Unlike many recruits nowadays, Abdul Malik Abu and Jared Terrell were able to keep their decisions under wraps right up until the time they announced on Saturday afternoon in Boston.
When they finally made their announcements, the 6-foot-8 Abu of Kimball (N.H.) Union) chose N.C. State and the 6-3 Terrell of Brewster (N.H.) Academy picked Oklahoma State.
Abu also considered Providence, UConn and Florida, while Terrell also mulled Providence, Cincinnati and Rhode Island. SNY.tv reported earlier Saturday that Rhode Island was out for Terrell.
“[I liked] how they used their forwards and how I would be a main option,” Abu told TheWolfpacker.com of N.C. State. “Overall, great people over there. People have a lot of different opinions about them, but I’m a good judge of genuineness — I really felt that.”
Providence coach Ed Cooley and his staff recruited both New England players for two years, but in the end, wound up with neither.
Still, Cooley and his staff can take consolation from knowing that they already landed Huntington (W.V.) Prep wing Jalen Lindsey and Fairfield (CT) Prep big man Paschal Chukwu. Providence also had 2014 forward Ben Bentil on campus Saturday.
In Abu, Mark Gottfried’s club is landing a strong, athletic power forward who has the potential to a transition to a three down the road. He is ranked No. 50 by Rivals in the Class of 2014.
“He’s a guy who’s starting to diversify his game offensively,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “He has the body of blacksmith and he’s attempting to develop the touch of a surgeron. He’s trying to become more of a perimeter player.
“He’s really fleshing out his skillset and he’s a guy, he has a BCS-ready body. He’s obviously a good get. They have the Martins and now they have the power guy.”
Abu’s most recent visit was to Florida earlier this week, and before that he had tripped to UConn.
In the end, he chose to head to the ACC, where he will join twin 6-6 guards Caleb and Cody Martin in N.C. State’s 2014 recruiting class.
“Coach Gottfried’s just a real personable guy, he’s laid back, and we just have one thing in common — we want to win national championships,” Abu told TheWolfpacker.com. “I feel like together, with me, that’s possible. I hope to have a great season this year, but I’m looking forward to getting there and working to win a championship.”
As for Terrell, a strong two guard, he made his most recent visit to Rhode Island earlier this week and head coach Dan Hurley made his pitch to keep Terrell home in New England.
Cincinnati never seemed a serious contender, and Providence also ended up on the outside looking on.
The allure of the Big 12 — and the pitch that he could replace Marcus Smart — proved too much and now Terrell will play for coach Travis Ford.
“Terrell is a classic body guard,” Konchcalski said. “You have point guards, scoring guards and body guards. He’s sort of a combination guard. He played very well in the spring in the EYBL and I think that was a function of him getting in much better shape.
“He has a BCS-ready body. He’s really strong. He handles the ball OK, but he can even go inside and post it up. He would be one of the better rebounding guards that they would have I would think.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.