Summer Basketball Talk


Some recent basketball items that might be of interest…

N.C. State basketball weighs future options at Peach Jam (

Seated a few rows off the court, in a corner section, were N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant Orlando Early. The Wolfpack staff continues to make strong impressions on highly rated recruits, but the challenge increases as the program enters what’s perceived to be a rebuilding year.

“As you try to become an elite program, you’ve got to be able to recruit strong classes every year, regardless of your roster and who’s staying or leaving,” Gottfried said. “The jury’s out on us. We’ve got to be able to do that here, to keep recruiting well every year.”


N.C. State is expected to sign a smaller class of 2014 recruits. Twin brothers Caleb Martin and Cody Martin, 6-foot-7 wings who are transferring from Davie County to Oak Hill, were ranked 34th and 35th overall in their class by when they committed in October. Cody has dropped out of the top 100, and 50th-ranked Caleb could miss more than a month after suffering a foot fracture this week.

Gottfried and Early have bounced around the Augusta area, keeping close tabs on standouts such as Black, the 36th-ranked player on ESPN’s Class of 2014 list. Power forward Abdul-Malik Abu (the 44th-ranked rising senior), center Payton Dastrup (who is expected to enter college in 2016, after serving a two-year mission) and in-state forward Gary Clark of Clayton are a few other names of note.

Quality is more of a priority than quantity with so many young players already in the program.

Quite a bit more info in that one, so please follow the link and read the whole thing.

Former N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie talks about not being drafted (

LAS VEGAS Former N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie knew not working out for NBA teams due to injury might be bad.

Just not slide-all-the-way-through-the-draft bad. But that’s what happened the night of June 27, when he never heard his name called among the 60 picks.

That called into question whether Leslie should have left the Wolfpack with college eligibility remaining. Then the New York Knicks called. Their generous offer – his contract is reportedly guaranteed for all of next season – puts his pro career back on track.


There were always questions about how Leslie fit as an NBA player. At 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds he doesn’t have the ideal bulk to play power forward, and his skill set isn’t a great match to small forward.


“The only thing I can think of is me not working out for teams. I think that was critical,” Leslie said. “Do I think I should have went undrafted because of that? Nah. But that’s just the way it works. This is the situation God put me in. It will all work out in the end.”

I suppose ignorance really is bliss.  But at least he’ll have one year of guaranteed money anyway.

NC State’s Richard Howell signs with French club BCM Gravelines Dunkerque (

Richard Howell is a professional basketball player.

After going undrafted in last month’s NBA draft, Howell signed Friday with French club BCM Gravelines Dunkerque.

Howell joins former N.C. State player Danny Strong – the current coach for Fuquay-Varina’s basketball team – as a member of the French club and was the first rookie signed by the team this summer.

BCM has won two championships in the past three years in the Leaders Cup, known as the Semaine des As.


Lorenzo Brown, the lone member of the team to be drafted, hasn’t signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who took him in the second round.

Brown told Fox Sports in Minnesota that he hopes to make the team and isn’t sure of any other plans to play in the D-League or Europe.

Scott Wood, who set N.C. State’s career record for 3-pointers, is playing for the Los Angeles Clippers’ summer league team. Wood, along with Tar Heels first-round pick Reggie Bullock, started summer-league play against Atlanta on Friday.

Way to go Richard, and good luck to Zo Brown and Scott Wood.

Also, the Greater NC Pro-AM summer basketball league is in full swing now at the Durham School of the Arts.  Games are played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Participants with current NCSU ties are….TJ Warren, Ralston Turner, Jevoni Robinson, Trevor Lacey, Anthony Robinson, Kyle Washington, BJ Anya, Dez Lee, Lennard Freeman and Patrick Wallace.

Former Wolfpack roundballer Josh Powell is there this year also .

Read more here:

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

Alums Basketball Recruiting Mark Gottfried NCS Basketball

24 Responses to Summer Basketball Talk

  1. wolffpride 07/13/2013 at 9:53 AM #

    We need to pick up a quality big in the 2014 class, maybe 2. We are apparently going after another wing player as well, which doesn’t really add up. We already have 5 guys to play 2 spots in 2015, being Lee, Turner, Lacey and the Martin Twins. If Cat Barber and Lewis work well together in the line up this year then Barber could take up time at SG. That is an extremely crowded backcourt. My guess is Cody Martin won’t play a whole lot unless they move him to the PF. I suppose it would be a good problem to have, but beware of transfers, I can already hear the Chicken Littles…

  2. redcanine 07/13/2013 at 10:40 AM #

    No more Tyler Harris’s. No more Thomas DeTay’s. No more projects. No more!

