The massive search for a PG has not deterred NC State from eyeing several other position players, but it may be looking as if they will actually save the scholarship for a very talented class of 2004. Cedric Simmons (6'9 200 PF) is possibly the top prospect in NC and according to reports, he does have a standing offer from NC State. The rumor is that he may commit in the next 30 days to NC State, although his AAU coach told us this summer that he will wait till next summer to make his choice. If he does go ahead and commit, then that will take some of the pressure of landing a top big man from the Class of 2003.
The end of summer now finds the following:
Mustafa Shakur (6'3" 170 PG): He came out of the summer being tagged as the #1 PG from the Class of 2003. I saw him at the TOC and he is just that good. His spin moves are dizzying and he has NBA range. I wonder if he might make the jump? That speculation aside, it appears this is a two horse race. NC State and Arizona are the contenders with the rest being pretenders. Dave Telep has told me that this is a "real war" and the battles of in-homes and official visits are set to be launched in September. Arizona has the reputation for NBA PGs, but you have to love the position NC State has maneuvered in this legendary battle.
Chris Paul (6'0 150 PG): Some services list Paul as the best point in the class of 2003 but that is still being debated. NC State lost the recruiting battle for Paul in the spring when he committed to Wake Forest. NC State was the first to offer Paul in an effort to get their foot in the door. It appeared to work for awhile. Paul did consider NC State, making several unofficial visits to Raleigh. At one point in the spring it was even rumored that the Pack had a slight lead. However, the trail turned cold quick, when after Paul's official visit to Wake, he committed to the Deacons. It seems his friendship with the local Winston-Salem players were just too strong to pass on.
Michael Nardi (6'1" 155 PG): It seems the race for Shakur snuffed out Mike Nardi's chances to play at NC State. Before and during the TOC, Mike made it quite clear that NC State was his leader, but the official offer never came his way. By the time Nike and USA were over, so was NC State's involvement with Mike. When it appeared NC State had a legitimate chance at Shakur, NC State passed on Nardi. The pass soon moved Nardi to commit to his second favorite, Villanova. It also removed 'Nova from the Shakur sweepstakes. This move by the NC State coaching staff may well of been the "play of the day" if they land Shakur.
Taurean Minor (5'11" 175 PG): While there seemed to be some mutual interest in early spring between "Tack" and NC State, it now appears the relationship has ceased. Tack had a great summer athletically but he appears most interested in Louisiana State and Cincinnati.
Jay Jackson (6'1" 180 PG): The Wolfpack evaluated Jay in April and showed some interest but the Paul sweepstakes were heating up and that remained the focus at that time. NC State may still be involved at this point but the interest is sure not showing up on the recruiting radars.
Linas Lekavicius (6'1 185 PG): Linus's named popped into consideration when he reportedly outplayed Vern Hamilton at the Virginia Open Gym. The last report we had was he headed overseas for the summer to play on the Lithuanian Jr National team. He may be a sleeper to watch if the Mustafa plan goes awry.
Linas Kleiza (6'8" 220 PF): Linus blasted the competition in the early summer being named MVP for the Five-Star Camp. He later blew out his knee and is busy rehabilitating. We may have to wait till spring to see what happens here.
Reyshawn Terry (6'6" 210 SF): NC State turned up the heat in recruiting Terry as the summer progressed. However, "Rey" had a favorite early on and that was UNC. Matt Doherty offered when it looked as if his summer school grades were up to par and Rey accepted.
Sean Banks After winning the MVP at the TOC, Sean's stock skyrocketed. NC State's interest peaked as well, but persistent rumors about trouble with qualifying seems to of lead to a pass given by NC State. Banks recently committed to Memphis.
Engin Atsur (6'4" 180 PG): It is a bit early to tell how this one will go. From what we hear, Engin is a player who can score and lead. However, it is late in the summer, he just popped onto the radars and more time needs to pass to see where he stands with NC State. We will keep you up to date.