North Carolina State Wolfpack

Mark Gottfried (AP Photo)

N.C. State secures commitment from four-star 2015 wing

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N.C. State added a dynamic wing scorer late in their 2015 recruiting efforts on Sunday as reclassified 6-foot-7 wing Maverick Rowan committed to the Wolfpack.

A three-level scorer, Rowan was previously committed to Pitt and later backed off of his pledge to the Panthers before deciding to move up a grade by taking two summer school classes.

Rowan was down to N.C. State, Louisville, West Virginia and St. John’s as his final four.

West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson called Maryland trip ‘a great visit’

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Former West Virginia guard Terry Henderson took the first of multiple visits, spending time at Maryland.

Henderson told Jeff Ermann of InsideMarylandSports.com that it was “a great visit”. He spent most of his weekend with Terrapins leading scorer Dez Wells. Both are from Raleigh.

Henderson intends on visiting N.C. State, UCLA and Wake Forest. In late May, Cincinnati, Richmond and Rutgers were also in the mix when the 6-foot-4 guard cut his list of suitors.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has a heralded incoming class. Despite losing a handful of players to transfer, Turgeon was able to land a commitment from former Georgia Tech forward Robert Carter Jr. late last week. He appears to be making a strong push to use the last available scholarship on Henderson as he enters an important fourth year in College Park.

This past season, he was third on West Virginia in scoring at 11.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Henderson became the second Mountaineer guard to transfer out of the program, joining fellow sophomore Eron Harris.

NCAA transfer rules would force Henderson to sit out the 2014-2015 season. He would have two years of eligibility remaining.

Ex-NC State guard Tyler Lewis transfers to Butler

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The 2014 season was one filled with turmoil for Butler, and at the outset, the offseason appeared just as fraught. Rene Castro transferred during the year, and was followed by Nolan Berry and Devontae Morgan, but coach Brandon Miller’s summer recruiting duties just became a bit lighter: Tyler Lewis, a sophomore guard from North Carolina State, has decided to transfer to Butler.

Lewis is the first former McDonald’s All-America to suit up for Butler, and while he will have to sit out next season, his addition ticks off an immediate need for the Bulldogs — point guard.

Alex Barlow has one year of eligibility remaining, and while Kellen Dunham can run point, the guard is most ideally suited off the ball, a move that is guaranteed with Lewis in the fold. There was a thought that Lewis and Cat Barber, a freshman at NC State, would co-exist in the same backcourt, but it was clear towards the end of the 2014 season that Barber would run the team going forward, so despite Lewis’ 42.9 percent assist rate (which ranked within Ken Pomeroy’s top 50), the sophomore needed to find another program with minutes at the one.

The dearth of returning minutes is essentially why Lewis chose Butler: “That’s one of the main reasons I’m looking at them. I feel like I could get good playing time.” Lewis didn’t even visit any other schools before making his decision, choosing Butler after his one and only campus visit.

Xavier’s Chris Mack puts tournament in perspective after family survives crash with drunk driver

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In 2013, for the first time in seven seasons, Xavier failed to make the NCAA tournament. This year, in a new conference Chris Mack’s Musketeers got one of the last four bids, playing NC State in the First Four on Tuesday night.

It must have been a relief to hear Xavier’s name called on Selection Sunday, but that fails in comparison to the relief Mack felt earlier this week.

“To put it into perspective, seven days ago I got a knock on my door from a neighbor,”€ Mack told reporters earlier this week. “€œHe said my wife was in an auto accident. It was an eighth of a mile from my house. I got to the scene. The car went to the other side of the double-yellow, hit my wife head-on. A drunk driver. Blew a .25 with my kids in the car.”

Mack’s wife broke two bones in her left arm, while his daughters had minor injuries, according to WCPO. A post on Facebook updated their conditions and his family seems to be in good spirits about the scary ordeal.

“I’m as excited as it gets to be in the NCAA tournament,” Mack added. And, ahhh, whew … that was really, really hard.”

His Musketeers drew NC State, with ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren in the play in game. The winner will play No. 5 seed Saint Louis in the Midwest Region. Tip is scheduled for 9:10 p.m.

