation as it is currently unfolding.
I just watched NC State commit 4-star Trey Parker take on 5-star de-commit Rob Dillingham
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.
NC State Offers 4-Star Wing Kris Parker
Yesterday, NC State offered 2023 4-Star Wing Kris Parker (6’8″/175) out of Crossroad Academy in Quincy, Florida.
— Kris Parker (@KrisNooLimit) November 17, 2022
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.
— Issa Bucket (@IssaBucketPro) May 30, 2021
— Issa Bucket (@IssaBucketPro) May 25, 2022
4-Star Commit Trey Parker Signs National Letter of Intent Hours Before End of Early Signing Period
Last night 4-Star 2023 Guard Trey Parker verbally committed to NC State, and he also signed his National Letter of Intent as well, hours before the end of the early signing period, which ended last night at midnight.
2023 guard Treymayne Parker has signed a letter of intent to attend NC State. https://t.co/ygneo1tGlg
— Inside Pack Sports (@InsidePackSport) November 17, 2022
Both Wolfpack commits, Trey Parker and Dennis Parker, have signed their National Letters of Intent.
The fact that Keatts pulled this off right at the wire is beyond impressive. Trey Parker is set to see his national rankings soar in his Senior season, and was expected to see his offer sheet, which wasn’t all that impressive, expand. Parker is one of the more underrated talents in the 2023 recruiting class.
Incredible job by Keatts to get Parker to sign hours before the early signing period ended.
You can check out Parker’s insane VIDEO VAULT here.