We HOPE last week was also great for basketball (Updated 9:10 am)

Where is Jerry Stackhouse, Jeff McInnis and Ray Allen when you need them?

SFN hated for the sun to go down on Friday night because it meant that the previous 24 hours had to end! In addition to the great day for the Wolfpack football program on Thursday/Friday, NC State/Sidney Lowe’s basketball recruiting put together a fantastic 24 hours and gathered an awful lot of momentum. Unfortunately, as any NC State fan knows…old “Uncle Mo” never seems to stick around for very long in Raleigh and you have to enjoy him while he is around.

First, we have heard that one of the top prospects of the class of 2008 – CJ Williams of Fayetteville – was in attendance in Carter-Finley on Thursday night. The Wolfpack has targeted the well balanced (academic/athletic/character) Williams and some believe he is a candidate for a very early commitment to the Wolfpack. In addition to Williams, SFN heard that (commit) Johnny Thomas and (prospect) Tracy Smith may have also taken unofficial visits for the game on Thursday night. We do not know if all three players attended together.

On Thursday/Friday, Chris Wright announced his intention to hold a press conference (today) to announce his final choice of college. As horrible as the story is — it seems that Wright was set to announce for NC State. (More detail later) But, last night something turned on a dime and suddenly the mood in Raleigh is not nearly as ecstatic. Regardless of where Wright chooses to attend college, at least the “Chris Wright saga” will come to a close today.

If Wright does NOT announce for the Pack, then we would expect that Rashad Green‘s commitment to State will become publicly firm soon after. (Link to Green’s profile) The Pack needs another young body in the backcourt to tandem with Courtney Fells who will be starting for the next three years.

Make no mistake that Wright’s presence was going to be key to quickly elevating NC State’s basketball program in the next two to three years. However, this potential scenario is EXACTLY why Coach Lowe and staff accepted the transfer of Iowa State guard, Fernold Degand. (See this link). Recruiting experts do not posit Degand as a Chris Wright, but Degand is an improving point guard with three years of eligibility in the program after he sits out this season. After Engin Atsur exhausts his eligibility this season, a nucleus of Fells-Degand-Green may have to suffice for a year or two until Coach Lowe has time to get positioned for top talent of his own choosing.

Also last Friday, JJ Hickson announced that he was cancelling his previously scheduled official visit to Florida and had eliminated the Gators from consideration – leaving only NC State and Tennessee. Although college recruiters did not view Wright and Hickson as a ‘package deal’, the two have developed a relationship and some close to the Wolfpack program previously believed that if Wright would commit to the Pack that Hickson may not be far behind. Hickson will announce his college choice this Thursday – just two days after Wright. Who knows what to think in light of some of the changes to Chris Wright’s status over the last 18 hours? The bad news is that the folks in Tennessee are starting to sound confident about their position with Hickson.

If the Pack does ultimately whiff on a commitment from Hickson, then expect to start hearing names like Joseph Katuka and Mike Scott as key Wolfpack targets for 2007.

IF Sidney Lowe is able to add commitments from both Chris Wright and JJ Hickson to Johnny Thomas, then (in our humble opinion) the Wolfpack would be in a position to be MUCH more selective with our final scholarship of the the 2007 class.

For example, highly recruited forward Tracy Smith will probably wait until spring to commit due to his current academic standing. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have a scholarship available for Smith…and, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have SO MUCH talent committed in a class of Wright/Hickson/Thomas that waiting for Smith or other prospects in the spring would not be excessively risky. Additionally, the Wolfpack may have reason to feel very good about 2008 prospect CJ Williams and may therefore prefer to have some additional scholarships available for the class of 2008.

IF NC State does NOT land Wright & Hickson, then a potential commitment from Tracy Smith will actually become even more important to the program in the spring. As painful as (potentially) losing Wright and Hickson at the last hour would be, a future commitment from Smith would insure NC State’s frontcourt the presence of at least TWO Top 50 forwards – Brandon Costner & Smith – for three of the next four years.

Lastly, ESPN’s Andy Katz tried to weigh in with some comments about Andrew Brackman’s status saying that “NC State is still unsure about Brackman’s status”. We won’t argue with the wording of Katz’s headline since it is technically true that NC State continues to hold hope that Andrew Brackman will play basketball this season despite the fact that he has notified coach Lowe of his intentions not to play and despite the fact that he has not been participating in basketball events. We ask for you to click here for our best worded comments and update on the topic.

9:05am Note: We have just checked out some of the implosion that is happening at other NC State websites on the internet as this story gradually breaks. We want to politely let everyone know that this blog is not intended to be used for useless commentary or childish comments. Thanks!

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149 Responses to We HOPE last week was also great for basketball (Updated 9:10 am)

  1. BoKnowsNCS71 10/10/2006 at 7:56 AM #

    this is off subject but you all may want to appreciate the fact that StateFansNation is far ahead of the media.

    I picked up a N&O today and there was the Sublime article, the Buniting loss of players, ad Tank Tyler’s outburst – all of which were known here 2 weeks ago.

    Way to go SFN!

  2. RickJ 10/10/2006 at 8:10 AM #

    Wright today & Hickson on Thursday. It reminds me of the Ray Allen & Stackhouse kick to the groin.

