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NC State Basketball Recruiting

RELEASE: Pack Adds MJ Rice, Ben Middlebrooks To Program

April 25, 2023

RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Tuesday that the Pack has added MJ Rice‍ to the program. Rice comes to NC State from Kansas and has three years of eligibility remaining.

“It’s great to add MJ to our program,” Keatts said. “He’s a young man that we recruited heavily when he was in high school. He’s an incredible talent, and I think he’s going to unlock his full potential in our system. He’s got a really strong body and that paired with his explosiveness gives him great scoring ability.

“I think the world of him as a young person. He’s a terrific young man, and I think he’s a great addition to our locker room.”

Hailing from Henderson, N.C., Rice was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American following his senior season at Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in the 2021-22 season for Prolific Prep. He played his junior season at Oak Hill Academy and averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

He ended his prep career ranked No. 28 by, No. 29 by 247Sports and No. 30 in the ESPN 100.

As a freshman at Kansas, he played in 23 games, averaging 7.6 minutes at outing. He finished the season with 51 points, 24 rebounds, seven steals and two blocks. 

NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Monday that the Pack has added Ben Middlebrooks‍ to the program. Middlebrooks comes to NC State from Clemson and has two years of eligibility remaining.

“I’m excited to welcome Ben to our program,” Keatts said. “Obviously he is a player that we are familiar with from his time at Clemson. I really like his versatility as a player. He’s very strong, but he also moves really well for a big man. He can make plays on both ends of the court. He’s shown that he has a high basketball IQ and I think he’s going to be a valuable member of our front court rotation.   

“Off the court, he’s a great young man from a wonderful family, and I think he’ll be another great addition to our locker room.”

Middlebrooks played in all 34 games for the Tigers last season, making seven starts. He averaged 3.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He shot 48 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the foul line.

Middlebrooks career-high is 10 points which he scored against the Pack on Dec. 30, 2022.

The Fort Lauderdale native, played in 26 games and made four starts as a freshman at Clemson in the 2021-22 season.

Middlebrooks graduated from Westminster Academy as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2021. He averaged 20.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior.

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