NC State lands major piece to puzzle

NC State landed Abdul Malik Abu and it is a very important piece to the puzzle for the Wolfpack.

The NC State Wolfpack coaching staff has been waiting a long time for another commitment in the 2014 class, but they got a big one on Saturday. Four-star power forward Abdul Malik Abu picked the school, and now the Pack have added a major piece to the puzzle.

The new look ACC is now going to be for the faint of heart. With schools such as Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse all coming in, things are not going to be easy, and you will need toughness on the frontcourt.

After watching the ultra-talented, yet sometimes mercurial, C.J. Leslie for the past few seasons, Pack fans are going to have a much different power forward on their hands. Abu is one of the hardest playing and highest motor prospects in the entire country.

Generously listed at 6-foot-8, Abu is roughly 230 pounds, and just knows how to produce. Abu does most of his damage from the mid-range and in, and is an absolute beast rebounding the ball with his understanding of how the ball will come off the rim, and also with his athleticism, strength, motor, and unrivaled toughness.

While every coach obviously loves to have a player like that on their frontline, there is no question that North Carolina State needs that type of player. The Wolfpack already have wing Caleb Martin and combo forward Cody Martin in this class, but neither of them is the type of high energy rebounding and toughness guy that Abu is. Also in the class ahead in the frontcourt NC State brought in BeeJay Anya who is a pure center and a limited athlete as well as Kyle Washington who is very talented, but his motor can run hot and cold.

Now with Abu, the Wolfpack have the energy guy to complement what they already have. A big wing like Caleb Martin can stretch the defense and attack off the dribble, Anya can occupy the lane with his size and strength, and then Washington is a long and athletic interior player who is best facing the rim in the mid-range.

Abu brings something completely different, and should make all of those players better because he will rebound and do all of the dirty work that is asked of him.

After an off season full of early defections and transfers, NC State needed a big recruiting class in 2014, and right now they are looking good. Caleb Martin and Abu are both highly regarded four-star prospects while Cody Martin is a high level three-star player.

Add in that NC State already has two talented point guards on the roster in Cat Barber and Tyler Lewis and a proven talented scoring threat in the backcourt like Trevor Lacey sitting out due to transfer, and things could be back rolling in Raleigh with the addition of Abu and his other talented classmates.

No one has ever questioned Mark Gottfried's ability to recruit, and he continues to prove by getting Abu away from Florida that he can get it done at a high level.

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