NC State missed out on five-star forward Edrice "Bam" Adebayo today and yeah, it pretty much sucked. It’s tough to imagine a bigger blow in recruiting than losing a top ten player at the very end, after being the perceived leaders for nearly the entire recruitment. Life goes on though, and NC State must turn their attention to other targets to finish the class of 2016. So what’s next?
Adding a big man is paramount. As of now, NC State will be very thin on the front line in 2016, especially when it comes to scoring. If Abu or Anya were to head for the draft (I don’t see why this would happen, but some seem to think it is a possibility), then the Pack could be in real trouble. Adding at least one body to the PF/C rotation is hugely important and the hope is that it can be five-star Udoka Azubuike, a 6’11", 260 pound rim destroyer from Jacksonville Florida. He becomes the number one target at PF/C, if not the number one target overall for NC State.
The pitch of being able to play with the elite class of Smith, Adebayo, and possibly even Alkins was huge for NC State in their recruitment of Azubuike, and that obviously is no longer a factor. That is the bad news. The good news is that Azubuike pushed his timeline back after he initially planned on signing this week, which means the Pack has time now to try and play catch up. The staff has turned up the heat on the Potter’s House Christian Academy star, as they went to see him play over the weekend. Most think of Florida State as the current leader.
NC State will still pursue Word of God five-star shooting guard Rawle Alkins with everything they’ve got. Rawle’s move from New York to North Carolina has obviously opened up his recruitment for NC schools, specifically NC State and UNC. He has already been to both multiple times. St. Johns is still in play, as are some other schools, including the dreaded five-star vacuum known as Kentucky.
The Pack will look to uncover some new names and potential late pickups as well, which they have a decent track record of doing (Freeman, Kirk, Lee). There’s no denying things can’t be the same without Adebayo, even if Azubuike makes his way to Raleigh, but NC State still has a chance to finish with an elite recruiting class. Hopefully the remaining pieces can still fall into place.