Pack Signees, Commitments Hit the Hardwood

Several NC State signees and commitments will be playing in prominent basketball tournaments over the holidays, highlighted by 2007 commitment Tracy Smith's Wednesday night game in the 2006 Glaxo Invitational.

Pack Pride will have extensive coverage of all players in action, including game recaps, photos, quotes, video and audio so stay tuned!

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Several NC State signees and commitments will be playing in prominent basketball tournaments over the Holidays, highlighted by 2007 commitment Tracy Smith 's Wednesday night game in the 2006 Glaxo Invitational.

Tracy Smith

Smith, a 6-foot-8 combo forward, committed to NC State this fall over offers from USC and Oklahoma State. He has yet to sign a letter-of-intent, but he plans on inking with the Wolfpack this spring.

Smith is the star for this year's Durham (NC) Mt. Zion Academy team. He is averaging 24.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and two blocks as Smith is shooting an astounding 79 percent from the floor.

Mt. Zion plays just one game in the 2006 Glaxo Invitational. In a showcase game, Smith and Mt. Zion will face Aston (Pa.) American Christian tomorrow at 9 p.m. American Christian features 6-foot-4 guard Tyreke Evans, one of the nation's top 2008 guard prospects. The game will be played on NC State's campus in Reynolds Coliseum.

A consensus top 50 player, Smith is rated the No. 13 power forward prospect in the country by Scout.com. The network has also tabbed Smith a four-star prospect and the No. 45 player overall in the class of 2007.


Wolfpack signee J.J. Hickson is off to a blistering start, and has Marietta (GA) Wheeler at 5-1 on the season.

J.J. Hickson
Hickson is a major reason for the hot start. Through six games, he is averaging 24.2 points and 16 boards.

A consensus top 25 player, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound standout is rated the No. 3 center prospect in the country by Scout.com. The network has also tabbed him a five-star prospect and the No. 21 player overall in the class of 2007. He is expected to be a McDonald's All-American this spring.

Hickson and Marietta will be playing this week in a holiday tournament in Portland, Oregon. The tournament, scheduled to begin today and end on December 30th, also features UCLA signee Kevin Love, a 6-foot-9 post considered the No. 1 center prospect in the 2007 class. Love stars for Lake Oswego (OR) High School.


The Wolfpack's other 2007 signee, Johnny Thomas, leads Greensboro (NC) Day into the 2006 Pizza Hut Little 4 Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Johnny Thomas

Day recently suffered its first loss of the season, falling to G.W. Danville (VA) last week 71-67. Thomas led the way with a game-high 22 points, as he is averaging 21 points and nine rebounds.

Thomas, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing, committed to NC State this spring as Sidney Lowe's first commitment in the class of 2007. He played at a few AAU tournaments with the North Carolina Gaters, but is the go-to player for Day High.

Greensboro (NC) Day is now 9-1 on the season. The Bengals are the No. 1 seed in the Little 4 Invitational, and they face No. 8 Northwest (NC) Guilford tonight at 8:30. The championship game will be played December 28th and all games are at the Greensboro Coliseum. Pizza Hut Little 4 Invitational Basketball Tournament Schedule


2008 commitment C.J. Williams has been the star in the Cumberland County area, as the 6-foot-5 wing has led Fayetteville (NC) Jack Britt to a 9-1 record and the No. 1 seed in the 2006 SunCom Boys' Basketball Holiday Tournament.

C.J. Williams

Williams verbaled to NC State in November over offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, and East Carolina. He is considered one of the top three junior players in the state of North Carolina, joining fellow standouts Victor Davila and Ty Walker.

Through 10 games, Williams is averaging 24.8 points and 8.3 rebounds. He is also shooting 77% from the free throw line.

Williams and Britt open the SunCom Holiday Tournament today at 2:00 against No. 8 seed Gray's Creek. The first two rounds will be played at Seventy-First High School, and the championship games will be played at the Crown Arena. 2006 SunCom Boys' Basketball Holiday Tournament Schedule


2008 verbal Julius Mays has also played well this season. The 6-foot-2 point guard is averaging 22 points per game as Marion (IN) High is now 5-1 after a 70-41 win over Oak Hill (IN) High School.

Julius Mays
Marion will host a tournament, the Marion Holiday Tournament, beginning December 29th.

Mays, a three-star prospect according to Scout.com, committed to NC State this fall over offers from Indiana and Xavier. He was also receiving heavy interest from Cincinnati and Purdue among others.

"Oh yes, I'm definitely still solid," Mays stated recently. "There are some schools that are still recruiting me, but I don't talk to them. I feel it would be wrong to back out of it now, because I gave them my word. No only that, but I can't see myself anywhere else. I only talk to the coaches at NC State. Those are my coaches.

"Coach Towe is really the guy that was responsible for recruiting me. When Coach Sendek was still there I had gotten some mail, but when they put the new staff together Coach Towe really came after me hard. I've got a good relationship with all the coaches. They talk about how they played at State and how they have a lot of background playing the point and coaching guards. Then you throw in the possibility of playing early and against the best in the ACC. When I finally went down and visited the school I knew it was the place to be. It was an easy choice."

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Pack Pride will have extensive coverage of all players in action, including game recaps, photos, quotes, video and audio so stay tuned!


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