STORYLINES: July Recruiting

Pack Pride gives you five storylines to watch for this month as NC State's basketball staff hits the road for evaluations. The NCAA allows coaches three evaluation periods over a three-week span, the first of which began yesterday at 5 o'clock and ends on Sunday at 5 pm.

The NCAA allows coaches three evaluation periods over a three-week span, the first of which began yesterday at 5 o'clock and ends on Sunday at 5 pm.

NC State heads into the first evaluation period with no 2016 verbal commitments, but they did land Charlotte transfer Torin Dorn, who is essentially a 2016 recruit for the Wolfpack because he has to sit out this season and won't be eligible until next year.

Here is a look at five storylines to watch with NC State hoops recruiting...

1. Replacing Rob Moxley Won't Be Easy
NC State was dealt a major blow this spring when assistant coach Rob Moxley, a strong recruiter, went on a leave of absence with a medical issue.

"The most important thing is he gets better," said head coach Mark Gottfried. "He has not returned to work. There's not an exact date that we can point to."

Director of Basketball Operations Jeff Dunlap has replaced Moxley on the recruiting trail, and Dunlap went all-in, as he's expected to attend the Peach Jam, Under Armour All-American Camp, and Phenom Champions Classic this weekend.

He'll be a busy man.

Moxley was the primary recruiter for Edrice Adebayo, but look for the Wolfpack coaching staff to collectively recruit Adebayo and the rest of Moxley's targets moving forward.

2. Smith Is A Must-Get
It's no secret that Dennis Smith, the top point guard in the country, is a major target for NC State. The Wolfpack hasn't landed a prep point guard since inking Anthony Barber in the fall of 2012 and for the second year in a row they will play without a backup point guard on the roster.

There are rumblings that NC State may be the leader for Smith, but he has maintained that his recruitment is wide open.

How big of a national target is Smith? Head coaches and assistants from NC State, Duke, and North Carolina (among others) were at his opening game last night at the Adidas Uprising.

He was on NC State's campus recently for an unofficial visit, and the Wolfpack is doing all they can to land the elite in-state standout.

"They want me to come in, and it could be my show," Smith said of NC State. "That's pretty much their pitch.

"I like the staff a lot. Coach Early and coach Gottfried, they interact with me and want me to be comfortable. I've got comfortable around them and their players."

3. A Potential Package Deal
"Don't be surprised to see us play at the same school."

That was Dennis Smith's response when we asked him last month about his relationship with AAU teammate Edrice "Bam" Adebayo.

The two in-state stars both play for Team Loaded North Carolina on the AAU circuit, and they have built a close relationship. Adebayo tabbed Smith as the point guard he likes playing with when asked about it at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, and Smith raved about their bond.

"Bam, it's more than playing together," said Smith. "He's like my brother off the court. We're real close."

Their lists are fairly similar at this point with both players listing NC State, North Carolina, Louisville, and Kentucky. The lone school not recruiting both (that is expected to be a factor) is Duke, who is on Smith but not Adebayo.

Package deals can fall through... we're dealing with teenagers, but indications are that if Smith and Adebayo do attend the same college than NC State is in really, really good shape.

4. Will A Third Major Target Emerge?
Everyone knows about NC State's pursuit Adebayo and Smith, but will a third, major target emerge for the Wolfpack?

That remains to be seen.

They are on elite players like Josh Jackson, Markelle Fultz, and Kobi Simmons, but they seem like longshots at this point. They've cooled on some other prospects, and it could be a deal where they are content with just heavily pursuing Smith and Adebayo.

It will be interesting to watch because with nine scholarship players already in the fold, the NC State coaching staff doesn't like to have more than 10 or 11 scholarship players on the roster.

5. Prioritizing The 2017 Class
Who will rise to the top of the 2017 list?

No one really knows at this point.

Point guard will be a priority, and State's already pursuing Trevon Duval, Lavar Batts, and Blake Harris among others. Shooting guard Hamidou Diallo has an offer and is one of the top wings in the country, and the NC State coaching staff is evaluating South Carolina combo guard Devontae Shuler... his stock is on the rise.

The class is loaded with big men, and the Pack will likely ramp up their interest in post players this month.

It's still early, but it's never too early to start laying the foundation for the upcoming recruiting class.

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