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Random Items On A Monday

July 12, 2010

Bob Gibbons says State landed the best hardwood recruiting haul this year. (Courtesy: Uh, the Internet?)

Bob Gibbons believes State landed the best overall basketball recruiting class in the ACC. I’m inclined to believe him, not so much because I think the talent out-talents those classes from Carolina, Wake or Duke, but because the three players added better address the weaknesses on the Wolfpack squad than do those other classes. State added size to fill Horner’s departure and did so with one of the most athletic prospects around in Leslie. The Pack also added not one, but two dynamic guards who can penetrate and score in Brown and Harrow. Harrison Barnes is certainly the best overall prospect and he’ll make the Tar Heels better, but I don’t believe that Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock will provide the significant improvement at the guard positions that Harrow and Brown will for State.

Sporting News ranks State 54th heading into the preseason. That’s pretty fair, I think. Most prognostication publications have us anywhere from the low 70s to the high 40s, so 54 sounds about right. Matt Hayes grades our positions out thusly:

“Grading the positions: QB (A-), RB (C+), WR/TE (A-), OL (C), DL (C-), LB (C+), DB (C), ST (C+).”

I’d probably say: QB (A), RB (Unknown/C), WR/TE (A-), OL (B-), DL (C), LB (B), DB (C-), ST (C).

I think the young OL will come into their own and we’ll start seeing the fruits of Don Horton’s reputation as an OL coach and the years of redshirting quality prospects. That’ll obviously have a direct impact on how well the RB position grades out over the year. I think there’s talent in the DL interior, and Michael Lemon will now have his time to shine at one of the end spots, but beyond that, I don’t think we can expect the second coming of the Williams/McCargo/Tyler/Lawson line anytime this season. I think the defensive backs will still struggle without the suffocating front four, but I think the return of Nate Irving at 100% and the addition of Jon Tenuta to the staff is good enough to boost that ranking nearly a full letter-grade. Special teams…Czajkowski and Ruiz return, but given wunderkind punter Chris Ward got himself in O’Brien’s doghouse over the spring, that essentially returns the same unit from 2009 that underwhelmed.

Dana Bible has been given a diagnosis of “cancer free” from his doctors. Fantastic news!

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