"Yesterday I committed to NC State," Howell informed Pack Pride. "I've got a good relationship with coach Lowe and coach Harris, and it's a great school. My mother just moved back there, and I feel like it's the best place for me to go play ball at and go to school at."
Howell emerged this spring and summer as a focal point for the Wolfpack. After a stellar week at Reebok U., he continued his strong play at the 2008 Peach State Summer Showcase.
In three games, Howell posted two double-doubles, including a 32-point, 15-rebound effort in the opener. He followed that up with a 20-point, 10-rebound game and in his final contest he totaled 20 points and eight boards to lead his World Wide Orange squad. WWO left the tournament early because they were slated to play in the Adidas Hoops Festival, but Howell knows he impressed the college coaches in attendance.
He played well in the Adidas Hoops Festival and in Las Vegas with the World Wide Renegades Orange, leading them deep into both tournaments.
"I feel like I'm playing real good right now," he stated at the Peach State. "I've had some big games here. I think it comes from me being almost all the way healthy. I'm nearly 100%... right now I'm about 85%."
|"I've had some big games here."|
Howell began his prep career with a bang, and he projected as one of the top players in his class. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for a period of time, and he has had to overcome a lingering back injury as well. Right now he's playing his best basketball, and it's no coincidence it comes at a time when he's becoming fully healthy and regaining his explosiveness.
"My back and knee have been hurting a little bit, but I'm coming back," he said. "The back is almost healthy, but I twisted my knee a couple of weeks ago when I banged knees with a guy. It seems like I've been bumping knees with a different guy every game. With my back, I had a cyst in it and a herniated disc. When I went back to the doctor the cyst was gone, and I've been doing all my rehab. It's healing faster than my doctor expected.
"I feel like with rehab I'm getting stronger, and I'm coming back even better and more explosive than I was. I feel like I'm playing real well right now."
With offers on the table from Oregon, Marquette, Tennessee, Texas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, and NC State among others, Howell sat down with his family over the weekend and reached a decision. He'll be playing college basketball at NC State. NC State assistant Larry Harris headed up his recruitment, and he was the first to hear the news from Howell.
"At first I called coach Harris and told him I wanted to commit there," said Howell. "After I talked with him, I called coach Lowe and told him the same thing. They acted real happy. They were real excited for me to say that.
"My family thinks that I made the best decision out of all of the choices."
Howell expects to pursue a degree in Business at NC State, and he plans on taking his official in September before signing in November.
Howell is currently rated a four-star prospect and the No. 74 player in the country by Scout.com. He is the third recruit to commit to NC State in the 2009 class, joining combo guard Lorenzo Brown and wing Scott Wood.
Pack Pride will have more from Howell in the near future so stay tuned!