Larry Davis to Transfer from Seton Hall

It’s not a big deal, but it was worth noting that it was announced yesterday that Larry Davis will transfer from Seton Hall.

Davis played in all 61 Seton Hall games over the last two seasons and averaged 6.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for his career. The guard’s top performance came in a 94-85 victory over Penn during his freshman season when he recorded his only double-double with career-highs of 27 points and 10 rebounds. Last season, Davis made 13 starts and averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game.

You will remember that Davis, a combo-guard from New York, originally signed a letter of intent to play for NC State under Herb Sendek. After Sendek left NC State and when Seton Hall hired Bobby Gonzalez, the Pirates used the window of time before NC State hired Sidney Lowe to find ways around NCAA rules to connect to Davis. Almost simultaneously with the Wolfpack’s hiring of Sidney Lowe, NC State’s athletics department granted Davis and fellow commitment Dan Werner free releases from their binding LOIs.

What we didn’t share with you at the time was the scoop on how Lee Fowler was handling our three committed and signed recruits – Larry Davis, Dan Werner and Dennis Horner – during his embarassing coaching search. You see, during the month long search process when these recruits were reading tons of negative stories about Lee Fowler’s failures in the press…”Coach” Fowler’s communication with the recruits and their families was extremely limited. In other words, it barely existed.

After all of the dust settled, some people close to the situation informed SFN that the recruits’ families were very disappointed with the manner in which the transition was executed and that Lee Fowler and NC State had almost no communication with the families for the entire month of April. (We heard a rumor that Fowler spoke to the families one time – right after Sendek left – and never reached out to the families again. We do not have verification of this.)

Of course, this doesn’t surprise us – as we shared back then, Fowler wasn’t even calling the coaches that he was trying to hire in attempts to build relationships and sell what NC State had to offer. If he wasn’t calling the coaches that he was trying to hire then he sure as hell wasn’t going to interrupt his Lake time by bothering with the recruits. You know how it goes…this stuff just works itself out. There is no reason for anyone to think strategically and spend time executing on a transition plan.

When it became known that Davis was not going to play for the Wolfpack we logged this entry that will be of interest to you. In the entry we discuss our thoughts on the general practice of being so passive and conciliatory with scholarship releases during a key time in NC State’s Basketball program.

Let’s assume for a moment that you work in the real world and own a company that is your livelihood.

One of your account officers makes a key sale for the company. In the sale the new client signs a contract committing the client to provide certain services for the next four years. You are restricted by law to having less than fifteen clients at any one time, so the commitment of the new client is very important.

After the new sale is signed, sealed and delivered and you have begun making arrangements and planning around the new client, the account officer who signed the deal accepts leaves your company to accept a new job with a competitor.

The new client, who signed his/her contract with YOUR COMPANY – not the account officer – suddenly claims that they are uneasy with their agreement and would like to take their business elsewhere.

Question: As a prudent manager of your business, do you allow the new client to freely ignore his commitment and simply waltz into the horizon without exercising any of the penalty clauses availability to you in the signed contract?

Had Lee Fowler and NC State not handled the Davis (and Dan Werner) situation in our typical lazy, non-confrontational, passive manner then Davis very easily would have been suiting up for NC State’s over last two years.

Though Davis has not excelled at Seton Hall, he has not been a total bust. With this said, Davis would have been on the roster last year when Engin Atsur was injured and would certainly have executed the point guard position with more success than Gavin Grant. Had NC State had a point guard throughout last season the Wolfpack may have won a couple of more games which may have produced bubble scenario for an NCAA Tournament berth.

One thing we do know for certain – Larry Davis is better than Marques Johnson. Had Davis been on the roster last season, the Wolfpack would have been significantly more hesitant to accept a transfer from a similar combo guard in Marques Johnson…and if Davis was excelling under our system one could also speculate that Javi Gonzalez may not have gotten an offer. This would have freed-up two valuable scholarships for Coach Lowe to have used during last year’s recruiting cycle to have allowed him to capitalize on the positive buzz and late season success of his first year.

In the end, no one still knows if Larry Davis would have been a good fit at NC State. As you will see in this entry, bridges got burned pretty quickly in the process. Which, of course, opens a whole new perspective into the ‘reasoning’ why NC State would be so conciliatory in a situation where we were being publically ridiculed despite our excessive support of the whims of an 18 year old who was unethically contacted by the program he attended only because of our generous release.

