Kevin Keatts saw all this attention being given to the football team and said hold my beer (or maybe he’s a single malt kind of guy). Today he picked up by far his biggest commitment yet as 5-star 6’4” point guard Jalen Lecque has committed to run with the Wolfpack.
ESPN ranks Lecque as the 22nd overall player in the 2019 recruiting class, and the #4 point guard. Well, he’s listed as a point guard, but 247Sports has him more accurately listed a combo guard, 29th overall and 4th at position. Markell Johnson may be more of a true point guard, Lecque is an all around athlete. Lecque transferred to Brewster Academy (New Hampshire) for his current senior season, after playing for Christ School in Arden, North Carolina. Time will tell if this level of signee is a one off for Keatts or a trend.
This is a huge pickup by Keatts. Most prognostications were pointing towards the Pack for some time now. Lecque had a Final 7 of NC State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Louisville, TCU, UCLA, and Oregon, with interest from many others. That being said, he only took official visits to Raleigh and Knoxville. Keatts and his staff have spent a lot of time watching him live to show their high level of interest. He has the talent to play anywhere in the country, and has his eyes on the next level (perhaps sooner rather than later, more on that below).
It is WAY too easy to drool over high school mixtapes, we’ve been burned by them in the past. But seriously, this type of athleticism does not come through very often. I look for the little things in these highlights, and among many talents it seems like he’s fierce and unafraid of attacking the basket. Also see his chasedown blocks (among others) at the 50 second mark.
Kevin Keatts may be just as excited about his potential commitment to defense as much as offense. With the great guards in the ACC, and the press style Keatts wants to play, having a defensive presence in the backcourt is key. He will remind many of Dennis Smith Jr, but something tells me Keatts and company will know how to harness his skills in more than just a roll the ball out there kind of way. You know, things like coaching and strategy, etc. etc.
That’s what ultimately makes me more excited about Keatts’ recruits vs prior administrations. It’s not just the talent, but what the coaches do with that talent that is most exciting. Is this what having a good coach feels like?
Disclaimer: As Newclass noted yesterday, there is a chance Lecque goes straight to the NBA:
while he can sign in the early period to us (and for the record, I think that’s how this plays out) He could very well still go Pro in the spring if he feels he has a shot. LOI only restricts movement from D1 school to D1 school. I feel this will 100% be based on how his shot develops over his last year in High School. If he can turn his shot into a respectable three-point threat he’s gone IMO. If not he stays committed and uses his one year at State to further work on his shot.
Assuming he does end up on the team, the 2019-2020 team is looking prett-y, prett-y good right now.