Now, this is what we were expecting. Tuesday saw State mov into the Final 5 schools for transfer Jayden Gardner.
— Jayden Gardner (@Jayy_Baller_1) April 6, 2021
Kevin Keatts and his staff were one of the first to reach out to Jayden Gardner, a 6’7 beast of a forward from ECU. They held a virtual call last week and were hoping to reel in Gardner, who averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Pirates on his way to an All-AAC selection.
NC State’s Kevin Keatts and his staff will also conduct a virtual meeting this evening with ECU transfer Jayden Gardner, he told @Stockrisers. The Pack were amongst the first programs to reach out. https://t.co/kp1dmYXM3W
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 30, 2021
Gardner was recruited some by NC State as a high school senior before committing to ECU, but the Wake Forest, NC native now as the chance to come home.
We say this is what we expected because as we mentioned multiple times after the NIT loss, Kevin Keatts needs to bring in another seasoned big man and he needs someone who is versatile and physical. Gardner fits the bill, but Keatts isn’t alone in wanting this kid. Virginia is involved, as is Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Miami, and Florida.
Gardner is a load, coming in at 235lbs, and he’s not afraid to throw his weight around. But don’t get it twisted, this kid is very quick, has great footwork, can finish around the rim, and has a nice little jumper on him. He’s not a high-flyer, but he has a lot of Richard Howell to his game. Undersized, but with elite strength and just in the business of playing bully-ball in the paint. He is an inch sorter and 15 lbs lighter, but he also is quicker off the bounce and has a better perimeter game than Howell did. Don’t trust us? Need to be reminded of what Howell’s game looked like? Here…
This is a guy that fits NC State’s needs right now. With Funderburk leaving, NC State has a huge hole at the 4 and Jayden Gardner would absolutely fill that need. He can be assured major minutes from the start and would immediately sure up their frontcourt. This would also give Ernest Ross (4 star forward) a chance to get acclimated to the ACC.
While he normally would be a senior next season, he will be joining his new team as a junior with 2 years of eligibility left (thanks to COVID rules).
We’ll have more on this as it breaks…
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.