NC State targeting dozen juniors during July evaluation period

Jacey Zembal, Editor
The Wolfpacker

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour

The July evaluation period will also play a pivotal role in recruiting the class of 2019, which Rivals.com updated its rankings Tuesday.

NC State hasn’t been overly active with scholarship offers in the class, but at least 12 prospects have been offered by the new Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts, including five from North Carolina.

The highest ranked player with an NC State offer is No. 9-ranked junior point guard Ashton Hagans of Covington, Ga., who attends Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy. Hagans plays on Game Elite 2019, which features two other players NCSU has offered — No. 11-ranked small forward Christian Brown of Columbia (S.C.) A.C. Flora and No. 49-ranked shooting guard Josh Nickelberry of Fayetteville, N.C., who also will attend Oak Hill. Game Elite 2019 will be playing at the adidas Gauntlet Finale on Thursday-through-Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C.

Richmond (Va.) Trinity Episcopal junior center Armando Bacot has had an impressive spring with Team Loaded VA, and moved up to No. 15 in the country. The 6-foot-10, 235-pounder will also be playing in Spartanburg.

Fayetteville Trinity Christian junior small forward Joey Baker is the highest ranked prospect from the state. He played last year with Nickelberry, and moved up to No. 27 overall in the country. Baker will be playing in the Under Armour Association Finals in Cartersville, Ga.

A pair of traveling team teammates were ranked No. 33 and No. 35, with Concord (N.C.) Cox Mill small forward Wendell Moore in the middle at No. 34.

NC State offered both Elias King and Isaac Okoro last Saturday after they came to team camp as part of their AOT 16s squad. King, who attends Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is ranked No. 33, and Okoro goes to Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern High and is ranked No. 35. They will both be playing in the 16s division at the Nike Peach Jam. Moore will also be attending the Nike Peach Jam with Chris Paul All-Star’s 16s.

West Charlotte High junior wing Patrick Williams checks in at No. 62 and is scheduled to play with Team United 16s at the Nike Peach Jam.

Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy junior power forward Akok Akok moved into the rankings at No. 77, and he’ll be playing with Mass Rivals 17s at the adidas event in Spartanburg.

July will also give Jae’lyn Withers of Huntersville (N.C.) North Mecklenburg a chance to shine. The unranked power forward is expected to play with Team Loaded NC 16s in Spartanburg at a Phenom Hoop Report event. He was offered by the Wolfpack in April.

King and Okoro also play with unranked junior center Babtunde Akingbola of McEachern High, who was also offered last Saturday.

A pair of players with ties to North Carolina could be heavily evaluated this month. No. 32-ranked guard Jalen Lecque of the Bronx is making the move to Arden (N.C.) Christ School and reclassing to 2019. Lecque plays with Southern Stampede and will be in the Peach Invitational Tournament on Thursday-through-Sunday in Augusta, Ga.

No. 45-ranked Marcus Watson of Buford (Ga.) High also recently played at NC State’s team camp with AOT. He has also played with the Georgia Stars. Watson, who has been evaluated, attended Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth High his freshman year and formerly played with CP3 with Moore.

Class of 2019 top 125 players

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