NC State. The school that’s made its modern living as an ACC underdog.
So how does an underdog team turn itself into a proverbial top-dog in one of the toughest conferences in the nation?
Well, you start by getting a group of guys whose motivation comes from being overlooked or underappreciated. Guys who themselves are underdogs. You get enough of those guys, who thrive with that chip on their shoulder and suddenly, you start to win. And once you start winning, those guys get to taste success. Once they get the taste of success, after all the work they’ve put in, well then you’ve created a player addicted to winning.
I only point this out because, on Saturday, two NC State recruits, Breon Pass. (see highlights) and Terquavion Smith (see highlights), will face off against each other in the 3rd round of the 2A North Carolina state playoffs.
Two players who no one was recruiting when Kevin Keatts started recruiting them. Both of whom are now 4-star players. Two players whose high school teams were seeded 5th (Breon Pass & Reidsville) and 9th (Terquavion Smith and Farmville Central) in the brackets and whose teams will now meet in the 3rd round, with the winner heading to the Final Four.
Breon Pass goes for 37, outplays UNC recruit in round 2 win
Reidsville may have been the 5 seed playing against a 13 seed in Kinston High, but the guys over at HoopState (in-depth Highschool basketball coverage) didn’t think Reidsville had much of a chance. This was Breon Pass vs. Dontrez Styles. An NC State commit vs a UNC commit. Of course, everyone was sure the UNC recruit was going to lead his team to victory. But Breon Pass had other plans.
The 2021 NC State PG commit went off, dropping 37 points and bringing in 12 rebounds while leading his team to the next round.
Congrats to the Varsity Boys on their 60-57 Sweet 16 Victory over Kinston! Great team win!!
Breon Pass 37 pts
Yoshua Courts 8 pts
Ste’vian Harrison 4 pts
Eric Neal 3 pts
Rams are home Sat. for an Elite 8 matchup vs. 2x defending State Champs Farmville Central. Game time TBD. pic.twitter.com/ToUbpoTmh3
— Reidsville Basketball (@ReidsvilleBB) February 26, 2021
Terquavion Smith leads cinderella Farmville Central to win with 31 points in win over #1 seed South Granville High.
Meanwhile, 2021 SG commit, Terquavion Smith was busy knocking off the #1 seed, seemingly all by himself.
— Phenom Hoop Videos (@PhenomMixtapes) February 26, 2021
Now the two will meet. Both kids who were overlooked at the start of high school, and whose teams have been overlooked for most of this season are meeting head-on. Something has to give. However, whatever happens, NC State fans win.
The Pack is getting two elite basketball players whose skill set is advanced, but whose competitive nature is off the charts. Keatts isn’t strictly recruiting talent in Raleigh, he’s picking skilled kids with specific character traits. Low ego, hard-working, gym rats with a chip on their shoulder. Tomorrow we’ll get to see two of those guys in action.
WATCH: NC State Signee Paul McNeil Drops 50 & 17 Against First Flight
NC State 2024 4-star signee Paul McNeil had himself a night, posting an insane double-double, scoring 50 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in Richmond County’s 90-45 dismantling of First Flight last night.
McNeil was 21 of 32 from the field, and 7 of 12 from beyond the arc. Let’s not forget to note that he also led his team in assists, with 4.
ESPN ranks McNeil as the #57 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and ON3 ranks him as the #6 player in the state of North Carolina.
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2024 NC State Commit Trey Parker Finishes 2nd in OTE Dunk Contest
Dunk contests don’t really mean anything, but Trey Parker, NC State’s 2024 shooting guard commit makes them pretty entertaining.
Just last week he finished 2nd in the OTE Dunk Contest (video above), after winning it last year with this dunk over two 7-footers.
— Overtime (@overtime) January 28, 2023
Parker was supposed to be a freshman this year at NC State, but he reclassified into the 2024 class, meaning if all goes according to plan, he’ll be here next year.
And if you think this kid is just about dunking, then you missed his performance last year against the #1 ranked PG Robert Dillingham, where he dropped 18 pts and dished out 4 assists in the win. We had an in-depth write-up on the game right after it happened. Check it out.
While the focus should be on this years team, it’s never too early to get excited about a commit that’s putting together highlight reels like this.
NC State Hosted 3 Basketball Recruits this Past Weekend
The NC State Men’s Basketball team hosted 3 recruits this past weekend: 4-Star 2025 Point Guard Jordan Lowery, 4-Star 2025 Small Forward AJ White and 3-Star 2024 Center Chol Machot.
I confirmed with all three players that they were on NC State’s campus for an unofficial visit.
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 was also in for an unofficial visit to NC State earlier in September as well.
The Wolfpack coaches were in to visit 4-Star 2025 Small Forward AJ White (6’8″/180) out of Charlotte, North Carolina in the middle of September. 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.
Kendre Harrison Breaks Down What it Means to be Offered by NC State in 2 Sports
NC State is trying to reel in a Legacy Recruit in 2026 Tight End/Power Forward Kendre Harrison. Harrison is the nephew of former Wolfpack guard, C.C. Harrison.
Harrison is a unicorn. The young sensation out of Reidsville High School (Reidsville, NC), is a 4-star prospect in both football and basketball. In fact, he’s on track to be a 5-star prospect in both sports, which is unheard of.
In regards to football, Harrison is the #5 overall player nationally in the 2026 class according to 247Sports, and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina (Reidsville High School). In basketball, he ranks 20th overall nationally according to ESPN, the #5 Power Forward, and the #1 player in the state of North Carolina.
The #1 player in the state of North Carolina in both sports in 2026.
NC State offered him in football back in January, and he was offered by the basketball team back on September 16th.
I checked in with Harrison to see what it meant to him to be offered in both football and basketball by NC State, and what it was like to visit a few weeks back for the VMI game and watch the basketball team practice.
“It means a lot to be offered in both sports, knowing I can make a difference in the program.”
Harrison made it clear that he intends to play both sports at the next level. He doesn’t find it to be a balancing act at all, playing both basketball and football.
I just have to remember how bad I want it and what my end goal is. I have to remember that I’m doing this for my mom and family.
Harrison enjoyed every aspect of his time on NC State’s campus a few weeks back.
It was a great experience. I loved how the coaches coached basketball and football. I just loved everything about the visit.
Uncle C.C. is a hero of Kendre’s, and he has learned so much from him, on the court, and off the court.
He has taught me a lot of things about basketball and outside of basketball, especially throughout my recruitment process.