    SFN: Don’t forget Jeff McInnis

  3. waxhaw 10/10/2006 at 8:19 AM #

    What happened to the “don’t stress over the announcement” part of the Chris Wright blurb?

    SFN: Things changed since this the original author began writing this entry on Friday.

  4. NCSUSix 10/10/2006 at 8:21 AM #

    They found out that Chris is not coming and had to change it. Its ok though. You either run with the pack or get ran over.

  5. theTHRILL 10/10/2006 at 8:28 AM #

    I don’t understand how everyone goes from being so sure that he IS coming to being sure that he ISN’T coming. How do things change THAT MUCH so quickly. I can see how things could go from “solid” to “undecided”, but not this.

  6. Redblogger 10/10/2006 at 8:33 AM #

    What time is the press conference?

    SFN: 3:30pm

  7. BJD95 10/10/2006 at 8:34 AM #

    It sure seems like things turned on a dime. Life as a State fan means always waiting for the other shoe to drop, as bad news is always around the corner.

  8. ncsu81 10/10/2006 at 8:38 AM #

    I’ve cut and pasted the following from the Section Six Blog……………..

    Chris Wright Decision Looms

    We had him once. At 3:30PM tomorrow, Chris Wright will again commit to a college. We are supposedly in good shape, but I’m tryin’ not to get too excited about it.

    The importance of Wright to Sidney Lowe’s rebuilding job cannot be overstated. Cross your fingers!

    [Late Monday Update: Frowny face. Bad news coming. I tried not to get my hopes up, I really did…]

  9. PBdafan 10/10/2006 at 8:48 AM #

    There’s nothing worse than “inside information” from unreliable sources.

    SFN: Laugh out loud. There is definitely nothing worse than inside information from the family of the commitment. Do you have anything to offer?

  10. class of 74 10/10/2006 at 8:51 AM #

    This could be the “Wright Time for NCSU basketball” if CW and JJ Hickson come onboard this week and Tracy Smith looms as well. What a class if those three dominoes fall our way!

  11. Pack Laddie 10/10/2006 at 8:51 AM #

    It was not unreliable information.

    Over the weekend, ALL indications were that he was coming to NC State. I don’t know what happened, but apparently he has decided to go a different direction.

    He is a kid trying to make a difficult decision. Best of luck to him wherever he ends up.

    People can only report what they are told. Sometimes things change.

  12. cfpack03 10/10/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    bTHEredterror posted this on the last bball thread – Article on another GT prospect stating that he didn’t know if he had a scholarship anymore b/c they got a commit from another player


  13. Trout 10/10/2006 at 8:59 AM #

    “Degand is no Wright. But, Degand is a point guard with four years of eligibility after he sits out this season.”

    He will actually have 3 years of eligibility. Since he redshirted at Iowa State, and will sit out a year to transfer, he only has 3 years of eligibility left. You get 5 years to play, unless an extreme medical hardship extends that (ie, Feggins gunshot).

    SFN: Thanks for the corrections

  14. theTHRILL 10/10/2006 at 8:59 AM #

    Why have a press conference if everyone already knows your decision hours beforehand? Do we still have a shot at all in this?

  15. class of 74 10/10/2006 at 9:06 AM #

    These latest developments with Wright are they Hoya related or Panther related? Or does anyone other than CW really know?

    SFN: Hoya

  16. ncsuman 10/10/2006 at 9:20 AM #

    Why does it seem that we always think we will get someone, and then something happens last minute and we don’t?

  17. class of 74 10/10/2006 at 9:24 AM #

    ^ We are talking about 17-18 yr. old kids. Who knows he could change his mind by 3:30pm and swing back our way and then on signing day sign somewhere else. It really is a crazy business. But if we can get Hickson and Smith along with Thomas that’s not too shabby a class.

  18. Clarksa 10/10/2006 at 9:25 AM #

    18 year old kids change their minds with the wind…we can only hope he jumped out of bed this morning and changed his mind again.

  19. ncsuman 10/10/2006 at 9:27 AM #

    I don’t think choosing a college is like trying to decide what to have for dinner. I think if you know where you are going, then you know more often than not. Hopefully it is a case of what is leaked to the media is not true, and we will see him put on a red hat. If not, there are more players out there.

  20. PBdafan 10/10/2006 at 9:28 AM #

    SFN: Thanks for playing. Have fun somewhere.

  21. theTHRILL 10/10/2006 at 9:29 AM #

    This is exactly why I stopped myself from following recruiting the last few years. I suddenly take an interest in it again and THIS happens. I’m going back to my “Wake me when someone signs” mode.

  22. Girlfriend in a Coma 10/10/2006 at 9:32 AM #

    Nobody gave Jeff a “sometimes things change” break when Cowher changed his mind.

  23. noah 10/10/2006 at 9:32 AM #

    As I said in another thread — it’s 1993 all over again.

  24. Cardiff Giant 10/10/2006 at 9:41 AM #

    Truly, what has the world come to when 17 year old kids have a freaking press conference to announce where they are attending college? How ridiculous. No wonder so many of these teenage wonders have egos the size of the Matterhorn.


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