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C.J. Leslie Commits to the North Carolina State Wolfpack

NEW YORK - APRIL 17:  C.J. Leslie #5 of East Team reaches for a ball against West Team during the National Game at the 2010 Jordan Brand classic at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for Jordan Brand Classic)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Marcus ShockleyCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2016

C.J. Leslie (PF, 6’9″, 2010), originally committed to coach Sidney Lowe and the Wolfpack in 2007. It was a big recruiting deal for coach Lowe to grab the hometown player, where the Wolfpack recently watched fellow Raleigh phenom John Wall bolt for Kentucky and one-and-done accolades.

Leslie then reconsidered, and opened his recruitment up last year, which isn’t as common in basketball as football. However, Leslie had committed so early that it’s not unthinkable that he would have second thoughts.

Leslie considered several schools, including Kentucky, but in the end and after several visits, he returned to the Wolfpack and decided that his original choice was the right one. Now, Leslie’s accomplished much more by playing in the McDonald’s All Star game and Jordan Brand Classic, and the Wolfpack can breathe easily that after looking at his available options, Leslie decided to stick with the Pack.

Now, they just have to wonder if he’ll stay longer than one season.

Leslie adds clout to the Pack’s recruiting class, which already boasts Ryan Harrow (PG, 5’11″, 2010), a lightning quick guard who will add flash and scoring to the NC State team. Sidney Lowe has some depth and talent on his roster, and if Tracy Smith, who declared for the NBA draft but may pull out, returns, the Pack could be serious contenders in the ACC next season.

It will be interesting to see if the Pack players engage in any summer Pro-Am play to get a sense of how far along they will be.

With Leslie, the Wolfpack is getting a long, athletic forward with ability to finish above the rim. He can beat players off of the dribble and scores pretty well, but he will need to work on his post defense to play in the paint in the ACC.

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