Men's Basketball Inks Four

<B>Raleigh, N.C. -</b> NC State men's basketball coach Herb Sendek has gathered some of the nation's top-ranked talent, with three promising prep players joining a talented transfer, to form NC State's 2004 recruiting class. The group is currently ranked 13th nationally by

"We are absolutely thrilled with our recruiting class," said Sendek. "In addition to Tony Bethel, a two-year starter from Georgetown, we will welcome three young men with outstanding character and terrific talent to our team. Each has benefitted from excellent high school coaching and is distinguished by their high skill level, their tremendous work ethic and their passion for improvement."

Bethel, a 6-2 guard from Ft. Washington, Maryland, transferred to NC State this fall and is practicing with the team, although he will not be eligible to compete until the 2004-05 campaign. A high school teammate of Wolfpack forward Levi Watkins at Montrose Christian, Bethel started 52 of 58 games as a point guard for the Hoyas, averaging 10.5 points, 3.1 assists and 30.8 minutes during his two years. He led the Hoyas in assists and was the team's third-leading scorer, as a sophomore.

"Tony is already having a positive impact on our team," Sendek continued. "His experience and abillity have already been a great addition in practice."

Cedric Simmons, a 6-10 power forward from West Brunswick High School in Shallotte, N.C., has been rated the consensus top prospect in the state of North Carolina by recruiting analysts. He is ranked 21st nationally by and 16th by Bob Gibbons. Simmons averaged 17.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game during his junior campaign.

"Ced is an explosive player, whose early commitment provided a huge boost to our program," said Sendek. "His combination of length, athleticism and tremendous skill is the reason he is one of the best players in the country."

Andrew Brackman, a 6-10 power forward from Cincinnati's Moeller High School, is ranked 78th nationally by Tabbed the "Best Player You Never Heard About" by Sports Illustrated, Brackman averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds as a junior. Considered a top prospect as a pitcher in baseball as well, Brackman plans to play both sports at NC State.

"Andrew is a tough, versatile player with terrific touch and agility for his size," said Sendek. "Even though he's enjoyed great success, he has only scratched the surface as a basketball player. His ability to play facing the basket as well as in the post will fit our system extremely well."

A high school teammate of Julius Hodge, 6-7 forward Gavin Grant will join the Pack from St. Raymond's High School in The Bronx. Rated 82nd by and by Gibbons, Grant averaged 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks as a junior.

"An excellent passer, finisher and defender, Gavin epitomizes versatility and will be able to fill many roles in our system," Sendek finished.

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