Pregame Shootaround: The First Four tips in Dayton

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 12 NC State vs. No. 12 Xavier, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)

Xavier is heading to a familiar arena after spending years as a member of the Atlantic 10. Hopefully that serves as an advantage for the Musketeers. They go head-to-head with NC State, a team that was able to sneak into the field with an ACC Tournament win over struggling Syracuse (and some added lobbying from Coach K). The Wolfpack are dangerous with one of the field’s most dynamic scorers in T.J. Warren, the ACC Player of the Year.

Xavier will counter with a gifted scorer of their own in lead guard Semaj Christon, Warren’s prep school teammate at Brewster Academy (N.H.). He forms a one-two punch with Matt Stainbrook, who will be back from a knee injury.

The winner of this game gets a favorable Round of 64 matchup. Saint Louis, the No. 5 seed in the Midwest, is a talented team, which won 19 straight games at one point this season and cracked the top 10. However, the Billikens have dropped four of their last five games.

OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 16 Albany vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)

The No. 4 seed from the American East Tournament and the No. 4 seed from the Northeast Conference Tournament meet in the First Four to start the NCAA tournament.

Julian Norfleet scores 17.5 points per game for the Mountaineers. Rashad Whack, the team’s leading scorer, averaged 23.0 points per game in the NEC Tournament. The Great Danes have Australian native Peter Hooley, averaging 15.7 points per game. He’s one of four Albany players to average double figures in points.

The winner of this one has the pleasure of facing the top overall seed Florida, which hasn’t lost since Dec. 2.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? No. 6 Georgia State vs. No. 3 Clemson, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

1) Robert Morris in the NIT … as an No. 8 seed. The Colonials will look to pull off the first round upset for the second year in a row against top-seeded St. John’s.

2) Florida Gulf Coast needs to upset No. 1 Florida State in the NIT first round. Then No. 4 Georgetown needs to top West Virginia. If that happens, the NIT will get a Georgetown-Dunk City rematch. I’d watch that.

3) Belmont and Green Bay, two very good mid-major teams that slipped up in their respective conference tournaments, go head-to-head in the NIT first round.

4) VMI’s high-power offense travels to New York to take on Canisius’ top scorer Billy Baron. That game headlines the CIT slate of games on Tuesday.

5) Indiana State is a pretty good mid-major team with a solid senior point guard in Jake Odum. How does he handle the Arkansas pressure?

NIT

  • No. 8 Robert Morris vs. No. 1 St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • No. 8 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 1 Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 4 Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
  • No. 5 Belmont vs. No. 4 Green Bay, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • No. 8 High Point vs. No. 1 Minnesota, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • No. 6 Indiana State vs. No. 3 Arkansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
  • No. 7 Davidson vs. No. 2 Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • No. 5 Utah vs. No. 4 Saint Mary’s, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

CBI

  • Stony Brook vs. Siena, 7 p.m.

CIT

  • VMI vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.
  • Wright State vs. East Carolina, 7 p.m.
  • Norfolk State vs. Eastern Michigan, 7 p.m.
  • Chattanooga vs. East Tennessee State, 7 p.m.
  • Alabama State vs. Sam Houston, 8 p.m.
  • Columbia vs. Valparaiso, 8:05 p.m.
  • Portland State vs. San Diego, 10 p.m.

2014 forward Abdul Malik Abu chooses N.C. State

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North Carolina State landed a big commitment on Saturday afternoon as 6’8″ power forward Abdul Malik Abu announced his collegiate decision from the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts alongside Expressions Elite AAU teammate Jared Terrell.

Abu, regarded as Rivals’ No. 50 overall prospect in the class of 2014, gives the Wolfpack and head coach Mark Gottfried a huge boost in the class as he joins twin wing-shooters Caleb and Cody Martin in N.C. State’s 2014 recruiting class.

The 233-pound forward from Kimball Union Academy had a strong spring and summer in the EYBL and on the camp circuit as he displayed a high motor and an ability to score and rebound on the interior.

Abu, who chose N.C. State over his other finalists of Florida, Providence and UConn, averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this spring in the EYBL and helped lead Expressions Elite to a 13-5 record and an appearance in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam.

“Abdul liked N.C. State and the fact that he could come in and play right away,” Expressions Elite head coach Ty Boswell told NBC Sports’ Terrence Payne in late August. “He liked the overall atmosphere of the school, and he had a real good conversation with the coaching staff.”