    “As you try to become an elite program, you’ve got to be able to recruit strong classes every year, regardless of your roster and who’s staying or leaving,” Gottfried said.

    Gone are the days of settling for warm bodies. These players that Gott is offering and has offered are talented and skilled athletes. We’ll get our share.

  3. wolffpride 07/13/2013 at 11:53 AM #

    Cody Martin would be a project, very much like a Tyler Harris type of player. We had to add him to get his brother though, who should be a quality player. Leonard Freeman more than likely will be a warm body, hard worker/Richard Howell type, but limited talent. We need that body for next year though, after then if we sign some more bigs, then he is a bench warmer/transfer.

    All in all I would prefer to stay away from the one and dones and build a program with consistency, like Kansas or Michigan State. A sprinkle of one year guys if they are like a Julius Randle caliber player.

  4. redcanine 07/13/2013 at 12:14 PM #

    “Leonard Freeman more than likely will be a warm body, hard worker/Richard Howell type, but limited talent.”

    Howell was more than a warm body. I’d/we’d love for Lennard to wind up being as good as Howell. Lennard also played at Oak Hill, and for the life of me I can’t remember where Jaqawn Raymond went to high school.

  5. Mike 07/13/2013 at 12:23 PM #

    last night on the news (WRAL) they showed highlights of summer play.

    Showed Woo hitting an open 3 ball and I think he finished with pts. Once again, his only shot is to use this as a showcase as he has no spot with the Clips.

    Then they went to Calvin. Gravley said “no surprises, what we have seen before out of CJ, pouting, lackadasical, and getting frustrated with the refs”. Then this AM in the N&O (linked above) the “ignorance is bliss” comment hits the nail on the head. Exactly what I was thinking as I read the article – he may be fooling himself but not fooling anyone else.

  6. packalum44 07/13/2013 at 3:01 PM #

    Coincidence that espn is run by tar holes and State recruits are consistently ranked lower on their site and the media uses them. Bias. Whatever.

    I’m impressed Gott and staff haven’t stepped off the pedal. Hope they don’t get burnt out bc they have to work much harder than the Ks and Roy’s of the world.

    Also like the transfers he’s sold the program to. Trevor was 5star at one point and Turner was 4star.

    Our team will play all 4/5 star guys with exception of Lennard (wont play much next tear) and Vandy. Not many schools can say that. Gotta stop the turnover and hope Warren sticks around for a 3rd year. That team would be loaded assuming Annya and Kyle develop as expected. Top 10 easily.

    Could you imagine if we cheated and kept lottery picks from leaving school early like UNC and Duke??????

  7. NCStatefan 07/14/2013 at 12:51 AM #

    “Cody Martin would be a project, very much like a Tyler Harris type of player. We had to add him to get his brother though, who should be a quality player.”- Wolffpride

    Cody was ranked 35th behind Caleb who was 34th and Cody is a project? Thomas Dethay was a definite project, a 2 star recruit but having Cody drop out of the top 100 by ESPN doesn’t make him a “project”. That shows to much reliance on one grading system. Rivals still has him in the top 100 as a 4 star recruit and 247 recruiting has him as high as 67th in the country.

  8. NCStatefan 07/14/2013 at 1:40 AM #

    When you recruit a good class every year, you don’t have to worry about transfers. The key thing is to give those that can contribute the most the playing time so that they aren’t the ones that transfer ie.- Josh Davis.

    It is awesome when you think about who we have this year alone on the team. Ralston Turner was a Mcdonald’s All American joining 3 other Mcdonald’s All Americans (Tyler, Cat and T.J.). Eligible to play next year is Trevor Lacey who was ranked 26th in the Nation overall as a 5 Star recruit and Parade All American.

    B.J. who rated as the #1 center in the country a year ago is a borderline All-American at worst and Kyle Washington was one of the most underated players in the 2013 class according to some scouts being ranked 97th by ESPN and 93rd by Rivals.

