J.J. Hickson, McDonald’s All American

The rosters can be found here. It helps wash away the memories of today’s game to think about next year’s frontcourt rotation. Congrats to J.J. and congrats again to the staff for landing such a fine commitment. (Link to S6)

For more on the topic of “The Rich Get Richer” you can click here.

If everyone returns for Duke next season, the Blue Devils will have nine McDonald’s All-Americans on their roster. Even if Josh McRoberts goes pro, Coach K would be working with a roster of a record eight Mickey Ds with the addition of three from the Class of 2007.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

Basketball Recruiting General NCS Basketball

50 Responses to J.J. Hickson, McDonald’s All American

  1. Dr. BadgerPack 02/26/2007 at 11:33 AM #

    Noah- They don’t run a ” ” type offense, although it has a lot of motion (and flex) principles. It is in the upper half of Big 10 scoring this year.

    I will say the offense looks painfully slow and is sometimes horrific to watch, mainly because of the abundance of exceptionally tall, exceptionally, err, “plodding” big men. Speaking of painfull, one of the more disgusting games I’ve watched was that State/Wisconsin game in the sweet 16 3(?) years back.

    With some player rotations Ryan does like to run a bit, and you see in the underclassmen that he is getting more and more athleticism.

  2. Gene 02/26/2007 at 11:49 AM #

    Bo Ryan took over from interim coach Brad Soderberg, who got the Wisconsin job after Dick Bennett quit, a few games in to the 2000-2001 season, coming after the Badgers made the Final Four in 2000. Ryan inherited a relatively successful program and seems to have kept the ball rolling.

    If Wisconsin is winning the recruitment for the upper mid-west, hats off to them. They aren’t the only Big Ten school in the region. The state shares a border with Minnesota (which also borders N. and S. Dakota, which Wisc. does not) and Iowa. Illinois’ northern border touches both Wisconsin and Iowa. Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota all have Big Ten schools, in their states.

  3. Gene 02/26/2007 at 12:00 PM #

    Only reason I bring up Wisconsin is they went to the Final Four in 2000, changed coaches and have won at least one Big Ten title, been to multiple sweet 16’s, and one round of 8 appearance, since than. They are currently in the running to be a one seed in the NCAA tournament this year.

    I just hope we can get that kind of success over a 5 year period, in the near future.

    We really need Smith

    With Costner, McCauley and Hickson, we should be O.K. at the PF / C position if Smith is not eligible.

  4. Dr. BadgerPack 02/26/2007 at 12:03 PM #

    Gene- All correct points. The FF Wisconsin team was as an 8 seed though (I beleive). So while they certainly enjoyed a good run, success as makes a “program” has really only been realized during Ryan’s tenure as the Badgers have picked up their only 4 25+ win seasons in the last 5 years.

    While there are plenty of Big 10 schools in that upper mid-west area, Wisconsin has been the most consistent the past 5 years (heck, Minnesota has been abysmal in basketball of late). When Wisconsin has competitive teams, recruiting is fairly easy due to the facilities, academic reputation and (of course) the party atmosphere that has become associated with that school.

  5. Dr. BadgerPack 02/26/2007 at 12:07 PM #

    And Gene I do echo your sentiment that I hope State realized that same (and more) success. I’d love a late round NCAA tourney State/Wisconsin rematch one day. Unfortunately during my 5 years in Badgerland I made it well known that, despite pulling hard for my “grad-school school” my first love was NC State. You can imagine the crap I got after State pooched the huge first half lead in the sweet 16.

  6. Mike 02/26/2007 at 1:39 PM #

    Speaking of McD AA’s….what comes first, the chicken or the egg?

    Are the players McD AA’s BECAUSE they are recruited by the Ducks and UNX’s of the world? Or are they recruited by the Ducks and UNX’s because they are Arch American’s?

    It is so difficult to judge talent at this level – we have the summer camps and the like but there is still very little head to head play. Hype is a key to who gets the coveted awards.

    I hear this about recruiting in football too – the fact that a school is recruiting a kid automatcially makes the kid rank up there higher than he should. Because school X is recruiting him, he must be a4 star player instead of the 2 or 3 star we really should be. Some of the Duck AA’s have not impressed me, and same with UNX.

    Someone wiht more time and resources than I should do a research project on AA’s who do not succeed at the college level – were they overhyped based on who was recruiting them? Or were there extneuating circumstances? Just a thought………….

  7. Rochester 02/26/2007 at 2:02 PM #

    I think Mike’s question is a valid one. How much of it boils down to “well, if Duke recruited him, he must be good”? The kids’ schools are known long before the AA team is picked, so it’s got to enter the equation somewhere.

  8. CedarGroveWolf 02/26/2007 at 2:45 PM #

    I would have loved to see Wright with next year’s squad. @*$&@!

  9. Rick 02/26/2007 at 2:49 PM #

    Cedar and I agree on that.
    Wright will be something. He could have been great with Lowe and Towe coaching him.

  10. packbackr04 02/26/2007 at 3:19 PM #

    Has the ship sailed on Wright? i mean he hasnt signed? i hope Lowe still calls him all the freakin time…. cedar is right, adding chris wright to next years squad would be awesome. i would even stomach losing smith if we could get wright

  11. packbackr04 02/26/2007 at 4:19 PM #


  12. vtpackfan 02/26/2007 at 4:48 PM #

    I’ve been reading some really impressive stuff on the big man from Romania, Catalin Baciu. Everything is there, skills, IQ, size, heart. The only problems are that he needs more bulk (20 lbs, not like the 50 that Lew probably needs) and the defense his Prep team uses (lots of zone, see Courtney Fells).