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07-08 Basketball Basketball Recruiting

73 Responses to Larry Davis to Transfer from Seton Hall

  1. MattN 04/09/2008 at 10:21 AM #

    Fire Lee…

  2. RAWFS 04/09/2008 at 10:27 AM #

    Larry Davis is better than Marques Johnson.

    So is my 17 year old neice…and she is a cheerleader at Bunn High. She can hit the outside J more consistently, and she knows how to dribble the ball, too.

    But just because she is a better player than Marques Johnson that’s no indication she should play hoops for NC State. Larry Davis is exactly the same. He may be a better ballplayer than Marques is, but that doesn’t mean he’s all ACC and honorable mention for the All-America team.

  3. Noah 04/09/2008 at 10:27 AM #

    Yep, a guard with a little size, some ball-handling ability and who can give you six or seven points and a few rebounds off the bench would have been valuable.

    It always bothered me when people decide that since an individual isn’t a star, they have no value or role. Switch gears to football for a second. RJ Armstrong won’t be with the team this year. I don’t know why, but he left the squad.

    I don’t think Armstrong caught a pass last year, but he was one of the unsung heroes of the UNC victory. If you have that game recorded, go back and look at our go-ahead touchdown late in the game (I think I have this right). Armstrong is the guy who completely collapses the right side of the defensive line, clearing the way for the back (Eugene?) to score.

    A team is made of smaller parts. Some are teeny and only have a single role. But you have to have all of those parts in order to make a successful whole.

  4. Howler 04/09/2008 at 10:58 AM #

    “What we didn’t share with you at the time was the scoop on how Lee Fowler was handling our three committed and signed recruits”

    You didn’t have to. I just naturally assumed that Lee Fowler was screwing it up.

  5. haze 04/09/2008 at 11:14 AM #

    Seems to me that there are situations where hardball is warranted but I don’t think that Larry Davis was one of them.

    Mainly, I don’t want a kid at NC State if that’s not where he really wants to be. It’s bad for him and it can be bad for us with respect to both team chemistry and future recruiting relationships. From a Machiavellian viewpoint, it may be worth the risk if the kid is a slam dunk prospect. However, if he’s not a slam dunk, then there is absolutely another train coming and you may be better of setting him free in any case. Even in hind sight (the Davis @ PG argument for last year), I don’t believe that I’d have kept him for the sake of a bubble shot at the NCAA’s last year or this year.

    That he’s better than MJ is likely true but MJ’s effect on our scholarship situation isn’t related, IMO. If we are jammed up now, we got that way through several staff decisions, any of which could have gone other ways. The Davis situation may have been the butterfly in China for all that but it was little more. There was plenty of chance to act differently since.

    SFN: First, why is it ‘hard ball’ to hold people to their signed commitments after a four year recruiting process?

    But, I generally agree with you. I just don’t think that it is necessarily ‘hard ball’ to force a kid to take some time to get to know our new Coach and live up to their commitment.

    Remember, during this process we took the stance that we would allow these kids a lot of flexibility as long as they would give us a good faith effort to accept our new coach.

    Larry Davis by no means lived up to this agreement. He spent the month getting set-up at Seton Hall and asked for his release almost immediately.

    I also don’t think that it is ‘hard ball’ in light of Seton Hall playing dirty ball with the way that they courted him.

  6. UpstateSCWolfpack 04/09/2008 at 11:30 AM #

    I don’t get it? Why does the adminstration want the sports program to continue on a downward spiral. The only thing that I see that Fowler did right was hiring O’Brien.

    SFN: Lee Fowler had nothing to do with hiring Tom O’Brien. If Lee Fowler would have gotten his way, Chuck Amato would have never gotten fired. Don’t forget, Fowler took at contract EXTENSION for Chuck to the Board of Trustees in the middle of that season. The Board forced Amato’s termination and Tom O’Brien came running to us through Chuck Neinas. Fowler was neutered the whole time and did nothing but keep his mouth shut as others executed the firing and the hiring.

    State makes a ton of money from the football and basketball, so we need to spend some of that money on the best coaches avaliable. I believe that Bobby Knight would be a terrific AD, and I believe he would love the chance of returning a once great tradition back to where it belongs. The article about the LSU AD job was great. Is the adminstration just blind to these numbers that Fowler is putting up? The school deserves better and so do the fans.

