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Basketball Recruiting

PI EXCLUSIVE: An interview with 2023 7-foot Wolfpack Prospect Braden Pierce



Just yesterday we told you that NC State was in the mix for 2023 7-foot, stretch center, Braden Pierce.

Pierce will be taking an official visit to Raleigh on September 17th and would be a huge pickup for Keatts and company.

The big man, who is playing a prep year at IMG Academy has flown under the radar, and despite being an agile, strong, and skilled 7-footer, entered the season unranked. But watch his video and it’s pretty apparent that this kid is about to shoot up the ranks in a big way.

We spoke to Braden earlier today to get his take on the recruitment process and why it’s taken so long for Power 5 schools to take notice.

PI:  Can you explain your recruiting journey to us? We heard Levi was already in contact with you while at Ole Miss. How long has he been recruiting you and when did NC State get involved?

BP: Coach Levi has been recruiting me since my junior year of high school, NC State got involved as soon as he got there.

PI:  You’re a 7-footer with great coordination, skill, and physicality, plus you can shoot. In your opinion, why have you gone a little under the radar? I find it crazy that you were unranked coming into this year.

BP: I feel like I have gone under the radar a little bit because I really didn’t start playing basketball full time until the end of my sophomore year, I was mainly focused on playing baseball, which is the main reason I’m taking a post-grad year

PI: Explain your game to Wolfpack fans. What type of player are you?

BP: I would describe my game as a stretch 5 who can really do whatever a coach needs from me, I can shoot the 3, block shots, post up, and even beat someone off the dribble.

PI:  Which NBA player or college player do you pattern your game after? Or what do you want your final form to look like as a player?

BP: I like to model my game around (Nikola) Jokic with a little more athleticism, really try to be a great passer, and have good touch around the rim.

PI: Who else is recruiting you at this time and which schools are coming at you the hardest?

BP: I think NC State is recruiting me the hardest right now, but in the past few weeks I’ve been hearing from Utah, UGA, Ole Miss, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Drake, SMU, UMass, Florida, and Rice.

PI: . What are you looking for in a school?

BP: Just looking for a school where I will be able to develop the best over my 4 years and have the best chance of playing at the next level while also being able to help the team win.

PI: What is your timeline for visits and a commitment somewhere?

BP: I don’t really have a definite date on commitment/visits right now, just trying to get better at IMG and not rush the process.

Braden took an unofficial visit to NC State in late June.

Check out his highlights below…

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1 year ago

So he’s only been playing basketball seriously for two years?

Basketball Recruiting

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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Basketball Recruiting

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.

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.

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Basketball Recruiting

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.

The NC State coaching staff was into see Machot (7’0″), and his teammate Lowery in the middle of September. ON3 ranks Machot as a 3-star prospect, and the #14 player in the state of North Carolina.


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Basketball Recruiting

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.


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