    Supposedly he has really liked his visits to State. He really likes the coaching staff, and the fact that Sid has fresh NBA experience really helps. His coach is from Raleigh and had a lot of posotive things to say about how the atmosphere has changed at State, and how the familiar faces coming back onto the scene have things moving in the right direction.

    I got to think Atsur can speak Romanian and that he could pass along some encouragement before he leaves. Pretty much everyone is throwing there hat in now so it is good that we got in early. If we land Baciu, and team him up with Mays and Williams then we are in good shape no matter what happens with the tracy Smith situation.

  13. westwolf 02/26/2007 at 8:57 PM #

    ^Ya never knows with the Euros…they can sometimes be amazing players…I’m especially intrigued by his size. Options, I’m glad we have options.

  14. vtpackfan 02/26/2007 at 9:20 PM #

    The interesting thing about his size is that we are recruiting him as a power forward, or even wing player, not a true center. Evidently he plays great offense without the ball, and likes to set a ton of picks.

  15. Gene 02/27/2007 at 6:49 AM #

    I got to think Atsur can speak Romanian

    I’d put my money on Evitimov being able to manage a smattering of Romanian, if he had to brush up and learn the language, rather than Atsur.

    Anyone know what’s happened to him? I’m guessing he’s playing ball in Europe, but I don’t know for sure.

  16. Red_Terrors 02/27/2007 at 8:09 AM #

    Gene, here’s what I could find on Evtimov.



    Looks like he’s playing in Europe for VidiVici Bologna. Unfortunately, I don’t speak the language of the most of the European basketball websites, so it’s hard to tell how he’s doing.

  17. Red_Terrors 02/27/2007 at 8:12 AM #

    Of course, wikipedia has an article on their team:


    Look at the current roster and you’ll see 3 former ACC players: Evtimov, Travis Best (Ga Tech) and Kris Lang (UNX).

    Of course, it’s a wikipedia article, so the information may or may not be correct/up to date.

  18. noah 02/27/2007 at 9:15 AM #

    Why would Atsur speak Romanian?? That’s like expecting Ev to speak turkish.

  19. TNCSU 02/27/2007 at 9:16 AM #

    Anyone have any idea if we are still actively recruiting a PG for ’07 — maybe Javi Gonzalez from FL? I did see that Coach Towe mentioned Coach Lowe went recruiting after the loss at FSU on Saturday. Did Javi’s team play Saturday night?? Just wondering….

  20. primacyone 02/27/2007 at 3:08 PM #

    Word on the street is that there will be a new recruit behind the NCSU bench at the Wake Forest game. Maybe a PG from the Miami area.

  21. TNCSU 02/27/2007 at 3:51 PM #

    Primacyone, thanks for the update!

    Maybe they (Coaching Staff) see something in this kid — it would be nice to have some depth at PG for the coming years — Degand, Johnson, ???? Although not a 5-star PG, from what I’ve seen, he looks like a kid that wants to win everytime — competitiveness is number one for a PG in my book! — Doesn’t hurt he he can shoot!

  22. TNCSU 02/27/2007 at 4:07 PM #

    ^^^if…he…whatever, you get the jist!

  23. Luke12321 02/28/2007 at 12:07 AM #

    I have heard it will be Javi but what do I know? I know people have worries about Smith and will he be playing for us next year. I think our staff would of looked into every possible problem before signing it and found none. I think Tracy will be playing for the pack next year. I watched him play this past weekend in Boone (posted this on statefans as well)

    This was the first time I have seen Tracy Smith play…Mt. Zion and Tracy Smith took down StoneyRidge. I think the final score was something around 103-83? Tracy finished with 27 points and I would say roughly 8-10 boards. He was probably 6-7 from the free throw line and looked very comfortable there. They played 20 minute halfs and Smith probably logged around 30 mins. I think he was 1-2 from 3-PT. He got most of his points around the rim (had about 6 dunks). I was impressed with his ability to jump off two feet. He really can catch the ball and go up strong. If he would run the floor and hustle non-stop he would of scored 40 points no doubt. The other team had a roster full of D1 talent kids so that is saying alot for Tracy. Tracy never really played with a real sense of urgeny but they were ahead the whole game so maybe that was a reason. It was frustrating to watch him play because he battled his shoe “strap” (not laces) from coming loose and many times would get the defensive stop or board but not run the floor because of it always coming undone. Like I said, if he wanted could of scored 40 just by running the floor with hustle (and non-shoe issues). He didn’t force any shot really and takes the ball up strong. Mt. Zion has a sophomore kid who is really talented (6’7) as well. Oak Hill and Patterson played the next game. Jennings for Oak Hill is unreal! 6’1, can shoot the three and jump out of the gym. Nolan (Smith last name?) the kid that is going to Duke that plays for Oak Hill was solid and played a good 1st half (all I watched but OH was winning by 20) and Sutton (KSU commit) did not paly in the 1st half for Patterson. Got Tracy’s autograph after the game and was a good sport about all the pack fans wanting auto’s! All and all, I think Tracy will be a good player at NCSU and will contribute next year for sure.

  24. TNCSU 02/28/2007 at 10:31 AM #

    Good post, Luke! I love getting the scouting reports on SFN. I wish we could get more of them.

  25. tooyoungtoremember 02/28/2007 at 12:35 PM #

    I second that TNCSU.

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