Amile Jefferson to….Duke (rumors & analysis) [Updated at 5:05pm]

It is a sad day for NC State as Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends’ Central’s Amile Jefferson pulled a fast one and this afternoon publicly announced his intentions to attend Duke University this afternoon. ranks Jefferson as the #7 power forward and #36 overall player in the class of 2012. He holds similar rankings between #20 and #40 on most lists.

Some well-placed ‘rumors’ had indicated that – after telling some members of the Wolfpack basketball team that he was joining them in Raleigh – Jefferson had told NC State’s coaches as recently as FRIDAY that he was announcing for NC State. Such a move would’ve validated the coaching staff’s ‘gamble’ to appease Jefferson and forego the addition of talented JUCO forward, Andrew Young (heading to Texas A&M) last month. Jefferson’s importance to the NC State grew in recent weeks after DeShawn Painter and Tyler Harris decided to transfer out of Raleigh and resulting in a much more thin front court than was previously projected.

It has been speculated by many close to the recruitment that Amile’s father had a huge hard on for Coach K; this blind love of Coach K could end up with a very sad twist of fate for Dad & Amile if some of the rumors about K’s potential impending retirement after next season end up coming true. Throughout the process, the mother wanted Amile to be close to home, but ultimately wanted what was best for Amile. She was quoted after the press conference as saying that she did not know that he was going to choose Duke; and someone posted on Twitter that “it was awkward when she had to put the State hat back in her purse.”

NC State’s current and projected roster is included below. Jefferson’s impact was more important to NC State AFTER the 2012-2013 season. The use of his scholarship in the current freshman class along with having a talented, experienced sophomore ready to start in 2013-2014 would have been a very important stabilizing factor in the program. Coach Gottfried’s Wolfpack now only has nine scholarship players available for the 2012-2013 season and is facing a challenging scholarship disbursement with a large number of six or seven available scholarships for the next recruiting class.

Senior Class
(1) Scott Wood (Wing)
(2) Richard Howell (PF)

Junior Class
(3) CJ Leslie (PF)
(4) Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG)
(5) Jordan Vandenberg (C) (Redshirt)

Sophomore Class
(6) Thomas de Thaey (PF)
(7) Ralston Turner (Wing) – transfer from LSU sits out 2012-2103

2012 Commits
(8) Tyler Lewis (PG)
(9) Rodney Purvis (PG/SG)
(10) TJ Warren (F)

2013 Commits
(11) Open
(12) Open – center target
(13) Open – wing target
(1) Departure of Scott Wood
(2) Departure of Richard Howell
(3) Projected departure of CJ Leslie
(4) Potential departure of Lorenzo Brown

Although not a post player, it may be worth the time to pay some attention to Mississippi State transfer, Rodney Hood (Link)

Hood, who averaged 10.3 points per game while starting 29 of Mississippi State’s 33 games this past season, has decided to leave the Mississippi State program according to new head men’s basketball coach Rick Ray.

Hood was a 5-star prospect in high school and one of the top rated swing men in the country….and, like recent transfer addition, Ralston Turner, Hood was recruited by Coach Gottfried at Alabama. If NC State could find a way to land Hood, the Wolfpack would (1) elevate our athleticism and talent; (2) balance our scholarship spacing; and (3) have enough talent on the roster to be in a position in the front court to slot TJ Warren into the important high post role in the Wolfpack’s offense (if that was the right fit).

While you are here at SFN, we would ask that you spend some time reading some of our recent original coverage of the UNC academic fraud scandal as well as the Wolfpack’s basketball addition yesterday, Ralston Turner. Additionally, our message forums (linked here) always have dozens of great conversations for you.

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62 Responses to Amile Jefferson to….Duke (rumors & analysis) [Updated at 5:05pm]

  1. DRW 05/15/2012 at 4:17 PM #

    Thanks, Amile.

  2. TOBtime 05/15/2012 at 4:18 PM #

    See ya champ. Just remember Dad can’t play for you.

  3. NCSU84 05/15/2012 at 4:18 PM #

    We should be fine, but Amile would have been a nice addition. Our front still lacks depth and may struggle at times. Oh well.

