According to Roswell (GA) Centennial head coach Allen Whitehart, Lorenzo Brown plans on signing his papers this morning and he will have a formal press conference next Monday for the media.
Richard Howell and Scott Wood informed Pack Pride that they will sign and fax their letters from school at 2:45 pm and 8:00 pm respectively. Howell is having a press conference at Marietta (GA) Wheeler High School with teammate Ari Stewart, who is inking with Wake Forest, and Wood will sign at a press conference in the Marion (IN) gymnasium this evening at 8:00 pm.
Brown and Howell are ranked in Scout.com's latest Top 100 rankings, with Brown checking in at No. 33 and Howell at No. 51. The three verbals give NC State a consensus Top-20 recruiting class, and all three players are expected to contribute as freshmen.
Lorenzo Brown, who committed to NC State over the summer, is considered the most heralded signee in the class.
A legitimate Top 50 prospect, Brown is ranked the No. 8 shooting guard and the No. 33 player overall by Scout.com in the 2009 class.
As a junior at Centennial High School, he averaged 25 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. A combo guard capable of playing both backcourt positions, Brown is a smooth guard with a slick handle, above-average athleticism, and the ability to create for others.
He committed to NC State late in the Evaluation Period after making a silent verbal to the Wolfpack a few months earlier.
"State's coaches were excited, but they already knew," said Brown. "I did a quiet commitment on the low with them a long time ago. When I took my visit there, I liked everything. I liked the town... it seemed pretty quiet, and it's calm there. That's how I like things. Their facilities were real nice and the fans were just crazy."
Brown selected the Wolfpack after considering Memphis, Florida, and Texas among others. He is expected to come in and compete for early playing time in the backcourt for the Wolfpack.
"Brown is a heck of a talent," said Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Evan Daniels. "Because of his size, athleticism and ability to handle the ball, he's capable of playing a handful of positions and still be effective. His motor has been questioned at times, but there's no denying his talent and skill level.
"I think Brown can bring some versatility to the guard spot at North Carolina State. He can score if need be, but he's also a terrific passer with great vision, so he'll see a lot time on the ball as well."
Power forward Richard Howell might impact the earliest at NC State, as the Wolfpack have a major need for help in the frontcourt.
Hailing from Marietta (GA) Wheeler High School, the alma mater of former NC State standout J.J. Hickson, Howell is a combo forward who plays with a strong basketball IQ and does a lot of the little things. At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds he is an effective rebounder, but can create plays, light up the scoreboard, and is a very good passer.
He was tracking as an elite prospect early in his career, but a knee injury sidelined him and he struggled a bit in the process. But after becoming healthy, he emerged this spring and summer as a focal point for the Wolfpack. Following 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.
NC State offered after the Peach State Summer Showcase, and tracked his play in Las Vegas where he was one of the top performers in attendance.
With offers on the table from Oregon, Marquette, Tennessee, Texas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, and NC State among others, Howell sat down with his family after the Las Vegas tournaments and reached a decision. He'll be playing college basketball at NC State.
"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 is rated the No. 19 power forward and the No. 51 player overall in the 2009 class by Scout.com.
"Richard is a beast," said Lorenzo Brown. "That's about all I can say. He can bring his big man out of the paint and take him to the hole. He can pass, rebound, and shoot too. I think the injury slowed him down a bit, but he's been killing it now that he's healthy."
Marion (IN) shooting guard Scott Wood was NC State's first commitment in the 2009 class, as he'll join Marion teammate Julius Mays, a current freshman, in Raleigh.
Considered one of the top pure shooters in his class, Wood drained 86 shots from behind the 3-point line for the season and finished at 44.3 percent on the year during his junior campaign. He set the school's career record for most 3-pointers made and has another year left to improve on the mark. He finished the year shooting 45.4 percent on all field goal attempts and averaged 15.7 points a game while missing five games with a deep leg bruise.
Prior to his injury, he was averaging 20 points per game and leading the Giants in scoring and rebounding.
Playing this spring and summer with the SYF Players, Wood had several big tournaments. He led his team to the state AAU title, and was named MVP of the GBOA North Tournament. He also led his team to the a third-place finish at the AAU Nationals, with game-highs of 41 and 36 points.
Wood committed to NC State after considering offers from NC State, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, St. Louis, and Butler among others, and he had received heavy interest from Pittsburgh, Florida, and Indiana.
He is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and the No. 29 shooting guard in the country.
"Get him an open look and he'll put it down," says Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep.
With three players in the fold, NC State continues to pursue talent in the 2009 class. The nation's top two players, Raleigh (NC) Word of God point guard John Wall and South Atlanta (GA) power forward Derrick Favors, are heavily considering the Wolfpack and are expected to sign in the spring.
Another player, Montverde (FL) center Ruslan Pateev, will make a decision this afternoon. Pateev, a three-star prospect according to Scout.com, is considering NC State, Arizona State, and Florida State. The 7-foot, 245-pounder will announce his decision at 4:00 pm.
Once all of the commitments become official and the paperwork has been received by NC State, the Wolfpack coaching staff will send out a release to formally announce the latest additions, so stay tuned!