Starting 5: Pack mentality

Editor's note: Every Monday in "Starting 5," we'll roll out five stories, themes and nuggets from the basketball recruiting world to tip off your week in proper form. We'll set the table with the stories that need to be told and give you a leg up on the watercooler conversations around the office.

This week's edition of Starting 5 includes a look at No. 4 prospect Julius Randle visiting NC State this weekend, why Marcus Lee should make an immediate impact at Kentucky next season, an introduction to freshman Tyus Battle, the point guard heir to Darren Collison at California's Etiwanda High and a breakdown of nationally ranked Chicago Whitney Young and Chicago Simeon in the wake of Saturday's showdown.

1. Pack's timing couldn't be better with Randle

The planning of an official visit always involves a roll of the dice in some form. Whether it's the date, events happening on campus that weekend or the question of how many prospects to have accompany your main target, not a single official visit goes down without a series of factors to contemplate.

But when the schedule was announced and ESPN's "College GameDay" decided to roll into Raleigh, N.C., this past weekend for NC State's home showdown against arch nemesis North Carolina, Mark Gottfried had a singular goal: get Wolfpack target Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) on campus.