  4. AppPack14 05/15/2012 at 4:22 PM #

    I hope the rumors were just that…rumors. It would’ve been a dick move to tell some people on State’s team that he was joining them and then pull a fast one and suit up for a cross-town rival (for the record I don’t believe he did tell anyone about his decision; even his own mother didn’t know he was going to choose Duke). Dang. This was definitely the worst-case scenario for NC State basketball. Now we have to compete against his team regularly and be reminded of how close he was to joining us.

  5. mex367 05/15/2012 at 4:24 PM #

    I hope he likes setting screens

  6. SaccoV 05/15/2012 at 4:28 PM #

    I look at Amile this way. Amile is a two-year commitment. He’s a big kid with scoring ability. As of this year, he will be BEHIND both Howell and Leslie. Perhaps by the end of the year, he’ll be better than ONE of those two players, but not both. Howell and Leslie will be gone at the end of the 2012-2013 season, which means Jefferson will perhaps dominate us during the 2013-2014 season (if he stays that long). The last big man who was a formidable player for Duke (meaning someone who could play post and score from outside consistently) was Luol Deng, who left after one season. So Duke bought 1 season (two years from now) in which their post presence MIGHT be better than ours. I don’t think Jefferson will stay in college more than two years. Good luck to Amile; I hope that he gets what he’s looking for at Duke, but I could end my post with a litany of big men forgotten in Duke lore … I won’t do that though!

  7. backnine 05/15/2012 at 4:35 PM #

    For all our success on the recruiting trail this year, we also got burned with several developments. They include transfers of key players we didn’t expect to loose (Painter and Harris). As well as key recruits who seeminly gave every indication they were coming on board only to spurn us at the last possible minute, thus wasting a lot of time and resources. Raulston Turner, however, was a bright spot that will help in coming seasons to offset heavy losses following next season.

    The staff is going to have to work equally as hard starting immediately – not that they’ve ever pulled back – to ensure we restock the program with high end talent. Outside of Turner, we don’t have anything lined up for the 2013 class. And given what we’ll likely be loosing we’re gonna need another big group of high calibre players. There’s certainly no time to loose. This program could easily toggle back a few steps following next season if we aren’t able to keep up the recruiting success.

  8. tjfoose1 05/15/2012 at 4:36 PM #

    Youngsters are entitled to make mistakes. Wonder what he’ll major in to go along with his minor in Flops.

  9. TLeo 05/15/2012 at 4:41 PM #

    If and I say IF, he told Gott he was coming and that caused us to not go after someone else we needed like Young then I would say good riddance as that would show a true lack of class and someone we don’t need to hasve around.. I hope that was not the case. He will learn how to do an outstanding “flop” over there and that’s about it so maybe he’s interested in acting after college.

  10. tuckerdorm1983 05/15/2012 at 4:47 PM #

    who needs him. What a prima donna holding out to the last. I understand that he wants to start and that is why he probably went to duke. With us he was not starting. I think that is what it boils down to. I hope we smash the ever living crap out of Duke and the Tar Holes. Amile, stay out of our way.

  11. virginiawolf 05/15/2012 at 4:49 PM #

    The entire time this “next week, decision coming soon” stuff was going on I had a bad feeling … not that we wouldn’t get him, but that he was essentially holding other recruits at arms length. If any of the rumors are true about telling our current players he was heading this way, not to mention telling the coaches… well, this just seems to orchestrated. I hope CJ and Richard remember this come our first game with dook and completely smother him. TLEO, I agree. GO STATE!!!

  12. JEOH2 05/15/2012 at 4:49 PM #

    Just can’t buy into the doom and gloom some feel about recruiting…we landed 3 Mcds AAs, kept our most talented player from leaping to the NBA, and have picked up a great transfer for the following season…

    Did we miss out on some recruits and have some significant player turnover? Yes but that happens to everyone…go no further than to look at:

    Kentucky (their entire starting 5, no Jefferson, no Muhammad, no Orakhi)

    UNC (4 of their starting 5, no Warren, no Oriakhi)

    Duke (lost their best player, no Purvis, no Muhammad, no Parker)

    We need bigs for the next year…that’s clear, but there is little to indicate that any of our 3 freshmen are gone after next year…and while we assume Brown and Leslie will be gone anything can happen…just ask Julius Hodge…there are too many what ifs to feel bad over one players decision…

  13. Hawkeye Whitney 05/15/2012 at 4:50 PM #

    The number 36 player overall would have been a good addition, but let’s be careful not to miss the forest for the one lost tree. We have a great class coming in and big expectations. Success this season will breed more success, with more good recruiting. If we end up pretty evenly matched with Duke in the recruiting wars, we’ll be okay (and much better off than we’ve been in anybody’s recent memory). The thing I’m most bummed about is losing Painter for his senior season. It means we haven’t completely solved our depth problem.

