CJ Leslie Officially Re-Opens Recruitment

As most regular readers know, SFN has hinted at this development since January, but now that Dave Telep is bringing it into the public domain (note – this is a premium article, so we won’t post any content), we can be more explicit. CJ Leslie has re-opened his commitment, and is no longer an NC State verbal.

We have definitely heard that Memphis will be heavily involved. I have lamented that April 11, 2006 was the day that NC State’s basketball program died, after many years on life support. That was the day John Calipari, arguably the perfect coach for NC State, said no. Go ahead, re-read the Dan Wetzel article we linked and try not to slit your wrists.

And Calipari is the gift that keeps on giving for NC State. Despite self-serving and transparently jealous/defense mechanism comments from some calling Calipari a “thug” or a guy who could only get his players in at Memphis – please note we are fishing from the same waters. DeMarcus Cousins, probably John Wall, and now maybe CJ Leslie. The only difference is that Calipari actually wins these recruiting battles. Does anyone have any doubt who would have come out on top if Calipari was at NC State, and Lowe at Memphis? Didn’t think so.

Now, it’s important to note what this does not mean. We have not been told that Leslie has definitely decided to go elsewhere. He maystill end up at NC State. But publicly de-committing is a very, very bad omen for Sidney Lowe and the health of his program entering the crucial 2009-10 season.

As far as the timing is concerned, we were told that CJ would re-open his commitment at the end of the basketball season. This weekend, he made good on what we were told he would do.

Link with audio comments about the situation from Dave Telep.

Sports Travel

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 Sidney Lowe

183 Responses to CJ Leslie Officially Re-Opens Recruitment

  1. Dan 03/15/2009 at 10:52 AM #

    It’s officially over. Everyone knows it but Lee Fowler.

  2. old13 03/15/2009 at 11:01 AM #

    ^And obviously the BOT and Oblinger don’t care!

  3. BJD95 03/15/2009 at 11:03 AM #

    For the record, I said the following in the comments section on 2/9:

    Imagine three really shitty offseason headlines for the sports page. You’ll end up seeing at least one of them.

    And I’m not counting “Fowler, Lowe Sign Extensions” in that discussion, although I should.

    Yes, the Leslie de-commit was what I was talking about.

  4. LRM 03/15/2009 at 11:06 AM #

    So we can strike off “But we’ll lose recruits if we fire Sid” from the list?

    Which leaves “He’s one of us/He loves N.C. State” and “Because he didn’t say no” as the only two remaining qualities he has.

  5. packnwilm 03/15/2009 at 11:07 AM #

    I dont chime in much , but I remember a point this year where many folks including you BJD95 argued with me and defended Coach Lowe. Now who wants to defend him? He cant coach. Now were seeing he is not going to keep recruits. Who would want to come play for him? I feel sorry for this years recruits who are probably at home wishing they could decommit. They should have made Coach Lowe walk his ass back to Raleigh from Atlanta. I wanted him to succeed just like all of you, but I cant watch him dig our program deeper in the ground. It just sucks he probably wont go anywhere and we’ll probably miss out on the tournament next year and take another step back. I cant take this anymore, but I’ll keep watching and supporting bc the PACK is my team now and forever, win or lose. Sean Miller maybe? I dont know. Lowe is not the one.

    BJD – Yes, there were definitely people on the anti-Lowe train earlier than me. You have to tip your cap to Noah as well. Not many people beat me to the punch on Amato, though – so I can hang my hat on that one.

  6. wufpup76 03/15/2009 at 11:11 AM #

    Really bad sign and very depressing. The timing of this sucks given the finish against Maryland.

    And I’m not jealous Calipari/Memphis … good for them. Just because you don’t like someone or their methods doesn’t mean you are envious of them – there is a difference. I didn’t / don’t want Calipari here, so I’m not sure how that can be construed as jealousy. These guys don’t want to be at N.C. State – fine. I’d rather concentrate on the people who do want to be here. We are definitely fishing from the same waters though, so good point there … you tip your cap to the other guy for getting the job done.

  7. stately 03/15/2009 at 11:13 AM #

    And the hits keep on coming.

  8. BJD95 03/15/2009 at 11:18 AM #

    We need a competent athletic director in place so that we can move on Billy Gillispie the second he hits the market.

  9. Wulfpack 03/15/2009 at 11:24 AM #

    I want to be very clear about something. Sidney Lowe is the head basketball coach, we all know that. We also all know he needs help. Strickland, Towe and Harris have completely let him down. This isn’t solely on Sid, it’s on all three of the assistants as well, who EACH had more experience in the college game than Sid. What, if anything, of value do those guys bring to the problem? I will grant you that Harris is a great recruiter. But does he ever coach?

    I’m not going to say it’s over just yet, but boy is that train moving ever so quickly. Sid has one last chance. He desperately needs a good (not a mediocre, or an average, but a GOOD) season next year. If we aren’t in the NCAA Tournament discussion, and if Leslie does indeed choose to go elsewhere, then I will say it’s over, but Jed (yes, our ever so forward thinking AD) will probably beat me to it. I honestly do not see how he can survive one more bad year with all that is going down. And his ever so helpful assistants will go down with him.

    One. Last. Chance.

  10. SaccoV 03/15/2009 at 11:24 AM #

    BJD, why this tilt toward Billy Gillespie? His skills at Kentucky haven’t shown great improvement in my eyes. Grant would be a good choice at VCU or Brad Stevens at Butler, or maybe Randy Bennett of St. Mary’s. All three of these coaches have taken unheard-of-schools and made them viable.

