So, how was your Sunday and Monday?
Unless your name is Sidney Lowe, Larry Harris or anyone else associated with the basketball team, your last two days have likely paled in comparison.
In just 48 scant hours, Lowe and crew added commitments from two legit recruits that could help quickly reverse the sharp downward trend the team took last season. On Sunday, Lowe added blue chip PG/SG Lorenzo Brown. Yesterday he picked up a frontcourt player to compliment him in 6'8", 220-pound power forward Richard Howell.
Howell comes to the Pack via Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, which should sound familiar to Pack fans, as it was J.J. Hickson's old stomping grounds. The state of Georgia has been very kind to State basketball of late, as Brown hails from nearby Snellville 40 miles to the east.
Here's what ESPN has to say about Howell:
He has a Division 1 frame that is well-built with solid length. Howell has superior quickness and strength that he utilizes when operating in the paint area. He is a quick leaper and can finish with contact. He has nice spin moves in the key and he's gifted passer out of the post as well. What makes him more difficult to defend is his ability to face-up and either shoot the mid-range jump shot or take his opponents off the bounce. He does have a tendency to over-handle it at times which makes him turnover prone, but that's a habit that can be rectified with coaching. Defensively, he has the strength and bounce to defend in the post and the lateral quickness to check versatile 4-men.
The additions of Howell and Brown already make for Lowe's best recruiting class thus far, but he may not be finished yet. There are still two big targets left on the board in Derrick Favors and Ryan Kelly, both 5-star forwards. State has one scholarship left to give (assuming no one leaves the team unexpectedly), so adding either Favors or Kelly would shoot this class into the stratosphere and certainly be one of the top classes in the country.
These past two days have been crucial for Lowe, above and beyond what the recruits themselves are worth to the team. It's proven that Lowe can not only recruit at a high Division-I level, but that he can do so after a disastrous season. One wonders what he could do on the heels of a sweet 16 run in the tourney! Let's hope we get to find out soon.
A big tip of the hat, again, to coach Larry Harris, who continues to put in the major legwork and effort in identifying prospects early on in their maturation process. It's not uncommon to see recruits mention that State, and more specifically coach Harris, were the first to show major interest in them. Pounding the pavement early is reaping its rewards.