The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 145 of 163

144 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State hasn't made it a secret that land- ing a point guard in the class of 2017 is probably the No. 1 priority moving forward. NCSU fully expects redshirt freshman point guard Dennis Smith to be a one-and-done player — projects him as the No. 6 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft — and will need to find his replacement over the next 12 months. NC State landed Cleveland East Tech point guard Markell Johnson June 20 to put the finishing touches on its 2016 recruiting haul, but the Wolfpack is still searching for point guards and combo guards in the class of 2017. ranked the 6-1, 180-pound Johnson No. 40 overall in the class of 2017 prior to switching him to 2016. NC State beat out Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Louisville, Xavier and Ohio State for Johnson. NC State has offered at least eight players who fill the role of point guard or combo guard in the rising senior class. Here is a breakdown of five to watch. Local Standout Thomas Allen Lands Coveted NC State Offer Thomas Allen unofficially visited NC State June 10 and came away with a scholarship offer. He had been hoping for an offer from his hometown school since the recruiting process began in earnest last January. The 6-1, 165-pound senior point guard has been a standout at Garner (N.C.) High the last three years and with the Garner Road traveling team. The latter produced former NC State star T.J. Warren of the Phoenix Suns and cur- rent fifth-year senior shooting guard Terry Henderson, who was injured last year. Allen was able to talk to head coach Mark Gottfried and his staff, and he heard the magic words. "I was kind of surprised, but I also saw it coming," said Allen, who has been getting recruited by assistant coach Orlando Early. "It's pretty big because it is the ACC. That is the best league in the country." Allen said he just talked and bonded with the coaches at the Dail Center. "We just talked for two and a half hours," Allen said. "Then they just offered. I got to know assistant coach Butch Pierre, and he broke down his life. He was a real cool dude. I met some of the other guys. "I talked to Coach Gottfried about the pro- gram and how NC State fits into the ACC. He didn't promise me anything, but it is a great opportunity for me. "The class of 2017 is going to be a big class for them and they need guards. They do a lot of ball screens and the ball is always in the guards hands." Allen helped Garner High win the 4A state title in 2015, and the Trojans were 29-2 last season before suffering a heart-breaking 71-69 overtime loss to Cary High in the 4A East Regional final March 5. That game proved to be Allen's last at Gar- ner High. Allen, who scored 32 points against the Imps, is following the same path as War- ren and will be attending Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy next year. Allen finished third in scoring on the adidas Gauntlet — a series of travel bas- ketball games in April — averaging 21.5 points per contest. He shot a blistering 51.1 percent from the field and 41.3 percent on three-pointers. His play this past April helped him earn scholarship offers from 15 schools, includ- ing NC State, Illinois, Texas A&M, Xavier, Nebraska, Cincinnati, VCU, East Carolina and Saint Louis. Allen admits the NC State offer will change the scope of his recruitment, and the three-star prospect hopes Ohio State is the next to tender. "It raises the bar," Allen said. "It isn't go- ing to change my timeline, but NC State is kind of at the top. They are in my top five or six." Matt Coleman Is The Latest Point Guard Star At Oak Hill Academy Norfolk, Va., native Matt Coleman has been a top NC State recruiting target since last September. The 6-2, 170-pound lefty is ranked No. 37 overall in the country in the class of 2017 by ■ BASKETBALL RECRUITING NC State Is Looking To The Future At Point Guard Allen — a three-star prospect and 6-1, 165-pound floor general from Garner, N.C. — picked up offers from notable schools such as NC State, Illinois, Texas A&M, Xavier, Nebraska, Cincinnati and VCU after his strong play on the traveling team circuit in April. PHOTO BY JACEY ZEMBAL

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