  7. choppack1 04/09/2008 at 11:40 AM #

    I didn’t have a problem w/ letting Davis and Werner out of their LOIs. I just would have preferred that decision to be made after we hired the coach – let the coach decide.

    When we saw these 2 kids leave, it was more of a result of the bungled search and hiring an unknown candidate than it was a problem w/ these kids. Put yourself in their position – you skills are desired by several employers. The boss you originally signed on w/ goes elsewhere – the leader of the corporation bungles the search for his replacement and hires someone w/ a questionable track record…Yea, I’m trying to get out of that committment. (I know Werner’s glad he got out of his.)

  8. kyjelly 04/09/2008 at 11:56 AM #

    Please the last thing we need is one more mediocore guard ……and while we are at it lets cut the cord on MJ as well. Because if we look at things all Sid is doing is recruiting guards!

    BJD: A mediocre guard is better than an awful guard, yes?

    JB: How do you miss the point that if we had this particular ‘mediocre guard’ then we wouldn’t have accepted commitments from all of these other guards. Again, the world does not exist in a vacuum. Things are inter-related. We wouldn’t have the scholarship mix that we have today.

  9. jbpackfan 04/09/2008 at 11:57 AM #

    Anyone have any info on why the important people put up with Lee Fowler’s incompetence? Who does his performance review, and what is it based on? From everything I’ve ever read about our athletics and his ineptitude, he should be fired.

  10. newt 04/09/2008 at 11:59 AM #

    One can only speculate about how things would have worked out if LD had stuck with NC State, so there’s no need to run down our current players in creating what-if scenarios.

    I’m not sure playing hardball with young student athletes as if they were corporate clients would have been the best thing for the basketball program long-term; however, Lee DEFINITELY should have been talking to these kids every few days within NCAA rules. I believe that Les Robinson kept in regular contact with Rivers during the football search.

    That approach probably would have kept these committed to at least listen to the new coach. In fact, I actually would not have had a problem with making any release conditional to having met the new coach first. Just saying f-it, I’m not calling you and you are free to call was certainly not a good approach.

  11. Rick 04/09/2008 at 12:00 PM #

    Just when you think Fowler could not do anything worse.

    Actually like someone said I assumed he scrwed the pooch on it and was of course right.

  12. Wulfpack 04/09/2008 at 12:09 PM #

    “Anyone have any info on why the important people put up with Lee Fowler’s incompetence?”

    Because they are incompetent as well. To do anything would be a public admission of fault. They are all in bed with each other and figure they better stay together or else.

  13. packbackr04 04/09/2008 at 12:10 PM #

    “Mainly, I don’t want a kid at NC State if that’s not where he really wants to be. ”


    i dont think it was that Davis didnt want to be here. he did. he signed a LOI to be in Raleigh. What he didnt like that was the fact that Lee went totally incommunicado during the search. not letting Davis (or Werner, or Horner) know what was going on during the search. Lee just totally dropped off the map after the initial talk to inform him that Herb had left. What else was he to do? This is just another indictment of the piss poor job that “coach” has done.

    Also, is it impossible to think that prior to Sid being hired, that Sid could have called these kids and said. “look, i am working with Mr Fowler to find the best coach possible. just hang tight, heres my number if you need me. just stick with us. everything will be ok”… didnt Huggy Bear do something similar to this before he was hired at KSU. like calling the recruits before he was hired so it wouldnt have been a violation, then he was announced the next day.

  14. PackMan97 04/09/2008 at 12:29 PM #

    I think there are a few points that need to be made.

    1. If Davis didn’t want to be at NC State it was 100% the correct thing to let him out of his LOI.

    2. If Fowler only called our recruits once, he is as incompetent as SFN claims (and then maybe a bit more). Heck, if he only called them once a week that’s still not good enough.

    3. If our athletic department felt that Seton Hall or Florida even had a chance of tampering with Davis and Werner, the LOI releases should have been conditional on Davis and Werner not attending either of those institutions.

  15. one00_proof 04/09/2008 at 12:36 PM #

    Wow Lee, chock another drop of water in the waterfall of reasons I think you’re an awful AD.

    My biggest question is that despite Lee continuing to screw up NC State Athletics, the fact the university had to castrate him during the whole football hiring process, the fact that much of the NC State fanbase thinks he needs to go, and the fact he’s made it quite public that we’re merely a stepping stone for becoming AD at other schools, why in the world do we keep the guy (not only that, but extend him till 2013).

