The 2016 recruiting cycle is a huge one for the Pack. Anyone who has followed basketball recruiting recently knows that point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and big man Edrice "Bam Bam" Adebayo are the Pack's most coveted recruits, but who are the other targets that State will be looking at in 2016?
Gottfried and company have offered six currently uncommitted point guards in this class. With Barber either being a senior or having already left for the NBA, State will look to take two point guards. Dennis Smith is almost certainly a one-and-done guy, so if he decides to come to Raleigh, the Pack will try to land a multiple-year guy to take the reins after he bolts for the league.
Some current targets to fill that role include Devearl Ramsey from Chatsworth, California; Curtis Jones from Huntington, West Virginia; and Jalen Harris, who plays for Word of God in the Wolfpack’s home town. Harris is the only one that has yet to receive an offer.
Ramsey is a 5-11 speedster who is lightning quick and a great defender. He averaged a very respectable 14.3 PPG while adding 4.3 APG to just 1.8 TOPG for his Sierra Canyon Trailblazers. Ramsey has a decent amount of west coast offers, and obviously proximity to home is a factor that is working against State, so getting him on campus may be a challenge.
Jones is a tall point guard, standing at 6’3, and has experience playing off the ball at shooting guard as well, which could make him an ideal target to go along with Dennis Smith. He’s already been to campus unofficially, and the Pack is definitely a player here, but will have to beat out an extensive list of colleges to earn his commitment. For what it’s worth, though, Jones has stated that he knows and talks to Caleb and Cody Martin.
Jalen Harris does not yet hold a Pack offer but it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see it come. Harris could definitely be a four-year guy to run the point and is plenty capable, despite the fact that he is lower ranked than all of the point guards the Pack has offered. He had impressive showings in the local Holiday Invitational tournament, including a 23 point showing against tournament champions Wesleyan. Harris and Dennis Smith also know each other, which could come into play down the road. Other point guards State has extended offers to include De’Aaron Fox, Jamal Murray, and Kobi Simmons.
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Terry Henderson, Caleb and Cody Martin, and Shaun Kirk will be the four players expected to be on the roster at these positions come 2016. The Pack has not held back in recruiting these positions, offering a slew of highly touted players. They currently sit in the top 10 for the nation’s top ranked player; shooting guard Josh Jackson. UCLA, Duke, Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina, Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville, and Michigan State are the teams that round out his list.
It’s definitely a good sign for the future that the Pack continues to make top 10s for elite prospects from out of state, like they did with Ivan Rabb and Malik Newman last year, but State will probably still be a longshot here. Some prospects State may have a better shot at include SF Maverick Rowan, SG Rawle Alkins, and SF Brendan Bailey. Obviously it’s still early, and many more visits will come, but Rowan and Alkins are two targets that have visited campus already and there are other reasons to feel optimistic about Bailey.
Some expected the sharpshooting Rowan to reclassify to 2015, in which case he would’ve almost certainly gone to Louisville, but that doesn’t look like it will happen, which means the door could reopen for other schools like NC State. Rowan has drawn comparisons to former State star Scott Wood because of his ability to shoot the triple and will remain a big wing target in 2016. Alkins’ one trip to Raleigh was for Throwback with the Pack to kickoff last season. He has said he wants to visit as many schools as possible, and certainly has plenty of options. The Pack will have to beat out a lengthy list of schools to earn the services of the Brooklyn native, but it’s worth noting that Alkins had very positive things to say about his visit last October.
6-7 SF Brendan Bailey does not have a scholarship offer from NC State yet, but it’s not unreasonable to think that State could become the leader if they decide to extend one. Bailey is the son of Thurl Bailey, who was a member of the 1983 Cinderella squad. Bailey recently decommited from Arizona State after the firing of former NC State coach Herb Sendek, (NC State connections all around!!!) and the Pack is beginning to show interest. Brendan is already a top 100 player, and sort of resembles a poor man’s Brandon Ingram. This will be a name to follow if the Pack decide to offer.
Outside of these four, the Pack have also tendered SG Josh Langford, SG Markelle Fultz, SF Miles Bridges, SF V.J.King, SF Deandre Hunter, and SF Christian Matthews. Mario Kegler is also an unoffered player to keep an eye on.
In 2016 BeeJay Anya and Lennard Freeman will both be seniors and Abu will be a junior. If top post target Edrice Adebayo decides to run with the Pack, there is a strong possibility he will only be in Raleigh for one year. This means the Pack will likely need to add more than just Adebayo to be prepared for the exodus at the end of the season.
The Pack missed on 6’10 center Micah Potter earlier this year, but it is unclear how hard they were actually in pursuit of him. A new offer went out in April to Mount Vernon Christian’s James Banks from Stockbridge, Georgia. A lengthy shot blocker, Banks has been steadily garnering attention from more and more schools. His offer list now goes 20 deep and contains the likes of Cincinnati, Memphis, Nebraska, and Auburn, and should continue to grow. He had a very impressive season at Mt. Vernon last year, averaging 23 PPG, 14 RPG, and 9 BPG.
Trevor Stanback is another west coast guy to which State has extended an offer. Stanback attends Maranatha High School in Pasadena, but he is not unfamiliar with North Carolina. His dad played football for UNC in the late 70’s and Trevor has been to the state numerous times, including once on an unofficial visit to NC State. Trevor is another quality shot blocker, who is averaging an extremely impressive 4.2 blocks per game in his high school career. Aside from Banks, Stanback, and Adebayo, State has also offered Juwan Durham, Tony Bradley, and Jayce Johnson.