This week has offered up two interesting stories concerning our neighbors.
Earlier this week, sources have indicated that NC State will likely be forced to do without top recruit for the class of 2009, Lorenzo Brown. It seems that Brown(Scout: #6 SG, 28th overall) has not been made eligible by the NCAA clearinghouse and will instead spend the next year at Hargrave Military Academy getting his academic house in order. At present there is a ton of conjecture among NCSU fans as to what really happened to Brown. One assertion is that Brown met the GPA and SAT requirements but missed too many days in one class and as a result was given a failing grade by a particular teacher which is the polar opposite of what happened to Kansas' Darrell Arthur. Much of the ire from Wolfpack Nation is being directed at this one teacher but there is also plenty of dirty looks being thrown in Sidney Lowe's direction for not ensuring his key recruit and probable impact player on the 2010 team makes it to campus on time. Was this something outside of Lowe's control? Sure it was but plenty of crap happens in major programs that are outside the coaches' control. Just take a look at all the unfortunate circumstances that graced the 2009 Tar Heel. Yes they still won the title but it does not mean multiple events unfolded during the course of that run which stood to derail the whole thing. Granted, Lowe is not operating with that kind of talent pool nor is he the caliber of coach Roy Williams is, especially in terms of being experienced in the college game. However, Lowe is in year four of a program that has basically been going nowhere fast. Lowe has such a thin margin of error at this point, he cannot afford to have a hiccup like this. Again, it is not his fault and it sucks like getting a root canal but it also lands squarely on his shoulders as another setback to a program that really needs to build some winning momentum in effort to ascend the ACC standings.
Contrast that, if you will, to the news out of Durham this morning. Duke, which was starting out going through the 2010 season with Kyle Singler as the third string PG, could be close to receiving some immediate, unexpected help. Sources close to 2010 recruit Andre Dawkins(Scout: #3 SG, 22nd overall) are saying that Dawkin is eligible now for Duke and may go ahead an enroll this fall to begin his college career. According to The Devils Den, Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports is calling it a done deal(take it for what it's worth.) Dawkins father has said that the rising high school senior has completed his core requirements and could be clear to play by the NCAA. Based on his rating as a five star recruit, Dawkins could step into the void left when Elliott Williams transferred to Memphis. The question is whether he is physically ready to play at the college level since he is a rising senior. Also, his Scout rankings are based on his place in the class of 2010, if you move him to the class of 2009 that likely knocks him down a few notches. In short, Dawkins might not necessarily be an impact player but could at least cover for the loss of Williams. There will still be issues of his adjustment to the college game as well as maturing as a player and person. At any rate it would afford Duke some depth at guard and relieve the pressure on Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith.
At the end of the day it seems that NC State continues to operate under a huge black cloud and Duke, while not operating at the level they did 10 years ago, still manages to have certain issues work out in their favor. Conspiracy theories anyone?
Update: It seems that Dawkins repeated his freshman year because he switched schools. He finished at one school then decided to do his freshman year over at the new school. That means he has been in high school for four years. That being the case it possible he has finished all of the course classes which is totally plausible since he is said to have a 3.2 GPA. As for the rest of it, you be the judge. I personally do not think Mike Krzyzewski pressured Dawkins into making this decision but I suppose anything is possible.