The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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120 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL N ew NC State class of 2020 commit Camren Hayes is in a prime position to be a four-year starter for the Wolfpack. Senior point guard Markell Johnson will move on to professional basketball after this season, and Hayes will have the chance to make an immediate impact for head coach Kevin Keatts. The opportunity to have his family and grandparents travel 70 minutes down the road to watch him also helped NCSU land Hayes, who verbally committed Sept. 13. "The coaching staff has a family atmo- sphere," Hayes said. "It just felt like home when I went there on my visit. I just knew. "Coach Keatts was ecstatic and said he needed me, wanted me and was able to get me. He was thrilled to have me as part of the team." The commitment came about 11 months and two weeks after NC State offered Hayes a scholarship. He still remembers that feeling at halftime of the Virginia at NC State football game on Sept. 29, 2018. "I remember just looking forward to get- ting that offer," said Hayes. "It meant a lot to me. I was waiting on it that whole entire summer. "The process has been cool, but long. I grinded a lot and put a lot of work in to get here. Hayes was thrilled to receive a Wolf- pack offer, but it wasn't a foregone conclu- sion that he was going to wear the red and white. Keatts and assistant coach Takayo Siddle put in the time and effort in recruit- ing him to ensure he wound up in Raleigh. "I always liked their style of play," Hayes said. "I felt like I could fit their system. They made me a priority and came to almost every game. When I was play- ing, they were there — sometimes Coach Keatts or Coach Siddle. That meant a lot." The 6-2, 175-pounder is ranked No. 47 overall in the country in the class of 2020 by The four-star prospect was first evaluated during the spring and sum- mer of his sophomore year while playing with CP3 16s and then again during his junior year. "I thought he was an elite playmaker," recruiting analyst Corey Evans said. "I thought he was quick playmaker that got where he wanted off the bounce. "He is super skilled and super shifty. I thought he was somewhat tough-minded." Evans and fellow recruiting analyst Eric Bossi had to figure out where Hayes ranked nationally in both the class of 2020 and 2021. He played his first two years at Greensboro (N.C.) Smith High and then made the move to Greensboro Day and reclassified into 2021. He helped the Bengals win the North Carolina Indepen- dent Schools 4A state title last February. With his basketball and academic devel- opment going well, and programs such as NC State prioritizing him, Hayes elected to go back to the class of 2020. "His strength is getting into the lane and making things happen," Bossi said. "Physi- cally, he's ready to come in and play." Evans pointed out that Hayes' good size for the point guard spot and ability to make others around him better are what made him a top-50 talent. "At the end of the day, he's a 6-foot-2, 6-3 point guard that makes guys better, and that is hard to find," Evans noted. The other aspect that Evans brought up was how important it was to land an in- state top-50 player. The last time NC State accomplished that was with Dennis Smith Jr. of Fayetteville in the class of 2015. "They were one of the first ones in there, prioritized him, and beat all these schools that came calling in the last minute — Indi- ana, Maryland, Louisville and Texas Tech as well," Evans noted. "You also had Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, so you pretty much beat the entire region outside of the blue bloods. "It is definitely rewarding and satisfying for Kevin Keatts to do that." Hayes averaged 13.6 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game for CP3 in the ■ BASKETBALL RECRUITING NC State Lands Floor General Of Future In Four-Star Camren Hayes Hayes is ranked as the No. 9 point guard and No. 47 overall prospect in the class of 2020 by PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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