    Desmond Lee may not have these titles lauded on him but will contribute alot as well. That makes 10 elite players on the same team next year counting the Martin twins if T.J. comes back for his junior season. Add Leron Black next year or another player of his caliber and you are talking about a very good group of players assembled. We already know what each of these players is capable of doing. If our shooting guards can knock down their threes and we can be a strong defensive team, it is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

  9. wolffpride 07/14/2013 at 11:43 AM #


    Don’t get me wrong, I like Cody Martin. I actually think he may turn out to surprise people since he knows that his brother is perceived as better and could play with a chip on his shoulder. After watching video of his play though, I realize he is not the same level of his brother, CONSISTENTLY, yet.

    The Tyler Harris comparison is very valid in my mind because he seems to be at the same level judging by what I have seen. I did not think Tyler Harris was a bad player, I liked having him on our team, he was ranked in the 100’s coming out of HS and was an ACC caliber player IMO. With Cody’s case, he will have to compete with Lee and Turner (Seniors), Lacey (beast?) and his brother and potentially Cat Barber for PT. Calling him a “project” player was unfair, I agree with that, but he has a big hill to climb given our numbers at his position. Maybe in 2015 and beyond he will establish himself as a solid contributor.

    I simply was reacting to redcanines comments about no more project players and wanted to point out that Cody and Freeman are two guys that could fit that mold (Freeman definitely more so). The fact is that every team has project players, they are not a bad thing, you just don’t want a roster full, which I think is what canine’s point was. Personally, I don’t think having either one of these guys on our roster is a bad thing. We need Freeman for this upcoming year as a body, and he will be great competition in practice because he is strong and works hard, rebounds, buys into D, etc.

    I know given Gottfried’s rotation (8-9 man) that both Cody Martin and Lennard Freeman will have to step it up big time to see any quality PT in 2014.

  10. redcanine 07/14/2013 at 12:01 PM #

    I don’t know the best way to describe my definition of ‘project player’, but I’ll give it a try:

    If a guy is only offered a scholarship to Elon, W&M, Lamar, and NC State, he’ll probably choose NC State. Viewing through the lens of a State fan, he’s definitely a ‘project’ player.

    The opposite is also has some truth to it. If a player is offered a scholly to UF, UK, G’Town, UNC, Baylor, and NC State, he’s probably not a ‘project’.

    T Harris, DeTay, and J Raymond were project players. Cody Martin? Not quite. Richard Howell? Heck no. Lennard? He would have had more offers if he had gone to prep for one year. If he’s our project guy, then our recruiting is pretty good.

  11. packalum44 07/14/2013 at 12:39 PM #

    BJD has a pretty good perspective on our team.

    Would you rather have a Tony Bennet team (could also insert Sendek too) that essentially has a ceiling of squeaking into the dance every few years, or a team that has all 4/5 star guys with a 3* project/glue guy sprinkled in…

    Tony Bennet’s teams and coaching philosophy is essentially get lots of solid 3 star guys, sprinkle in a few 4/5 stars once in a while and make the sum of the parts greater than the whole…if you make a Sweet 16 then throw a party b/c it won’t happen again.

    Gott’s perspective is simple…as an analyst at ESPN he noted that the team with the better players usually won. Go out and get the most talented players possible. The ceiling is much higher with talent, but the risk of missing on recruits and having a down year b/c of early entrants to NBA is worth the costs.

    So what if you have 1 down year, and it consist of possibly being a bubble team…that’s our “down” year???? I actually think we’ll be good enough to dance. Next year’s team could be extremely good…I’ll take and Gott’s paradigm any day. We “fired” Sendek for a reason.

  12. wolffpride 07/14/2013 at 6:04 PM #

    packalum hit the nail on the head. You have to recruit like a big boy if you want to beat the big boys. I am glad to see that this is not only true with our basketball program but also with our football.

  13. john of sparta 07/14/2013 at 10:49 PM #

    +1 wolffpride…big boy “stuff” wins.
    are we willing to go there and endure the Big Boy problems? multi-million-dollar problems. agents fungus-among-us.
    can we (NCSU Athletics) fend off and defend our brand?
    this is not as easy as recruiting, signing and winning.
    bottom line/my opinion/we will when we commit.

  14. wolffpride 07/15/2013 at 9:06 AM #

    The agent thing is a problem no matter where you go, it’s a part of big money athletics. Can we comply and report to the best of our ability? I
    Hope so. The bigger names we get, the more likely a “rogue” (couldn’t resist) will surface. I do feel comforted with an AD like Yow, if anyone can steer a ship through turbulent times like these then it is her, she’s got moxy.

