And the C.J. Leslie discussion continues

Want proof that C.J. Leslie’s commitment is a huge deal to NC State and even to the entire ACC? Just notice how much the discussion of his decision continued today after the news broke late in the day Wednesday. Even with Tracy Smith’s decision to put his name into the draft (he’ll be back by the way), Leslie is the bigger news. With one visit to NC State’s campus Wednesday afternoon, Leslie made the Wolfpack relevant. Like nationally relevant.

I’ve read a lot about Leslie’s decision in the last 24 hours so I decided to try and synthesize some of that here for everyone to see. All of these are worth the read or watch.

This YouTube video is probably the one I’ve seen the most since the news broke yesterday.

ESPN Blog: Lowe gets reprieve with star-studded class

For a minute there, Sidney Lowe’s job was hanging in the balance. NC State athletic director Lee Fowler was faced with an unfortunate decision. Folwer could either fire Sidney Lowe based on Lowe’s first four years, in which the Wolfpack experienced almost no success, or Fowler could keep Lowe around long enough for the coach to welcome his first impressive recruiting class and the sudden promise of immediate success.

In the end, hardly wavering, Fowler stuck with Lowe. It paid off.

Yesterday, Lowe got an all-important commitment from the second-best remaining unsigned recruit in the class of 2010, C.J. Leslie. Leslie is an uber-athletic 6-foot-9 power forward who plays “way above the rim,” according to his ESPNU and Scouts Inc. evaluation notes. The recruit is the No. 11-ranked player in the class of 2010; his recruiting decision had been narrowed to Kentucky, Connecticut and NC State. In the end, Leslie, who hails from Word of God Academy in Raleigh, N.C. (the same school as former Kentucky star John Wall), chose his home state Wolfpack and delivered a major boost to Lowe’s program in the process.

Technician: Pack fans in frenzy over newest addition

After months of watching and waiting and plenty of trash talk and rumors, State fans finally received a welcomed bit of news in the middle of Dead Week. Jon Ray, a sophomore in turfgrass science, was in class when his phone buzzed. “Pack is baaaacccckkk!” the text message read. “C.J. Leslie just committed.”

“It took about every ounce of self control I had not to jump up and start running around the room screaming,” Ray said. “I immediately tuned out the teacher and started texting everyone in my phone book about it.”

The news spread quickly around campus and students made plans to meet up and celebrate this weekend, once classes finished for the semester.

N&O: Lowe now has talent

The bad news for Sidney Lowe, such as it is, is that he has no excuses if N.C. State does not make next season’s NCAA tournament. The good news is that with C.J. Leslie committing to play for him, he may not need any excuses.

If there’s an asterisk on Lowe’s four-year tenure without an NCAA appearance at N.C. State, it’s that he hasn’t had the right kind of talent – first, Herb Sendek recruits; then, underwhelming recruits of his own.

With the addition of Word of God forward Leslie on Wednesday to a recruiting class that already included guards Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown, the Wolfpack gets a first-class influx of talent on next year’s roster. And not just talent, but players recruited to play the kind of basketball Lowe wants to play.

ACC Sports Journal: C.J. Leslie commits to NC State…again

Ordinarily when a player commits to a school and then later withdraws that commitment, he doesn’t wind up recommitting to the same school.

But C.J. Leslie’s recruiting saga has been anything but ordinary.

Leslie, a Class of 2010 power forward from Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy, committed to N.C. State on Wednesday afternoon. His decision comes three years after he had originally committed to the Wolfpack, when he was a freshman at Holly Springs (N.C.) High. Two years later he rescinded that commitment and reopened his recruitment, attracting national interest in his services.

10-11 Basketball ACC & Other Basketball Recruiting College Basketball Sidney Lowe

24 Responses to And the C.J. Leslie discussion continues

  1. old13 04/29/2010 at 8:53 PM #

    Ain’t it GRAND!!

  2. NCStatePride 04/29/2010 at 9:02 PM #

    Leslie, Harrow, and Brown. Now THAT’S change you can believe in…

  3. JeremyH 04/29/2010 at 9:12 PM #

    so we now have a quick, good-passing point guard, a slashing, tall shooting guard, and a do-everything forward that is being compared to Kevin Garnett…. and we have to wait until November??!!

  4. Sweet jumper 04/29/2010 at 9:31 PM #

    The only things that video was missing were a few David Thompson alley oops, some Burleson sky hooks, some Towe no look passes, Sidney’s beween the legs pass to T. Bailey for the dunk over Sam Perkins and Stormin’ Norman chewing a ref’s ass and staring down Dean Smith!

