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Basketball Recruiting

2022 5-star wing MJ Rice leaning towards NC State? (w/ highlights)



MJ Rice is a 2022 5-star recruit playing at Oak Hill Academy. He transferred there from Durham Academy just this past year.

This was just another chapter in what has been an eventful high school career.

Rice was already turning heads as a freshman and was quickly climbing the ranks. His blend of size, speed, athleticism, and brute strength couples with great footwork, a solid handle, and a consistent shot, had college coaches taking notice.

He had Duke, Kentucky, NC State, Louisville, and a slew of other schools already showing serious interest and NBA draft boards penciling him in for a 2023 first rounder. But a torn ACL  in December 2019 changed things.

Suddenly some of the top their schools began to look at other options. Almost all of the schools kept involved with Rice, but there were only a handful that kept recruiting him as hard as they had prior to the injury.

The surgery went well after 9 months of rehab, Rice was back. But questions remained if he’d be able to regain his lateral quickness and his athleticism.

If you’ve gotten to watch any of his games recently, you’d see that MJ Rice is back.

While he’s likely still only at about 85-90%, he’s still the most dominant player on the floor almost every night, and he’s not even a senior yet.

This kid has it all. Barring any more setbacks, it’s hard to see him not being a superstar at both the college and the pro level. He’s got the size, the speed, the hops, the shot, and man is he strong.

Coming in at 6’5 and 225 lbs, Rice seeks contact. He’s an extremely physical player, forcing defenders to brace for contact. Sometimes he’ll deliver it, and sometimes he’ll put you on your heels and pull up a jumper in your face. Watching him against high schoolers almost seems unfair.

Here is how Rice described his game to

“I’m a competitor. I can guard a 1-5 and I can score at all three levels. I’m a dog, so I’m very aggressive and I can create my own shot and shots for others. I can really open up the floor and attract all the attention and I can make plays for my teammates. I can really do it all with my size and ability to score and guard.”

Just this week, 247’s Crystal Ball predictions broke in favor of NC State. Multiple analysts have predicted Rice will end up with the Wolfpack, one of the teams he’s constantly said has recruited him the hardest over the course of his high school career.  (There have also been rumors that he grew up rooting for the Wolfpack.)

Rice would immediately be the best player Keatts has ever brought it and would be a potential program changer, even if he were here for one year. He fits Keatts mold perfectly in that he’s a head down, hard working, no ego, kid who just loves to win.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation, but as of now, it’s looking like the experts feel like Rice may be leaning towards NC State.

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1 year ago

With our track record, hard to get too worked up until he signs, and actually shows up. KK will eventually get some, but hard to get your hopes up early.

Basketball Recruiting

4-Star Guard Laci Steele Commits to NC State



Yesterday the NC State Women’s Basketball team picked up their 3rd verbal commitment in the 2023 recruiting class when 4-Star Laci Steele (6’0″) chose to run with the Wolfpack over USC, Georgia Tech, Northwestern and Texas A&M.

Steele is the #56 overall player nationally according to ESPN. She plays for Edmond North High School in Oklahoma, leading them to their first state title last year, averaging 21.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 steals.

Steele joins two other 4-star commits in the Wolfpack’s 2023 recruiting class:

#33 Guard Zoe Brooks
#44 Post Mallory Collier
#56 Guard Laci Steele

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Basketball Recruiting

4-Star Small Forward Isaiah Evans Sets Unofficial Visit to NC State



According to Jamie Shaw of ON3, 4-Star 2024 Small Forward Isaiah Evans (6’6″/165) is going to be taking an Unofficial Visit to NC State.

“I have unofficial visits set up with Georgia, Clemson, and NC State,” Evans said. (ON3)

247Sports ranks Evans as the #16 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, the #5 Small Forward and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina. Evans plays for North Mecklenburg in Huntersville, North Carolina.
Here’s what Evans had to say to Shaw about NC State:

NC State: “They let their guys play; they give them a lot of freedom. They’re saying I can come in and be that guy who puts the ball in the basket like I’m doing now. They’re telling me I can be ball dominant there, and my game transitions real well to how they play there. They play fast, get the rebound, push it out, and kick it up; that’s exactly how we play at this high school I’m at right now.” (ON3)

Evans holds offers from NC State, Arkansas, Auburn, Cincy, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Illinois, LSU, Memphis, Missouri, Pitt, Tennessee, Texas A&M, West Virginia and others.


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Basketball Recruiting

NC State Offers 4-Star Point Guard Ty-Laur Johnson



This past weekend, NC State offered a scholarship to 4-Star 2023 Point Guard Ty-Laur Johnson (6’0”/160).

Johnson is a consensus 4-star prospect who will be playing his Senior season at Our Savior Lutheran in the Bronx, New York.

Rivals ranks him as the #54 overall player nationally in the 2023 recruiting class, and ESPN ranks him as the #1 player in the state of New York.

Johnson used to play for St. Benedictine Prep in Newark, New Jersey prior to this year.

On top of the Wolfpack offer, Johnson also holds offers from Creighton, Ole Miss, Pitt, Seton Hall St. John, VCU and DePaul.

Johnson took an Official Visit to Pitt the first weekend of September, and he was scheduled to take on this past weekend to Ole Miss.

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Basketball Recruiting

On3: 4-star combo guard Silas Demary Jr is trending towards an NC State commitment



We’ve discussed 2023 combo guard Silas Demary Jr. quite a bit lately.

We’ve talked about his official visit.

We’ve done an interview with his father.

We’ve done an interview with him.

This was no conincidence. We knew NC State was very high on Demary Jr. and we knew the Raleigh native had a lot of interest in NC State. Since that time, 247 analysts have gone as far as to predict he ends up with the Pack.

Today we have another publication weighing in. On3 posted a piece about which schools are trending in the right direction with Demary Jr. And as you may have guessed, NC State is #1. Here is what they had to say…

“Demary is from Raleigh, about ten miles away from NC State’s campus. Even though they came in late and did not offer the hometown four-star until late July, they have let Demary know he is their guy.

By all accounts, the official visit went well, and there is a growing comfort level from Demary’s end with the program. Keatts is also known for giving his guards a lot of freedom with the ball.”

On3 give NC State a 35% chance of landing the star guard, which is the highest number of any of the other schools. They believe USC and VCU are the other contenders, and while Demary and his father both said location isn’t a deciding factor, this is a kid who played his first couple years in Raleigh at Milbrook (where he won a state championship.)

Today, Demary Jr. is playing in Charlotte at Combine Academy and recently was on campus for his official visit. This is on the heels of him telling us that he’d like to have a decision made before his high school season begins (which is early November).

Most analysts are on the same page here, they believe it’s most likely that he chooses the Wolfpack, which obviously is great news for Keatts and company.

This is a kid who can play both guard spots, and play both well. However, in our opinion more of a PG by nature. He’s good at getting into the lane with his quickness and physicality and either scoring or finding the open man. This is the type of guard Keatts likes. He’s a true combo, giving State flexibility to play him at lead guard, or move him off the ball and allow him to focus on scoring.

We’ll keep you updated on Demary Jr.’s recruitment as it evolves, but we like the Pack’s chances here and we think he’d fit really well in Keatts system.

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