  14. BJD95 05/15/2012 at 5:07 PM #

    I don’t think we would have or did turn down a sure thing in Young for a “maybe” on Amile. Especially if, as has been said, we were expecting Pringles to depart.

    God, how I miss Pringles already.

    I never expected Amile to come here, not based on inside info but because it didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t see any way he would start here as a freshman, and that’s a huge hurdle to overcome.

    I just wish he wasn’t going to Durham and reinforcing the media blue rimjob chorus. That was the one place I was sure he was NOT going. Blech.

    For the record, I like how this staff pursues transfers. We get new blood that isn’t 18, or really a “rookie.”

  15. state73 05/15/2012 at 5:27 PM #

    Glad the prima donna and media hound is not coming to STATE. We do not need another overbearing father aka Gerald Wilkins. Wish he had gone to UK instead of Dook.

  16. StandUpAndHowl 05/15/2012 at 5:29 PM #

    I must say, he really milked this recruitment. He should major in fiction and write for soap operas.

  17. rockpile 05/15/2012 at 5:46 PM #

    I heard on Amile’s official visit to Duke, Roger Ayers, Brian Dorsey, and Karl Hess were his hosts.

  18. graywolf 05/15/2012 at 5:49 PM #

    He will regret this decision eventually…….

  19. wolfmanmat 05/15/2012 at 5:56 PM #

    Can’t fault a kid for choosing Duke. That said, this won’t effect us too much this year, but WILL effect us alot in 2013, when Howell and Leslie are both gone(more than likely). We better win next year because potentially 2013 could be playing with very bare cupboards unless we can hit a couple big recuits in 2013.

  20. xphoenix87 05/15/2012 at 5:59 PM #

    Guys, stop being bitter. The kid wanted to play for one of the premier programs in the country and perhaps the best coach in the nation. I would have loved to see him here and I think he would have been a great fit, but I can’t blame him for his choice. This needless attacking of kids who say “no” to NC State has to stop, it just makes you look foolish. It was the same thing with Harrow, it makes nobody look good to sling mud at teenagers after they’re gone.

    The prima donna comments are uncalled for. By all accounts, the only reason we kept getting reports was that people kept insisting on asking him. Otherwise, he was quiet, kept his thoughts close to the vest, and took his time to make one of the biggest decisions of his life. He seems like a quiet, thoughtful kid who had a really hard time making a very tough decision.

  21. Wulfpack 05/15/2012 at 6:27 PM #

    As I’ve said before, I’m really not interested in trying to figure out the minds of 18 year old kids. He made the decision he thought would be best for him. Can’t fault anyone for that. We’re going to be fine. Time for TDT or Vandy to step it up.

  22. Rick 05/15/2012 at 6:33 PM #

    It will sound like sour grapes but its not. I see the things that worry me with aj
    1 seems to like the attention to o much
    2 I question the character of anyone that leads others on like he has
    3 daddy issues

  23. tuckerdorm1983 05/15/2012 at 6:49 PM #

    Well with one year under his belt and the class coming in we will do some damage to alot of teams. So we did not get him. There are more fish in the sea. If we have another gang buster year next year more recruits will find their way to raleigh. You can count on it. Just one recruit will not break us. I am putting this behind me. Its done. Pick a lock!! Pick a lock!!! as the good mr. Barney Fife says.

  24. gumby 05/15/2012 at 6:56 PM #

    My advice for him is to get some padded underpants so his arse doesn’t get too sore from all the flopping he’s going to be doing

  25. MickQ 05/15/2012 at 7:11 PM #

    If it took this kid this long to make his decision, we don’t need him. What we need are dedicated, motivated players with solid chemistry. Obviously, Amile did not fit in or did not want to fit in. Go Pack!

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