  5. tobaccordshow 04/29/2010 at 9:35 PM #

    “For a minute there, Sidney Lowe’s job was hanging in the balance. NC State athletic director Lee Fowler was faced with an unfortunate decision. Folwer could either fire Sidney Lowe based on Lowe’s first four years, in which the Wolfpack experienced almost no success, or Fowler could keep Lowe around long enough for the coach to welcome his first impressive recruiting class and the sudden promise of immediate success.”


  6. wolfie91 04/29/2010 at 10:24 PM #

    Is that the video that was made several weeks ago, when Cothron was still a commit and Leslie was still a prospect? Interesting how it all worked out.

  7. wayofthemaster 04/29/2010 at 10:31 PM #

    If Fowler leaves, I fully expect an asteroid to hit N.C. within a week(said the State fan).

  8. highstick 04/29/2010 at 10:40 PM #

    Want some kicks? Go to InsideCarolina and read the comments about CJ and State. Talk about “knuckle dragging” folks that might have been paired up on Noah’s Ark?

    And just for kicks, I typed in “inside crackolina” and guess what? Google corrected it and asked “did you mean “Inside Carolina”? Google Be Smart!!

  9. packalum07 04/30/2010 at 1:19 AM #

    I am extremely excited about this recruiting class (The whole classs!!!)…but Ill be even more excited when we are 100% sure that Tracy is staying!!

  10. choppack1 04/30/2010 at 8:37 AM #

    I’m trying to keep an even keel here. Remember, last year’s class was supposed to be excellent as well…and while it was good, it was missing a very key player.

    Don’t get me wrong – on so many different levels – this is huge for NC State and Lowe, but there are still a lot of questions that can be resolved in such a way that this celebration would have been way premature.

  11. Thinkpack17 04/30/2010 at 9:40 AM #

    There will be questions until they step on the court and start winning games. Lorenzo could receive a perfect score on his ACTs and then break his ankle stepping in a pot hole. Enjoy the six inches in front of your face today. Worry when the time comes.

  12. choppack1 04/30/2010 at 9:55 AM #

    Thinkpack – here’s the problem w/ that point of view. We DO end up looking like Charlie Brown flying through the air when we approach it that way.

    Did I like bagging CJ Leslie. Hell yes – I’m thrilled about it. But I’m old enough to realize that as nice as it is to get these big recruits – it means zilch, zero, nada unti it correlates w/ results.

    I specifically remember a post in the mid 90s – when a very intelligent poster said (and we all agreed) – “These are great times to be a Wolfpacker my friends.” Our coaches were MOC and Herb Sendek at the time.

    If we can get this entire class enrolled, I’ll celebrate…and if a certain someone resigns today, I’ll be grinning like a butcher’s dog tonight as I sip a cold brew – but this basketball program has a long way to go before we can talk smack. And as you correctly note, we’ve chosen to load up on 3s and 4s – so one injury/academic issue can really put us in a tight spot.

    Am I worried – no. But I ain’t going to say “These are great days to be a Wolfpack fan.” I’ll say that when we accomplish something.

  13. Thinkpack17 04/30/2010 at 10:02 AM #

    ^Well I guess I will see you next March.

  14. Fenrir 04/30/2010 at 10:02 AM #

    Everything seems to be going our way, and there’s a big red light flashing in my head. I guess I’m just conditioned to think that way. Over the last 20 years anytime there has been a glimmer of any hope that NCSU could rise to being relevant once more in the ACC there has been some catastrophic event to crush said hope. I could spend the next hour going into ALL that has happened, but will refrain from doing so.
    Maybe we’ve paid our dues and being optimistic during the extreme lowes (pun intended) are now going to pay off. I sure hope that Lowe has learned how to handle egos and we don’t end up with another bunch of brooding individuals on a basketball TEAM.
    I really hope this is the turning point. I really do love NC State; at times it’s seemed like a one sided love affair. I think that if it wasn’t love I would have ran from the relationship a long time ago.

  15. choppack1 04/30/2010 at 10:25 AM #

    “Well I guess I will see you next March.”

    You know better than that – I look at these things differently. A good recruiting class and commitments are better than a bad one w/ no committments.

    But it’s not enough to get the commitment. First you getta the committment, then you get em school.

    If everyone enrolls and makes it to practice, I’ll be very excited about the state of our program. Once we hit the floor, my viewpoint will be determined by how we play.

    I don’t think it’s impossible for Lowe to turn this around – and at this point, he’s positioned himself nicely to exactly that. However, only a fool would ignore the results of the past when assessing the future.

  16. coach13 04/30/2010 at 11:47 AM #

    I just hope this has a domino effect year to year. These top talent HS players are so connected. They really become recruiting tools themselves. That along with Sid’s ability to spot talent very early could start turning into something very respectable, even special. Still as we have all been conditioned, approach with cautious optimism.

