McMillan Nearing A Decision

NC State has already landed the top priority in the 2007 class when star point guard Chris Wright committed to the Wolfpack. However, another player is close to making a decision and NC State is in outstanding shape.

Jamelle McMillan is a name most Wolfpack fans have been following since it became apparent that he would be a high-major recruit. Son of NC State great and current Portland Trailblazer head coach Nate McMillan, Jamelle is a star guard for Seattle (WA) prep power O'Dea High School. This week is the state playoffs and O'Dea, the 3A two-time defending state champions, is once again a contender for the title.

"Overall I think I have had a solid season," said McMillan. "Right now I'm averaging around 13 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.

"I was hurt the first five games of the season, but now I'm getting healthy. We start the state tournament tomorrow and that goes through Saturday. We won the state the last two years, so we've got a target on our back right now."

McMillan burst on the scene last summer as he was a vital player for the Seattle-based Friends of Hoop NIKE AAU program. A lockdown defender, he came up big in the prestigious Main Event tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Friends of Hoop playing the talented D.C. Blue Devils in the finals, McMillan held Blue Devil phenom point guard Tywon Lawson to just 10 points, and FOH captured the title, 78-61.

McMillan is drawing heavy interest from programs such as NC State, Georgetown, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, and Arizona among others. With his ties to the Wolfpack and an offer on the table, it should come as no surprise that they are his leader.

"I'm leaning towards State as of right now, and I am looking to make that decision in the next few weeks," said McMillan. "Our high school runs a similiar offense, and I think the transition would be perfect.

Jamelle McMillan (J. Bates)
"I just think when a school like NC State, with a great program and a lot of history in one of the best conferences in the nation is showing that much interest, I think it's a good match.

"I think the timing is right, and I don't really see myself being able to fit in with systems like those at [Washington] and Arizona. Those are great schools, but fit-wise, I just think NC State would be the perfect opportunity."

McMillan admits that NC State's coaching staff will play a major role in his future decision.

"I know they have a great coaching staff," he said. "I've been around those guys a long time with my dad going there. We pretty much lived there in the summer, and I'm comfortable with them.

"Herb's a great guy. They are all great people. They are very honest, and they run the program the right way. I like the way they run the team. The players are class acts, and the program is successful."

With Wright in the fold, NC State is looking to add another guard as Engin Atsur is set to graduate after next season, leaving Wright as the lone point guard on the roster. The Wolfpack is pursuing McMillan as a guard, and he is comfortable with that scenario.

"They have expressed to me that they are recruiting me as a combo guard," he said. "I feel comfortable with that because it is what I do with my high school team and my AAU team.

"I can play off or on the ball on offense, but I just try and bring defensive intensity. Defense is always first with me. Without that you can't win games. I see the floor pretty well."

Both regulars on the NIKE AAU circuit, McMillan spoke highly of Wright and his abilities. He is already familiar with Wright's game and what he brings to the table.

Jamelle and Nate McMillan (J. Bates)
"I've played against Chris Wright, and he's a good player," said McMillan. "He's very offensive-minded, hard-nosed, and he's a good player to have on your team. He knows the game and plays smart. He plays the right way.

"I think it would be great playing with a guy like Chris. As far as working together, he'd be a good guy to work with because of his abilities, and he's also defensive-minded like me."

Nate McMillan wouldn't want anything else than to see his son play at his alma mater, but he hasn't put any pressure on Jamelle to commit to NC State.

"He's already told me he thinks I should commit to State, but he won't pressure me," McMillan said. "If I wanted to go to a school like Carolina or Duke, he would let me, but I think he'd love to see me in the Red and White."

A decision could be coming soon from the 6-foot-2, 175-pound standout. He hopes to visit NC State in the near future and make a decision shortly thereafter.

"As of now, that is the plan," McMillan said. "I am working on getting down there within the next week or two. I'll be down there probably in the next couple of weeks for an official visit." Video Interview: One-on-One With Jamelle McMillan

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