    While I would love to get rid of the the guy right away, as long as Oblinger and the BOT sit on their hands about it, the only foreseeable way I see Fowler’s keester meeting the door on the way out before 2013 is if Lowe becomes a total flop. That’s an awful way to handcuff an athletics program, but I guess that’s the reality of the situation. So I hope that Lowe succeeds, and the chancellor + BOT ball up and not renew his contract past 2013.

    Things like this make me wanna call up the SBP and tell him to just throw this out there during a trustee meeting just for shits and giggles and see what happens.

  16. ncsukyle430 04/09/2008 at 1:30 PM #

    If this guy really started a fight with a ref after a game, do we really want him at NC State? Why are we crying over a punk kid?

    SFN: Why is a rationale fan discussion about ‘what-if’ scenarios viewed as ‘crying’?

  17. packbackr04 04/09/2008 at 1:44 PM #

    well Mr class recruited him so surely he isnt a bad kid.

  18. packbackr04 04/09/2008 at 2:05 PM #

    has Sid come out and explained to his bosses and or customers how this “team” is going to get better before next yr with the same group of “players” that led us into the cellar of the ACC this yr?

    excuse me for being cynical, but it just seems like we dont add anything next year that would make me think we can win more than 5 acc games again next yr.

  19. thebigwood 04/09/2008 at 2:06 PM #

    I wonder where he might go…anyone know who else recruited him?

  20. packgrad93 04/09/2008 at 2:15 PM #

    Losing Werner & Davis hurt the program for sure. How much, we’ll never know.

  21. packbackr04 04/09/2008 at 2:18 PM #

    maybe Seton Hall is interested in a PG that can only dribble with his right hand, has a shot that is literally fired from his hip, and is a turnover waiting to happen as soon as he crosses midcourt. And according to his most recent coach, he is more of a “run the show” type of PG….

    my question to Sid is, what the hell type of show is MJ running? a f-ing ringling brothers bonanza?

  22. erichack 04/09/2008 at 2:45 PM #

    its clear to me and most that post on this site that Fowler comes up short as an AD…however, he has to be doing something that keeps him in good graces with the Admin…i assume the chancellor (whom does not appear to be to interested in success on the field of play) is a big part of him staying around, but i also have to believe that big money is also on board with him as well…i have to wonder about the abilities of the money part of the equation to make good decisions about why they keep supporting a poor operation…these people are not stupid (at least i assume)…most people with money get that money because they understand how to win…how to succeed…they are either the most foolish investors around or they believe that Fowler is good at what he does…if the latter, why?…what do they see that can be to his favor?

    SFN: Don’t assume so much.

  23. howlie 04/09/2008 at 2:52 PM #

    This can’t be true. “Coach” has won awards for giving out his phone number to reporters of rival newspapers, and is–according to them–the epitome of ‘connected.’

    Those recruits must simply be misrepresenting this honorable man. Shame on them.

    Long live the invincible, untouchable, undeniably AD-for-life Jed-I-said.

  24. Howler 04/09/2008 at 3:41 PM #

    Fowler definitely screwed it up by not making the needed assurances, and then not making the introductions to the new coach. But ultimately, I have no problem with an 18 year old kid getting out of his LOI after a coaching change. Remember, at that age the kid’s parents are often the ones being recruited…usually by a coach who tells them how he is going to take care of their son. Most parents would want to explore all the options in a case like that.

  25. Ed89 04/09/2008 at 3:46 PM #

    Excuse the thread hijack – if we’d have gotten Werner who knows if J.J. would have come to State. Below is some info from one of the draft websites:

    “Hickson publicly says that he is still undecided whether or not he’ll be declaring for this year’s draft, but persistent rumors we’ve been hearing all season indicate that he will almost certainly put his name in when it’s all said and done. That would probably be a mistake if that’s indeed the case, as he does not look anywhere near ready to see minutes on an NBA team (defensively, or operating as a true power forward should facing the basket), and would greatly benefit from expanding his game through another season in college. His talent will still likely be too great for most teams to pass up on in the first round–even if he’ll have to spend time in the D-League polishing his all-around game–and therefore he’d likely get drafted somewhere in the bottom half of the first round barring bad workouts or off the court red flags that pop up during the draft process.”

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