    On another but similar note, is Mays definitely out? No official NCSU release. Mabrey cannot commit without his spot being vacated, although IMO another PG will be badly needed for 2011-12.

    And on another similar topic, I see several people making projected 2010-11 lineups. NOBODY is including Johnny Thomas in that mix. I’m surprised he doesn’t look to transfer. Maybe he’s finally going to see some time? Don’t know. Does he have a place? Thoughts?

  17. Thinkpack17 04/30/2010 at 12:04 PM #

    It will be very tough for Johnny to see any meaningful time. Most people thought it would be him leaving to make room for the 4th signee of this class. We will be deep at the 3 spot, but maybe this is the year we finally see the uptempo offense and full court defense we’ve seen flashes of and have been waiting for. Mike Anderson and Purnell have been known to put big guys with exclusive SF skill sets at the 2. They do it just to cause havoc on the defensive end and in the full court press. Josh Davis or Mabry could be a great option in center field with CJL as the tip of the spear on the press. Our press was decent last year with Horner and in a pinch, god bless him, Howell. Could be an effective weapon this year.

  18. b 04/30/2010 at 12:37 PM #

    The thing keeping us from running on the offensive end was in part that Javi isn’t a great running PG, but to be fair, he hasn’t had a lot of fastbreak support either. Most of our bigs recently haven’t been running finishers. Tracy is, and CJL definitely is, and Mabry would be. Wood and Brown can run and spot up or drive. Javi has turned into a fairly solid half court PG though, something that will come in handy this year.

    As for the roster, JT and JD are both defenisve type of guys, and they present an option if the game turns into a struggle. Brown, Wood, Painter and CJ are balanced players, Howell is an offensive weapon with some defensive liabilites and Vburg is a defensive big where any points are a bonus.

    Sid has set up an option based roster, we’ll see if he can read the situations and make the right adjustments this winter. But I like the makeup, hopefully they will gel better than the first talented class did.

  19. bradleyb123 04/30/2010 at 1:17 PM #

    I think CJL’s commitment is big for another reason. Top recruits catch a lot of flak for having NC State high on their list. Before we can compete for top recruits year in and year out, we have to fix our image problem. Signing players like Harrow, Brown and Leslie should help in that regard. Recruits that would not have considered us last year may now take notice of NC State. The current recruiting class made it OK for anybody to come to NC State. Of course, we also need to have a solid season to solidify this point. Hopefully we’re gaining respect, and will continue to do so this basketball season. And every year after that, recruiting will get easier. But Sid has to keep the momentum going and have a solid year.

    I hate to say it, but right now I feel better about the state of our basketball program than I do about our football program. It’s been a VERY long time since I said that.

  20. choppack1 04/30/2010 at 2:00 PM #

    bradleyb – I agree w/ you on the recruits.

    think – I agree w/ you on the press. But I don’t think that guys who can’t shoot or dribble well make effective 2 guards. They may be able to press, but if your press doesn’t generate easy points, you’re in trouble…

  21. Thinkpack17 04/30/2010 at 3:20 PM #

    “They may be able to press, but if your press doesn’t generate easy points, you’re in trouble…”

    If the press isn’t generating easy points then they need to come out of the game. I’m not suggesting that Josh Davis or Mabry see extended minutes next year, the way I figure at least one of them is going to be left out of even a 10 man rotation. I was simply saying they may have SOME use next year. I know Josh Davis shouldn’t start over Lorenzo Brown at the 2. But CJL guarding the ball after a bucket with Josh Davis looming in center field could be scary for a team lacking in guard play. We should have enough fire power next year to hide one defensive stopper on the offensive end.

  22. wolfmanmat 05/01/2010 at 7:40 AM #

    ^Yep. Scoring droughts are a thing of the past. Harrow averages 31 pts, Leslie in the same neighboorhood, Brown 20+(granted it is high school, but Javi/CJ/etc didn’t do that). We know Smith will put up 15+ every game. Wood can put up 15+ any game too. We went from a team that struggles when Tracy is doubled to a team where you can’t double Tracy overnight.

  23. Zen Wolf 05/01/2010 at 4:24 PM #

    I started crying when I was watching that video. After so many years of hoping I really feel like this time it is for real. When was the last time we had four to five guys who can dunk at will. I am going to go back and watch that video about a billion twenty more times. Ahhhhhhh. Go Pack.

  24. PoppaJohn 05/03/2010 at 4:11 PM #

    Man that video is amazing, and the real killer is the one shot of the guy faking the defender so badly that he falls down IS CJ (THE FORWARD)!!! I can’t stop watching. (and hoping I don’t wake up)

    Is there such thing as ‘basketball porn???’

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