Chris Wright visited Raleigh this weekend for the NC State-App State football game — a sport and piece of the student experience that Georgetown cannot offer. By most accounts, the visit went great and a lot of Wolfpackers had the chance to see Wright at the game on Saturday night.
Before Wright got to Raleigh on Friday, State received some good news in his recruitment when Wake Forest appeared to have fallen out of the running for his services. (This is why you should always go back and review old entries if you don’t visit for a few days!)
By most accounts, the Wolfpack is still very much in the mix for two of the top high school post players in America – (F) Tracy Smith and (C) JJ Hickson. By choosing not to aggressively pursue Jamelle McMillan, Coach Lowe and NC State have obviously chosen to put all of the Wolfpack’s “point guard eggs” in Wright’s basket. The potential addition of Wright to State’s existing class (see Johnny Thomas) would be a huge boon for Coach Lowe’s recruiting and the momentum of the program.
In other basketball news today, ESPN’s Dick Vitale has penned a great piece about Coach Lowe’s return to Raleigh. (Link). The timing of the piece coming off of Chris Wright’s visit and just before other visits in the coming weeks couldn’t have been better!
The following are some excerpts from Vitale’s piece:
Sidney Lowe is getting ready to start his career as a college coach. He has a great passion and love for his alma mater, N.C. State. He displayed it by representing his university in a classy way as a player. He was the quarterback, the guy who made it happen magically in 1983 when Jimmy V’s Wolfpack stunned the basketball world by beating Phi Slamma Jamma in Albuquerque.
Lowe created opportunities for his teammates as a leader on the court. He was very cerebral, had a great mindset of the game and the team concept. Lowe has had no problem adjusting to his new challenge.
He has formulated an outstanding staff with about 100 years of basketball experience. Larry Harris remains from the Herb Sendek era and he brings a wealth of knowledge and familiarity with the NC State program. This will be his 22nd season as a collegiate assistant coach.
Monte Towe was a vital part of the Wolfpack history and he gained experience as the head coach in New Orleans. Remember how Towe teamed with David Thompson to lead NC State to the national championship in 1974. He also played two seasons in the ABA under Larry Brown, a very good coach in his own right!
Peter Strickland played at DeMatha and was the head coach at Coastal Carolina for seven seasons. Quentin Jackson was a starter on NC State’s 1987 ACC tournament championship squad. He’ll contribute as director of basketball operations.
Lowe was smart to put together a group that can provide all sorts of basketball information. They will be familiar with the NCAA rules.
The new head coach said he is excited and thrilled to represent his university. He has a love affair with the alumni. The staff is working hard to bring in new players and recruiting has gone well.
I can tell you that Mr. Lowe is a class act. When I mentioned to him the President’s Club with the Jimmy V Foundation, which entails a five-year commitment, Lowe gladly accepted a role. My friends, he cares about people.
Lowe helped N.C. State win the championship under Jimmy V. He also played for a Hall of Famer at DeMatha in Morgan Wooten. I spoke to people in the NBA and they said Lowe had a great basketball mind. His record in the pros was very misleading because of a lack of personnel.
One key to NC State in the upcoming season is the status of Andrew Brackman. Lowe feels he will be an NBA first-rounder. The coach also realizes he throws a 97-MPH fastball and a lot of major league people are interested in him as well.
After all the waiting and chasing, N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler appears to have hit a home run. He has a guy with tremendous enthusiasm and energy. Lowe has received rave reviews as he has been accepted by the fans down in Raleigh. In time he will get players and his NBA experience will help him as he teaches future stars.
There certainly was confidence in Lowe as he received a six-year contract. N.C. State did well by getting a guy who will be a positive force. Lowe is a flat-out winner. Just look at his success as a player and understand he will do it as a college coach as well.