Tag:North Carolina State
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:18 pm

Brannen Greene begins the recruiting process

By Jeff Borzello

Given his 6-foot-6 size and versatile shooting ability, it was only a matter of time before Brannen Greene truly blew up.

Greene, a scoring wing from Mary Persons (Ga.), took his game to a new level in the spring and summer, catapulting into potential five-star status in the class of 2013.

“I thought I played some really good ball,” Greene said. “I just enjoyed myself and played hard. It feels great and it makes me want to work that much harder.”

Greene is ranked No. 16 in the latest CBSSports.com Top 100, due to his ability to knock down shots from behind the arc and create matchup problems for most defenders. While he needs to move better without the ball, Greene has a smoothness about his game that is impressive.

Prior to the summer, Greene had offers from plenty of schools in the South, but his recruitment certainly picked up in the summer.

“I just had regional high-majors on me before,” he said. “Now I have just about everybody from the West Coast to the East Coast.”

Greene now holds offers from Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Marquette, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Louisville, North Carolina State, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia and others. There are no favorites at this point, although Greene plans to start going through the process in November.

“I’m considering anybody and everybody, but I’m looking to slim down my list pretty quickly so they better jump in,” he said.

Right now, Greene has unofficial visits planned to Florida (August 27), Harvard (September 20) and Kansas (Midnight Madness).

He briefly discussed what he likes about each school on the visit list.

Florida: “I like Florida’s style of play, coaching staff and proximity to home.

Kansas: ”I like Kansas’ tradition and coaching staff.”

Harvard: “The academics and the opportunities I have outside of basketball.”

Overall, Greene – an excellent student in the classroom – is looking both on and off the court when he chooses his future destination.

“Just the opportunity to get better physically and also get a great education,” he said.

Photo: Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: August 8, 2011 3:53 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 3:54 pm

NC State commit Torian Graham opens recruitment

By Jeff Borzello

For the past couple of months, Torian Graham was still without a high school for the upcoming school year – but at least he was committed to North Carolina State.

On Monday, Graham decided to open up his recruitment.

“I just feel like I made a decision too fast,” Graham told PackPride.com. “I don’t feel like I gave everyone a chance to recruit me.”

Graham, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, originally chose the Wolfpack over Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgetown, Oklahoma, UCLA, Xavier and others. He is ranked No. 31 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

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Graham is a big-time scorer, with the ability to get points in a variety of ways. He knocks down mid-range shots, scores in transition and can finish at the rim with contact. Graham has a good first step to get past defenders, and is adept at scoring in the lane off of leaners and floaters. He is very athletic and has good body control.

There is no word on which schools are now in the mix for Graham, though he told PackPride that North Carolina State was still involved.

“I’m still listing them,” Graham said. “They are still at the top.”

Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:39 pm

Brice Johnson uses big July to boost recruitment


By Jeff Borzello

Brice Johnson missed out on a chance to boost his stock at the NBPA Top 100 Camp when he suffered a concussion early in the camp and had to sit out the rest of the event.

Johnson, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Edisto (S.C.), bounced back in a major way at the Peach Jam in mid-July, dominating at both ends of the floor and showcasing his game in front of coaches.

“There’s people my size here,” Johnson said at the time. “When people are 6-foot-4, I don’t play [well].”

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He continued his strong play at the end of the month, staking his claim as one of the best post players in the country. One college coach said he was a future lottery pick.

“I feel like I’m one of the best,” Johnson said. “Everyone has been trying to beat me, but I just know if I play like I always do, they won’t beat me or stop me because I can beat you in a number of ways.”

He is very long and athletic, and he runs the floor like a gazelle. Johnson’s face-up jumper and back-to-the-basket game are both improving, and his potential his through the roof if he continues to develop.

Several schools are making him a priority, with North Carolina offering him earlier this week.

The Tar Heels join a long list of programs, including Florida, Ohio State, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Marquette, Clemson and South Carolina.

Johnson, ranked No. 72 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, said there are no favorites right now, with all of the schools about the same. He plans on taking visits before making a decision, but he is not sure which schools will get an official from him in the fall.

“I’m just going to continue to take my time and find the best fit for me,” Johnson said.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:21 am
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Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 1:59 pm

Isaiah Lewis loading up on college offers

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – The July AAU circuit is normally the pinnacle of a top prospect’s season, considering all the high-profile events they attend and big-time coaches they see.

For Isaiah Lewis, improving his all-around skillset takes precedence.

“I mean, the tournaments are cool, but working on my game is more important,” Lewis said. “This year, I’m going to play the point guard in high school, so I’m learning how to be a passer and still score at the same time.”

Lewis, a 6-foot-3 junior from Christ the King (N.Y.), shares the spotlight in high school with Connecticut-bound Omar Calhoun, but he is receiving plenty of notice on his own.

So far, Lewis claims offers from Miami (Fl.), Florida, Florida State, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Arkansas, Oregon State, West Virginia and Memphis. Other schools showing interest include Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Villanova.

He said Kansas, Memphis and Florida are showing the most interest right now.