  11. MattN 03/15/2009 at 11:25 AM #

    Death Spiral…

  12. wufpup76 03/15/2009 at 11:32 AM #

    Is there going to be a season recap post/thread (perhaps after any possible postseason play)?

    I would like to give my own synopsis of the season and the state of the program (not that anyone cares) but will reserve it for that thread if there is going to be one. This news defintiely has an impact on the state of the program.

  13. TJEVERETTE1984 03/15/2009 at 11:33 AM #


  14. buttPACKer 03/15/2009 at 11:35 AM #

    We are headed towards OBLIVION at LIGHT SPEED!!

  15. BJD95 03/15/2009 at 11:38 AM #

    Gillispie has major conference-level success at an institution that is similar to NC State (Texas A&M). He may not have been ready for Kentucky, but he has shown more at the major conference level than any other possibilities.

    And having been burned by the Kentucky experience, he would be far more likely to stay here if he has real success.

    When Gillispie arrived at A&M, he immediately stabilized a program in distress, gave it a defensive identity, and made it respectable. We need that in the worst way to avert short-term disaster. Then, we will have to hope he is able to recruit well.

    I expect Anthony Grant to take one of the open SEC jobs.

  16. LRM 03/15/2009 at 11:38 AM #

    For the love of Tuffy, why would anyone want to read a recap of this season? Wasn’t it bad enough the first time?

  17. daughtry 03/15/2009 at 11:40 AM #

    Why does everyone talk about Grant like he “saved” VCU? His predecessor revived that program, not him. He has done a phenomenal job at maintaining the program. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all the doom and gloom on these boards, a good “maintainer” is not what we need. Could he be a good program builder? Sure. But don’t give him credit for reviving VCU. The coach we missed the boat on was Jeff Capel. The downside was that he was a Dookie. However, that has been the path to relative success for other programs (Vic Bubas).

  18. wolfpackbball 03/15/2009 at 11:40 AM #

    I feel dizzy. Give me a glass of water and a comfortable chair.

  19. wufpup76 03/15/2009 at 11:40 AM #

    ^Fair enough LRM, but most seem to want to give their opinions on Lowe and the direction the program is headed in and I just wanted to wait until there was such a post (if there were to be one).

  20. Ed89 03/15/2009 at 11:41 AM #

    I would take this as John Wall is NOT coming to State. I could be wrong, but the guys played together at WOG. If Wall was leaning toward State, I don’t think Leslie would be de-committing. What comes into question is loyalty of these young guys. How often has Lowe backed out of a scholarship offer when a player didn’t pan out. Hell, look what we’ve done with the Big 3. They continued to get minutes when they weren’t producing. Wall and Leslie have been around our program for over two years. They’ve excepted tickets for themselves and their friends for over two years, were first offered by Lowe, and now they are backing out. Notice that UNC doesn’t offer until they know it will be accepted. I think we need to find the players that want to play for State, or go somewhere else. Holding these schollies open for Wall, Cousins, and Favors has hurt us with the 2009 class. If a guy doesn’t want to commit until April of his Senior year, I would flat out quit recruiting them. Carolina’s top 2009 class has been in place over a year. None of the aforementioned kids care one iota about NC State. They are simply looking at how they can get to the “league.” These one and done’s and one and done “wannabe’s” are ruining college basketball. We need more Lo Browns — top 10 guys that are willing to work hard, not top 3 guys that don’t have any loyalty to the University or the coaches.

  21. Wulfpack 03/15/2009 at 11:48 AM #

    “Hell, look what we’ve done with the Big 3. They continued to get minutes when they weren’t producing.”

    You can look at that two ways. One, loyalty as you stated. Two, he hasn’t brought in anybody capable of challenging those guys. I am of the latter opinion.

  22. BJD95 03/15/2009 at 11:48 AM #

    Nothing is going get better until we have a new athletic director and a new basketball coach.

  23. SaccoV 03/15/2009 at 11:55 AM #

    BJD. Yes, Gillespie brought respectability to A&M, but he did it in a conference that has huge swings in power teams year after year. Case in point, Oklahoma has done very well under Jeff Capel, but Texas is down and Kansas is coming off a National Championship, both losing quality players after last season. Gillespie should have done gangbusters this year at Kentucky because there isn’t a “strong” team in the whole conference. He couldn’t get it done in the worst year that league perhaps ever has had in basketball at arguably the best basketball school in that conference. Daughtry, Grant has maintained a level of excellence that far exceeds expectations for a school like VCU. Yes, he inherited an ideal position. But can he maintain that level of success–it appears that he can. Given the choice between Grant and Gillespie, I would take Grant.

  24. Wulfpack 03/15/2009 at 11:55 AM #

    Billy Gillispie would be a GIANT upgrade over what we currently have. I paid very close attention to him at A&M, and if you can win at A&M, you can win close to anywhere. I’d take him in a New York minute.

    Anthony Grant surely benefitted from the foundation Jeff Capel laid. However, VCU hasn’t taken a step back, in fact, they may in fact be in better shape than when Capel was there. I flat out LOVE this guy. He can coach, he can motivate, and I love his style of play. He will have a BIG-TIME job next year if he wants it. Hell, word on the street was that he was next in line to get Florida’s gig if Donovan left.

    If Anthony Grant, or Billy G. or Sean Miller were suddenly on the market, would there be suitors? You can bet your behind there would be.

  25. BAC79 03/15/2009 at 12:01 PM #

    The train wreck has already taken place. In a real world train wreck the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) sends out its investigators to find out what happened and how to prevent it in the future. Guess who our NTSB is? Yep you guessed it. Jed and company. They wouldn’t know the train wrecked if they were on it. And they sure as heck are not competent to investigate the damage and fix the problem.

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