This past week was a busy one for unsigned senior small forward Shaun Kirk. It all began with a good performance playing for Team Loaded at the adidas Uprising event in Indianapolis, which led to increased interest in some high-level program in need of another player during the late signing period. Monday night Kirk verbally committed to attend NC State, but that’s where things got a little interesting for him.
Tuesday reports surfaced that Kentucky offered Kirk a scholarship, leaving him with two choices: remain true to his commitment to NC State, or change course and head to Lexington. Wednesday the decision became final, as Kirk signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Mark Gottfried’s Wolfpack.
NC State announced Kirk’s signing Wednesday afternoon, and the 6-foot-6 Whiteville, North Carolina native is the program’s first signing in the Class of 2015, and he provides the Wolfpack with some needed depth on the wing.
With Ralston Turner out of eligibility and Trevor Lacey deciding to forego his final season of eligibility to turn pro, NC State had a couple openings to fill on the perimeter. Cat Barber will once again run the show and the Martin twins, Caleb and Cody, return as well from last year’s Sweet 16 team.
Kirk will be one of two players on the perimeter who did not play for NC State last season, with West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson being the other.
“I’m very excited to have Shaun join our program,” Gottfried said of Kirk in the release. “He has tremendous upside. I love how hard he plays, and as a perimeter player, he has great length. He has improved every time I watched him play, and he is a player who is committed to getting better.”
On Monday night, Whiteville High (North Carolina) small forward Shaun Kirk, a three-star recruit, committed to N.C. State.
Not long after, he had an offer from Kentucky. The 6-foot-6 small forward had contemplated reclassifying, but has seen his stock rise recently, as evident by the added high-major interest. According to Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal, the newest addition to the Wolfpack’s recruiting class will consider his offer from UK.
“You say the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, but could it be?” Whiteville High School coach Jerry Singletary told Tucker. “I think he’s very interested in what Kentucky has going on out there. He’s just overwhelmed a little bit, because when you talk to a person like Calipari on the phone, he was like, ‘Wow, Coach, I didn’t know this could happen.’ I love N.C. State, but when you go home and – from a business aspect – Kentucky calls you, I know what I would do.”
Kentucky’s recruiting class currently consists of top-rated Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe, Charles Matthews and JUCO shooting guard Mychal Mulder, who committed to the Wildcats on Tuesday. The Cats are still in contention for Jaylen Brown and Thon Maker, but have missed out on Brandon Ingram, Malik Newman, Stephen Zimmerman and Cheick Diallo this month.
N.C. State landed a surprise commitment on Monday night as three-star Class of 2015 guard Shaun Kirk committed to the Wolfpack.
Kirk’s commitment was confirmed by the Twitter account of his grassroots team, Team Loaded.
Over the weekend, Kirk played in the adidas Gauntlet event in Indianapolis and N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early were present at both of his games on Sunday. The 6-foot-6 Kirk is a bouncy and athletic wing forward who can crash the glass, run the floor and make a lot of plays in transition. He also knocked down some mid-range jumpers and has a chance to develop into a decent ACC player with some additional skill work.
A native of Whiteville, North Carolina, Kirk recently took an official visit to Charlotte during the spring and there were questions about whether he would reclassify to the 2016 class.
Obviously, the Wolfpack felt he could immediately contribute and brought him in only hours after losing out on five-star wing Brandon Ingram earlier in the day.