The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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■ basketBALL recruiting NC State Is Pursuing Frontcourt Help In The 2014 Class By Jacey Zembal C State signed three post players in the class of 2013, but is hoping to bring in additional frontcourt help in the upcoming class of recruits. Landing the verbal commitments of 6‑5 senior wings Caleb Martin and Cody Martin of Mocksville, N.C., and Alabama transfer guard Trevor Lacey, filled most if not all of the perimeter needs. ranks Caleb Martin No. 45 overall in the country, while Cody Martin is No. 99. Niceville (Fla.) Northwest Florida Col‑ lege sophomore center Stephen Hurt is eas‑ ily the biggest of the inside options at a listed 6-10 and 285 pounds. The Wolfpack reached out to the former Lipscomb Uni‑ versity (Nashville, Tenn.) standout in June. NC State assistant coach Rob Moxley told Hurt the Wolfpack want to be a "big player" in his recruitment. Moxley spent a year at Middle Tennessee State, which is in Hurt's hometown of Murfreesboro, Tenn. "I saw them play in a couple of games, and I know about how they used C.J. Les‑ lie and Richard Howell," Hurt said. "They were real good in the post. It helps that he knows my background. "Coming out of Lipscomb, I want to play at a high, high level. Obviously, the ACC is going to be one of the best conferences in the country. Every game will be a chal‑ lenge, and that's appealing to me. You have to bring your 'A' game to win." As a redshirt freshman at Lipscomb last season, Hurt averaged 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, shot 53.5 percent from the field and 68.6 percent at the free throw line, and captured Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Because he used his redshirt year, his best chance to transfer to a power conference college was to make a one-year move to the junior col‑ lege ranks. The redshirt year in 2011‑12 also helped him improve as a player. "It helped me to expand my game and get my body into better shape," Hurt said. "A year of sitting and watching helped me learn a lot and get that coaches' standpoint. It helped me understand different things on the court that helped my play." Leaving Lipscomb, which was the only college to offer him a scholarship out of high school, wasn't an easy choice. Hurt will play this season at Northwest Florida College for coach Steve Forbes, who is a former Tennessee assistant. The Volunteers watched Hurt a little bit when he was in high school. N "It was a hard decision nor a quick deci‑ sion," Hurt said. "I talked to a lot of people on what I should do. Overall, I think I made a pretty good decision." NC State is joined by a host of other col‑ leges recruiting Hurt. Indiana, Oklahoma State, Miami, Tennessee, Arizona, Ole Miss, Alabama, New Mexico and VCU are some of the colleges that have contacted Hurt. He visited Indiana this June. "This is completely different than the first time," said Hurt, who figures he has four or five scholarship offers from his list. "I only had one offer, and this time around I have a lot of big schools coming at me. It's the complete opposite." Getting wooed by all these new schools is a new experience for Hurt, and he's un‑ sure on whether he wants to sign this No‑ vember or wait until the spring. Lipscomb played road games at Ken‑ tucky, Memphis and Ole Miss this past season, and Hurt recorded double-doubles in two of the three games. Additionally, he had 23 points and 18 boards in a 87-84 win at Austin Peay Dec. 18, and posted 30 points and 11 boards in a 85-71 loss at Jacksonville Jan. 2. Hurt followed up with 20 points and nine rebounds in a 77-73 rematch win over Jacksonville Feb. 28. Hurt called playing at UK's Rupp Arena a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Wildcats, which featured Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers (via a trade with New Orleans). Noel, the younger brother of NC State junior outside linebacker Rodman Noel, had seven points, nine rebounds and seven blocks in 22 minutes for UK. "Playing in front of all those people, even though we lost [88-50], was still a great experience," Hurt said. "Not many people can say they have played at Rupp Arena in front of all those fans." Power Forward Craig Victor Emerges As A Top-25 Prospect Senior Craig Victor of New Orleans has become one of the most impressive power forwards in the country. Victor has the ability to drain mid-range jumpers or even stretch outside the threepoint arc, and he plays with great energy. ranks the 6-8, 218-pounder as the No. 21 overall player in the class of Victor, a 6-8, 218-pound power forward from New Orleans, is rated as the No. 21 overall player in the class of 2014 by photo courtesy 2014, and he more than lived up to that billing at the at NBPA Camp June 12‑15 in Charlottesville, Va. Victor averaged 10.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, with a high of 18 points, while competing against many of the best prep players in the nation. Recruiting is going well for Victor, who has collected offers from NC State, Ala‑ bama, Arizona, Baylor, Georgetown, LSU, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Tulane, among others. Ken‑ tucky and Kansas are also showing interest. "I've been hearing the most from Ohio State, LSU, Arizona and Oklahoma State," Victor said. "I was planning on taking an official to Arizona in June, but I had to take the ACT again." Oklahoma State and Ohio State are also in line for official visits, but he hasn't formed a schedule yet. LSU is also a fac‑ tor as the home-state school, and Victor is friends with Tigers incoming freshman forward Jarell Martin of Baton Rouge, La. The Wolfpack has been steadily tracking Victor over the last year, and he has been in regular contact with NC State assistant coach Orlando Early. "NC State is pretty up there," said Victor, whose high-post skills mesh nicely with NCSU's offense. "They have offered, and they just want to make sure they are still on my list." Victor announced in late June he was making the move from New Orleans St. Augustine to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. 148  ■  the wolfpacker 148-151.BKB Recruiting.indd 148 7/2/13 10:00 AM

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