    I think we can defend our brand and image, we have a strong fanbase. We have been defending it for 30 years, while the UNCs have tried to convince us we are not worth a rivalry and national media treating us like a flash in the pan.

    The truth is our biggest concern is the Cheaters. Once we get a wiff of success, they will come guns blazing. “David Thompson getting extra workouts with our coaches” blazing. We win an improbable championship right after the Mecca wins theirs and Shoegate gets unloaded type of blazing.

    Valid concerns for a program on the rise. Can we handle the spotlight? Lets start winning and find out!

  15. wolffpride 07/15/2013 at 9:39 PM #

    Roy says: “P.J. and I have had several discussions already and he knows he has made serious mistakes and there will be serious consequences as a result.”

    Like what coach? It’s been a month and a half…

    Oh wait, there’s more:

    He said there are “several options available” as punishment, including a possible suspension. Hairston faces an August court hearing and isn’t enrolled in summer school. The team is in the offseason so Williams says he will wait “until the process is complete” to decide on the punishment.

    “Including a possible suspension.” Would he dare? That would be mighty harsh. Seriously though, we should be relieved, ‘Ole Roy has assured us that PJ will be disciplined. We can move along now, nothing to see here.

    ESPN Story:

  16. lawful 07/16/2013 at 11:56 AM #

    Double secret probation?

  17. Texpack 07/16/2013 at 12:30 PM #

    Serious punishment means nobody is allowed to laugh at it after it is handed down.

  18. rtpack24 07/16/2013 at 1:00 PM #

    Ole Roy is not worried about guns, rent-a-cars, or pot. It is the NCAA investigation with PJ and the agent runner from Greensboro that has him worried. The school admitted this has been going on since May but the media has left this aspect alone for some odd reason.

  19. PackerInRussia 07/17/2013 at 10:11 AM #

    Coach Williams: PJ, what you did was pretty bad. I’m afraid I’m going to have to punish you. No pot for a week.

    PJ: A week?!?! Come on, man!

    Coach Williams: OK, five days. But, nothing less.

    PJ sulks away and the invisible hand of Carolina Justice pats itself on the back while wondering if it was too harsh (and if recruiting will be hurt by this incident).

  20. gumby 07/17/2013 at 1:31 PM #

    Huckleberry’s idea of “serious punishment” means no more free rental cars and he has to buy his own weed from now on.

  21. rtpack24 07/17/2013 at 8:51 PM #

    Unless agent runner blows up, PJ likely to get 5 game suspension plus lot of fluff, community service etc.

  22. logarithm 07/18/2013 at 5:39 PM #

    Has anybody out there seen twins, identical twins no less, have that much separation in their rankings and whatnot? I mean ESPN is the one with the greatest variation between the two in terms of nationwide ranking but it still has both of them at 4-stars. Caleb is ranked at an 85 and Cody an 80, yet that’s enough to put one at the 50th best player in the country and the other out of the top 100 list. I think we need some perspective as to how small a pool of players 100 really is and how little separation there is between even dozens of ranks. And they’re on the same team playing the same position, cannibalizing each other’s minutes unless one is playing a position he’s not as experienced at. I’m not concerned about Cody Martin. I think we’ll run some unconventional line-ups with essentially 2 PGs, 2 wings and 1 big center, and the coaching staff will make things fit fine.

    And I trust Steve Smith, the winningest high school basketball coach of all time, to have done a great job with every player he interacts with at Oak Hill Academy.

  23. NCStatefan 07/19/2013 at 4:05 PM #

    I have been thinking along the same lines regarding the twins and the new updated rankings causing Cody to drop that far that quickly. Apparently Caleb is easily the better of the two but is there really that much separating identical twins who have been playing together and dominating all their lives? There wasn’t any major difference between the Harrison twins going #5 and #7 even though one was better than the other. There was clearly a big difference between the Plumlee brothers so it may be a noticeable enough difference to potentially create that much separation. Or, it could be a bias created towards a recruit choosing NCSU??? Let’s hope not and may they prove them wrong if it is.

  24. mak4dpak 08/09/2013 at 9:33 PM #

    Not everyone on here, but some seem to love to hate on Tyler Lewis. Why? When finally given the chance to play last year, I think he was impressive, and showed great potential, and will continue to show his abilities and skills, that will help lead our team to success.

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