NC State looking big in the Class of 2013

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Mark Gottfried made a major splash on the college basketball world when he signed his first recruiting class.

He landed three blue-chip recruits in Rodney Purvis, Tyler Lewis and TJ Warren. All three are four-star recruits ranked in the top 50 nationally. All three are also perimeter players.

That won’t be an issue this season, as the Wolfpack have size up front. CJ Leslie decided to return to school for his junior season, and while Tyler Harris and DeShawn Painter both transferred out of the program, Richard Howell is back for his senior year, as is Jordan Vandenburg.

But if Leslie is impressive next season, Gottfried could be looking at a situation where he loses all of his front court options heading into the 2013-2014 season.

That’s why big men have been a priority for him on the recruiting trail this summer. From the Fayetteville Observer:

The top prize is 6-foot-9 forward Julius Randle, who is considering N.C. State, Duke, North Carolina and a few other traditional powerhouses. West Charlotte High School’s Kennedy Meeks, a 6-9 post player, is another option for both the Wolfpack and Tar Heels.

In search of inside help, N.C. State is also interested in Nigerian native Moses Kingsley (ranked 55th in his class by ESPN.com), Dominic Woodson (ranked 56th) and Devin Williams (ranked 96th). Kingsley and Woodson are set to play next season at West Virginia’s Huntington Prep, joining Class of 2014 star Andrew Wiggins and Class of 2013 shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who is one of the Wolfpack’s top perimeter priorities.

Randle is the No. 2 prospect in the country and a guy that likely won’t be spending more than a year on campus. That’s why getting more than just one of those kids is important for Gottfried, and he may not need to look any farther than Meeks. From Dave Telep:

Kennedy Meeks (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte) might be the best center prospect in the country. He’s at least in the conversation. A quick look at his school list reveals an array of big programs lining up for his signature. Meeks rattled off North Carolina, Kentucky, Syracuse, N.C. State, Louisville and Indiana.

Meeks is big, strong and skilled, but he needs to drop a couple of pounds and get into better shape.

Even so, those are rave reviews from the best evaluator in the business.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.