NC State

The early signing period for college basketball starts next month. Who could NCSU land?

Jairus Hamilton, left, is what some coaches call a positionless player.
Jairus Hamilton, left, is what some coaches call a positionless player.

The early signing period for college basketball – the first time players from the Class of 2018 can sign a national letter of intent – is Nov. 8-15, and many of the nation’s top recruits – including Jairus Hamilton and Saddiq Bey – are narrowing down their decisions.

Could N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts land those players or other available recruits?

About twice a month, I’ll be answering your questions in my recruiting mailbag. Here’s what you want to know about the Wolfpack’s possibilities:

@_ASA_3 asks: Which available recruits do you think Keatts can land?

There are a few recruiting targets that the Wolfpack has a chance to get, and some are among the country’s top 100. Here’s who could end up at N.C. State from the Class of 2018:

▪  Saddiq Bey, a 6-7, 195-pound small forward, from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., is ranked No. 83 according to 247sports’ composite rankings. He made his official visit to N.C. State last Friday. Xavier, Miami, Pittsburgh and Princeton are also among the schools in contention for the four-star prospect.

▪  Jairus Hamilton, a 6-8, 209-pound small forward, plays for Cannon School in Concord. He is ranked No. 66 in the country. Hamilton has offers from Duke, N.C. State and UNC. He played well at the John Wall Invitational in Raleigh last December, scoring 25 points in one game and scoring 26 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in another.

▪  Jericole Hellems, a 6-6, 190-pound small forward who’s ranked No. 115, plays for Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. He took an official visit to N.C. State in August. South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia Tech are all in play for him.

▪  Keldon Johnson, a 6-5, 200-pound shooting guard at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, is a five-star prospect, and ranked No. 14. He visited N.C. State on Sept. 8. Johnson may be a long shot, as Kentucky, Texas and Maryland are all making a hard push for him, too.

There’s a possibility others could emerge after the early signing period.

@jmpenley asks: Who is the best recruit you think Keatts will land in the 2018 class?

It’s hard to say which prospect is the best. They each have different games and play different positions. But of the most likeliest recruits Keatts could land, I like Hamilton. He’s what some coaches call a “positionless player.” He can handle the basketball, dunk, rebound, pass and get to the ball.

N.C. State already has two commitments – from Manny Bates (ranked No. 97 nationally and No. 7 in North Carolina) and Ian Steere (ranked No. 105 and No. 8 in North Carolina). Both play for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville. Bates, a 6-9, 195-pound four-star power forward, announced he was committing to N.C. State last month, and Steere, a 6-9, 230-pound power forward, made his announcement last Friday.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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