Friday, May 28, 2010

N.C. State recruit to move up to class of 2011

If everything goes according to plan, basketball recruit Joseph Uchebo will get to N.C. State one year sooner than expected.

Uchebo, a 6-9 power forward from Nigeria, is going to reclassify as a senior and graduate in 2011, his high school coach said Friday before Uchebo played in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill.

Uchebo, who turns 18 in June, will need to take a summer school class in math to meet the NCAA Clearinghouse core requirements, Oak Military Academy coach Stan Kowalewski said. But Uchebo's committed to graduate after three years of high school in this country and enroll before the 2011-12 season.

"He's a good student and he works hard," Kowalewski said. "He should be able to handle the extra work."

N.C. State does not have any known commitments from the class of 2011 but has four scholarships available.

Uchebo, who played one season at Durham Mount Zion and this past season at Oak Ridge, had been classified in the class of 2012. He made a verbal commitment to the Wolfpack in Nov. 2009.

Uchebo averaged 10 points and 9.5 rebounds for Oak Ridge last season despite a series of injuries that limited him.

"There's no question basketball-wise, he's ready," Kowalewski said.

With senior forward Tracy Smith leaving the program after the 2010-11 season, State will need interior help. The Pack will also lose senior guard Javier Gonzalez and has two extra scholarships after Julius Mays and Josh Davis decided to transfer.

-- J.P. Giglio

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