“Grades are a big factor in the school I chose,” Lewis said. “Also, the fan base and whether I think the coaching staff can get me ready for the next level.”

He plans to visit Florida, Florida State and Memphis during August, and could trip to Kansas for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness in October.

Two schools are currently standing out for Lewis: Kansas and Memphis.

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“Coach [Josh] Pastner, I just liked the way he talked to me and my father,” he said of Memphis. “He told from the gate, he thinks I can come in, play and contribute. He also told me what he likes about my game.”

Kansas offered Lewis during his sophomore season, and the Jayhawks remain near the top of his list.

“The tradition there is crazy,” Lewis said. “Coach [Bill] Self loves winning. He also compared me to a similar version of Deron Williams, being a big guard who can score and pass.”

While it may seem like the New York City product is going through the process pretty quickly, Lewis has no plans on making a decision anytime soon.

“I’m going to take my time with everything,” he said. “I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to wait, but I may commit after my junior year.”

As we’ve seen with Lewis, getting better is more important than anything.

Photo: The Shiver

Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:39 pm

2012 Andrew White could enroll in the fall

By Jeff Borzello

Outside of last-minute transfers or injuries, most rosters are set for the upcoming college basketball season.

One player could throw a wrench into a few teams’ plans, though.

Andrew White, who reclassified into the class of 2012, was recently approached by North Carolina State about going back to 2011 and enrolling with the Wolfpack in the fall.

“NC State has been recruiting me for awhile and mentioned it first,” White told CBSSports.com Sunday afternoon. “I’m considering it.”

The 6-foot-6 small forward from Miller School (Va.) has seen his recruitment soar lately, after lighting it up on the spring and early summer AAU circuit.

He currently holds offers from Louisville, West Virginia, South Florida, Providence, Miami (Fl.), Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Richmond, George Mason, Oklahoma State, UTEP, BYU and Tennessee, in addition to NC State.

White said Wake Forest, Louisville and BYU have also mentioned the possibility of him enrolling in the fall.

“I’m pretty level-headed with the process right now,” he said. “My main focus has been playing. There are still a lot of steps to be taken in order to come out early, so there is still some time and work to do.

"It would come down to my family helping make a decision in time and how ready I feel I am for the college level."

If White did decide to head to Raleigh -- or anywhere else -- in the fall, he has the offensive skillset to be an impact player. His length and athleticism were always assets, but he has really improved his shooting ability and aggressiveness with the ball.

He said he is not leaning one way or the other at this point.

“I would have to complete classes,” White said. “It’s just an option for me. It’s a unique kind of situation, so there isn’t much of a timetable.”

Photo: Daily Progress

Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:12 pm

Amile Jefferson continues to star despite injury


By Jeff Borzello

Amile Jefferson went into the NBPA Top 100 camp in Virginia with the mindset of giving 100 percent effort and impressing everyone.

When Jefferson injured ligaments in his left hand and the trainer told him not to play, it remained to be seen what sort of week he would have.

Jefferson, a 6-foot-7 forward from Friends Central (Penn.), bounced back to lead the camp in scoring, putting up 20.8 points per game. He scored at least 20 points on four occasions, which is even more impressive considering there were only fourteen 20-point performances from the entire camp.

“I just needed to bring intensity and play hard,” Jefferson said. “It’s been tough for me since I messed up my finger in the second game.”

Jefferson is a very difficult match-up for most defenders, given his size, length and athleticism. He is lanky and needs to add strength, but he can post up around the basket or knock down shots from the perimeter. Jefferson runs the floor well and can also take opponents off the dribble.

After his performance at the camp, Jefferson has risen to No. 14 in the CBSSports.com/MaxPreps rankings. Plenty of schools are on his trail.

Currently, he is hearing from Villanova, North Carolina State, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Stanford, Connecticut and Temple.

Although many people think Jefferson might be leaning toward hometown Villanova, he insists there is no favorite.

“I’m wide open,” Jefferson said.

Photo: Pack Pride

Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:49 am

Nate Britt emerges as nation's top point guard


By Jeff Borzello

Nate Britt entered the NBPA Top 100 camp as a rising junior just looking to test himself against the nation’s best rising seniors.

He came out as the best point guard in the country.

Not just in the class of the 2013 – the entire country.

“It’s a great honor that people think that highly of me,” Britt said.

The 6-foot-1 Gonzaga (D.C.) prospect has been on the scene for several years, but cemented himself as an elite national prospect by winning Gatorade Player of the Year honors in the District of Columbia. Britt is a crafty lefty who knows how to control tempo and make plays in transition if necessary. He can knock down shots from behind the arc and in the mid-range and is continuing to get stronger.

Britt remains humble about where he stands when compared to the rest of the nation’s top-tier players.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to see everyone.”

With the first day coaches were allowed to call rising juniors coming just two weeks ago, Britt has had his phone blowing up nonstop.

Georgia Tech, Florida, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Marquette, Duke, Maryland and Seton Hall have all reached out.

Britt isn’t ready to think about trimming his list or taking unofficial visits yet.

“Not right now,” he said. “After the summer.”

Photo: Pack Pride

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com