Q&A: Dave Telep Talks NC State, Part I

Dave Telep, National Recruiting Director for Scout.com, discusses NC State's 2009 recruiting class, star guard Lorenzo Brown's potential impact, what Deshawn Painter brings to the table and much, much more in this exclusive Q&A with Pack Pride!

NC State's 2009 class ended the year ranked No. 13 overall by Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep, featuring six signees with three ranked in the top 75 Telep's final player rankings.

Roswell (GA) Centennial guard Lorenzo Brown (No. 28), Marietta (GA) Wheeler forward Richard Howell (No. 64), and Chatham (VA) Hargrave forward Deshawn Painter (No. 69) are all considered players who can contribute right away for the Wolfpack, along with Marion (IN) wing Scott Wood, one of the top pure shooters in the class.

NC State's other two recruits, Australian center Jordan Vandenberg and Raleigh (NC) Athens Drive star Josh Davis, are considered prospects with considerable upsides who will be looking to find their niche in the program.

Dave Telep

In this segment, we talk with Telep about the Wolfpack's 2009 class, Brown's potential impact, what Painter brings to the table and much, much more!

Brief Dave Telep Bio: Dave is one of the most respected basketball recruiting analysts in the country and is the national recruiting director for Scout.

Telep helped launch PrepStars.com in 1997 and worked for The Recruiters Handbook. He was named director of basketball recruiting for Rivals.com in 1999 before being hired to be the director of basketball scouting for the Scout.com in 2001. He has written for CNNSI, ACC Basketball Handbook, The Sporting News, USA Today, and Yahoo!.

Dave is also a voting member for the McDonald's All-American Game and the Naismith High School Award, while being a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association.


You actually released your final Class of 2009 rankings this week. How do you think NC State's class ended up finishing?
I think it's a really good foundation class, and it's a big statement for them. Top 15 class... a top 100 player late in the game. It's a big deal. It's a big deal to be the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the ACC... it's a significant class.

With Lorenzo Brown, do you think he's the type of player who can come in and compete for a starting job from day one or do you think it may take him some time?

"He's going to give them
some pop and confidence."

I think he has to. I think the situation dictates his presence in the backcourt from day one. His talent level tells us that he has the ability to do it. I think from a scoring perspective he's going to give them some pop and confidence.

Really the one area his biggest growth is going to have to be is his leadership and ability to run a team at a high level in the ACC. He has the natural talent and the raw materials... it's just about putting the polish on it.

What do you think Brown will bring to NC State that they may be lacking?
I think he brings confidence to their backcourt, confidence in knowing that you have a guy back there who can get you a bucket. He projects the ability to score.

I just think he's that guy that you can kind of hang your hat on and trust that can play in the backcourt at a high level and really bring a presence in that respect to their backcourt.

Scott Wood is known as a prolific shooter. How do you think he ranks in this class in that regard, and what type of a role do you see him fitting at NC State?
I've always thought Scott Wood is a very, very talented shooter... exceptionally talented shooter. To me, he's a guy that feeds off of guys like Lorenzo Brown who can drive-and-pitch. Scott Wood is a piece-of-the-puzzle recruit and can be a legitimate perimeter threat and a perimeter weapon.

He's got to get his body stronger. He's got to add another element from beyond being just a 3-point shooter... to give himself another threat, but good teams have players like Scott Wood. I think he's an excellent piece of the puzzle.

"I think he's an excellent
piece of the puzzle."

NC State added three frontcourt players in Deshawn Painter, Richard Howell, and Jordan Vandenberg. Obviously it was a need for them with what they lost. Do you see Painter and Howell being able to contribute right away, and how do you see them playing off of each other?
I think they can each contribute right away, but they will have their growing pains too. I think Howell gives them this junkyard dog mentality... a blue-collar worker who can come in and find his niche.

Painter is probably the most talented of the frontcourt guys long-term. Once he gets his confidence going, I think that he's guy who, once he proves to himself he can score at this level, really has a high ceiling.

How big of a pickup was Deshawn Painter this late in the game? Not just because you add a legitimate top 100 prospect, but NC State was able to beat out Virginia Tech and Maryland for him.
I think outside of just adding a quality recruit like Deshawn Painter, I think it gives the staff a lot of confidence going into the class of 2010. It also gives you a little swagger to go head-to-head with two other schools in the league and come out on top for a key, late spring target.

I think it's a little chip and a big confidence boost to have your work and effort come through with a commitment when you're really recruiting against your peers in the league. I thought that was a significant deal.

What does Painter bring to the table?
Painter is a guy who has a lot of raw materials. He's got a little jumphook, he can play away from the basket a little bit... Deshawn has all these skillsets. You're just waiting for him to put it all together on a consistent basis.

I think he has a really big upside. At some point he's going to have to go out and start being consistent with his numbers and production. He's a guy who can run the floor, he's an athlete, he can board above the rim. He can do all those things. For him, it's really about building that self-confidence where he can break through and reach the upside he has as a prospect.

"You need guys
in the program who want
to wear the jersey."

Josh Davis is a local kid without much of a buzz. What are your thoughts on him?
Great program guy... a guy who wants to be there. A kid who, on a yearly basis, his playing time probably depends on need and availability. He's going to have to work to find himself a niche in their program, but you're talking about an ace-character, high-grade, good basketball IQ guy who I imagine knows has to work his tail off to play and be in the rotation.

You need guys in the program who want to wear the jersey and are good basketball players, and I think that is Josh Davis.

You started off by mentioning this was a foundation class. You mix it with Tracy Smith, C.J. Williams, guys like that. The Wolfpack already have a talented point guard committed in 2010. How do you see this roster shaping up for NC State?
It's a roster in the process of being retooled. This is step one. Obviously in 2010, you would love to be able to get a big wing forward who can really give you some pop from the position. I still think you can go, depending on how many scholarships open up, there's room to go guard-wing-big, in terms of just retooling the roster some more.

I think this is one thing as a fan you have to keep in check. Ten years ago you could count the number of guys on scholarship and hold thirteen as a true number. Bottomline, college basketball is a more transient game now... you never know how many scholarships you have.

I'd be surprised if NC State ended up with just one more guy in 2010... that's just the way it goes. Things happen. I wouldn't be surprised if they had three guys in the 2010 recruiting class.


Stay tuned later this week for Part II of our interview with analyst Dave Telep as we discuss 2010 commitment Ryan Harrow and how NC State might be looking to use their final scholarship for the 2010 class.

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