The Buzz

TSW begins a series of buzz evaluations for potential NC State basketball prospects.

While the pundits and some fans say that the point guard spot may be the highest recruiting priority, it is certainly not to the level of desperation. A case can be made that with the current depth at the guard spot (Dom Mejia, Julius Hodge), the ability of NC State big men to handle the rock (Marcus Melvin, Ilian Evtimov, Levi Watkins) and the depth at swing position (Cam Bennerman, Justin Flatt, Scooter Sherrill), the point by committee in the new Wolfpack offense makes it possible to look in the class of 2004 for the PG of the future. Of course, if Julius Hodge goes pro after this year, then all bets are off and it may be a desperate spring recruiting season indeed.

According to reports, the NC State staff are using their luxury of depth to go after only the best. Early on, it appeared that the Wolfpack had zoomed in on #1 ranked PG Mustafa Shakur, #2 Chris Paul, #5 Tack Minor, #6 Brandon Jenkins, and #8 Mike Nardi. All gave the Staff a nice base to work with for landing a top rated guard from the class of 2003. Since the spring, Paul (Wake Forest) and Jenkins (Louisville) have both committed elsewhere and Minor most likely will end up at Cincinnati or LSU. The early list has now been trimmed to two big time players, Shakur and Nardi. Mustafa is easily a top 20 player and Nardi could be considered a top 60 prospect. Either would fill the bill as the PG of the future and NC State would win with either of them running the point.

The current depth also allows the staff to be equally selective with the second scholarship. If they cannot secure another top 50 player, then look for the scholarship to be carried over to a very talented class of 2004 for which they currently only have one to offer.

The thought is that the second scholy, if used, will go on a versatile forward who can shoot the three, take it inside and bring the ball up court. A couple of prospects seemed to have risen above the rest, #7 SF Sean Banks and #13 Reyshawn Terry. Both have the type of game that the staff are looking for in the new offense. Banks is ranked as the 16th best prospect in the class of 2003 while Terry is believed to be a top 75 player.

There are a few dark horses to keep you eyes on also. A pair of Linus Lithuanians have caught the eyes of the staff, PF Linus Kleiza and PG Linas Lekavicius. Kleiza in particular is ranked #50 overall and is considered the 12th best power forward. Lekavicius may well be the sleeper pick in 2003. He is a hard nosed PG that plays in a small private school in Virginia, but schooled the likes of Vern Hamilton at the annual "Open Gym" in Virginia in May of this year.

Others to keep your eyes on in the coming weeks include shooting guards Ramel Bradley, Jay Jackson and Ricky Lucas .

Starting on Monday, TSW will continue the series of "All the Buzz" for the above prospects and more. We have completed two "Buzz" articles (Mustafa Shakur and Linus Kleiza Buzz) already and will continue to update them as we progress through the summer.

Pack Pride Top Stories