Wednesday, January 14, 2009

N.C. State loses top recruit to Ga. Tech

ATLANTA – Derrick Favors reached into a bag, pulled out a Georgia Tech cap and placed it on his head Wednesday, creating another disappointment for N.C. State basketball fans on a night their team didn’t even play.

Favors, the 6-foot-9 South Atlanta High power forward rated the No. 1 prospect in the senior class by, committed to Georgia Tech in a segment televised by ESPN-U.

N.C. State had been one of the final schools Favors considered along with Georgia Tech and Georgia. Wolfpack fans didn’t receive the good recruiting news they were seeking to numb the frustration over the current team, which is struggling with a 9-5 record and a three-game losing streak in coach Sidney Lowe’s third season.

“I like the style of play they play,” Favors said of Georgia Tech. “It’s close to home, so friends and family can come see me play.”

Despite the disappointment over Favors, N.C. State remains under consideration by two other top national senior prospects – Raleigh Word of God point guard John Wall and power forward DeMarcus Cousins of Birmingham, Ala.

Recruiting analysts said Favors would have been N.C. State’s best recruit since David Thompson, who’s recognized by many experts as the best player in ACC history and led the Wolfpack to the 1974 NCAA title.

“To be so near but yet so far (with Favors) would have to be a huge disappointment for them, obviously,” said All-Star Sports recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons. “But it’s been Georgia or Georgia Tech for longer than N.C. State has been in the mix.”

Lowe used the strong recruiting reputation he has built in Georgia to get into the Favors sweepstakes fairly late. Landing 2007 McDonald’s All-American J.J. Hickson of Marietta, Ga., helped pave the way for N.C. State to sign Richard Howell of Marietta and Lorenzo Brown of Roswell, Ga., from the Class of 2009.

A third player from Marietta, junior point guard Ryan Harrow, also has committed to N.C. State. But Gibbons suspects the appeal of going to school close to home helped Georgia Tech secure Favors.

Gibbons and analyst Dave Telep both said Favors’ decision will have no impact on Wall or Cousins. But Telep said the fact that N.C. State was a finalist for the nation’s top prospect can be a selling point to other recruits.

He said that although the rewards of recruiting a No. 1 prospect can be great, there is risk involved because competition is fierce and a coaching staff puts a lot of time into a player who might go elsewhere.

But Telep said N.C. State already is in strong shape at power forward in the upcoming class.

“The good thing is they have Richard Howell coming in,” he said.

Howell, a 6-foot-7 forward from Marietta, Ga., is rated No. 51 overall in his class by and already has signed with N.C. State. So have Brown, a point guard whom Telep said might make the McDonald’s All-America game, and shooting guard Scott Wood of Marion, Ind.

Even without Favors, Wall or Cousins, Telep said, N.C. State has a top-20 class.

- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Time for the Red Clown to get the axe everybody said he was getting good recruits. Sorry that us State fans ran off Herb Sendek for a failure of an NBA coach who is a failure of a college coach. Lee Fowler and Sidney Lowe need to be fired

704Champ said...

Wall is still out there, and Lowe already got a commitment from a 5-star recruit for 2010 (CJ Leslie). I'll bet you also want to completely rebuild the Panthers too don't you? You seem like somebody who rushes your decision making process.

Anonymous said...

How exactly did State "lose" Favors to Tech? From all accounts, Favors favored the two Georgia schools all the way. Unfortunately for him, he'll now be coached by Paul Hewitt.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon 10:54. You can't lose something that wasn't yours to begin with. He is staying local, and I don't think many people expected otherwise.
Love Sidney Lowe and can't wait to watch the wolfpack continue to improve!

Anonymous said...

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. The young man made an easy decision, NC State was never assured of his services, just under strong consideration. Go get some players Coach Lowe and start coaching

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