RALEIGH, N.C. â€“ NC State head menâ€™s basketball coach Sidney Lowe has announced that redshirt juniors Brandon Costner and Trevor Ferguson will forego their final year of eligibility, and not return to the Wolfpack in 2009-10.
Joe Giglio at ACCNow has a more on the roster changes at this link. He also discusses the Wolfpack’s new recruit – Josh Davis – that was already being discussed in our comments section.
Davis, a 6-5 forward, is a “tweener,” Telep said, who will add frontcourt depth for the Wolfpack, which lost Costner, a versatile forward who decided to go pro on Monday.
“They added a really nice player, with great character, who wanted to be a part of the program,” said Telep, who has Davis rated as a two-star prospect.
Additionally, Ken Tysiac added the following:
Davis averaged 25.7 points and 12 rebounds per game this season as a senior. He had been considering UNC Wilmington and had scholarship offers from Gardner-Webb and High Point. Seton Hallâ€™s staff also wanted Davis to make a campus visit, Clemons said.
â€œHeâ€™s always wanted to go (to N.C. State),â€ Clemons said. â€œHe always talked about N.C. State. That was his school. He worked hard enough, and was able to get an offer.â€
Clemons said Davis can score on the block as a power forward and is skilled enough to play small forward.
As our readers pointed out in the comments section, there are some pros and cons to offering/accepting Davis’ commitment. I must admit I am a little perplexed by the use of the scholarship and also a little concerned at the message of potential desperation that the scholarship sends. To be very clear – I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – but, the addition of a local kid (Athens Drive HS) that is clearly not ACC caliber talent could potentially mean that the use of the scholarship is ‘flexible’. I can only hope that *potentially* Davis gets to use the scholarship as long as the program does not need it for another, highly-rated player in this class or the future.
By all accounts, Davis is kid of high character who wanted to be a part of the program. He loves NC State and exhibits true heart and passion on the court. (Certainly something that has been lacking from our program for a long time). He averaged over 25 points a game in high school and was considered as good or better of a player than the two ‘stars’ in his conference – Earnest Ross (Auburn signee) and Garrius Adams (Miami signee).
Davis is described as a very athletic, but undersized ‘hustle player’ akin to a Simon Harris &/or Johnny Thomas (who is already on the Wolfpack’s roster). He has been recruited to play the wing forward position at State.
But, at 6’5 he not a ‘tweener’ for the only position that existing skills set supports – power forward – as his outside shooting is weak. There seems to be some debate if Seton Hall was truly looking at Davis and it appears that State ‘beat’ Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern and High Point for Davis.
There is most definitely a fit for a Josh Davis within NC State’s Basketball program; but, I am not necessarily convinced that there is an ideal fit for Josh Davis within the current state of the Wolfpack’s program with the current composition of our roster and scholarship spacing. In light of Johnny Thomas’ presence on the roster and sophomore status, it is fair to ask the question if we have ‘over-recruited’ the ‘undersized, high character, sleeper role on the wing’. As one of our readers said, “I hope someone knows more than anybody else here or gets this kid on the juice but this seems strange even by our standards.”
Much is made about State’s struggles and needs at the point guard position…and, Ryan Harrow may be scheduled to arrive in Raleigh one year too late for Coach Lowe. But, I see an even more glaring deficiency on the Wolfpack’s roster after the departure of Brandon Costner – NC State desperately needs some size, heft and toughness in the post. Despite the addition of Richard Howell in the 2009 recruiting class, an ‘ideal’ candidate for one of the Wolfpack’s remaining scholarships would be a junior college big man – preferably a true center of close to 7 feet – who can defend, block shots and rebound. Additionally, this would be ideal for current and future scholarship spacing needs.
Of course, there is still a very small chance that NC State pulls a rabbit out of the hat and can land the nation’s top remaining recruit, John Wall. Wall’s presence may not only help boost next season’s performance, but it would also send a message to other top recruits that NC State is a place to be. (Not to mention its potential impact on re-solidifying CJ Leslie’s commitment. Oddly, landing Wall may not only be great for next year’s performance, but also for the importance of long term spacing of scholarships for the program.
If State is unable to ultimately land John Wall, I agree with Giglio’s assessment of next season’s line-up:
On paper, State’s starting lineup looks like: Javier Gonzalez at the point, Brown at the 2-guard, C.J. Williams at small forward, Howell at the 4 and Smith at center.
Off the bench State has guards Julius Mays, Farnold Degand and Wood. At forward, Dennis Horner and Johnny Thomas are the other returning scholarship players, plus Davis.
Additionally, Ken Tysiac has added a great blog entry about the Wolfpack’s prospects next year that can be seen here.
When you look at the roster the Wolfpack has returning, itâ€™s impossible to deduce that the team will be better off without Costner and reserve guard Trevor Ferguson, who also is leaving.
As a whole, this roster will not scare North Carolina when it gets off the bus next season at the Smith Center. Against the rest of the ACC, N.C. State might hold up OK because there is a lot of backcourt talent leaving from the traditional middle-of-the-pack schools.
Toney Douglas, Tyrese Rice and Jack McClinton all were seniors, and Marylandâ€™s Greivis Vasquez has already announced his intention to test the NBA waters.
But hoping the competition falls back to N.C. Stateâ€™s level is not a where the Wolfpack hoped to be in Sidney Loweâ€™s fourth season.
Coach Sidney Loweâ€™s incoming recruiting class might turn out to be his best yet. But the members of his past classes will be sophomores and juniors next season comprising the bulk of N.C. Stateâ€™s roster. Loweâ€™s initial difficulties gaining a foothold as a recruiter after coming to N.C. State from the NBA look like they will come home to roost next season.
Projected 2009-2010 NC State Basketball Roster
(1) Dennis Horner (F)
(2) Farnold Degand (PG)
(3) Javi Gonzalez (PG)
(4) Tracy Smith (4F)
(5) Johnny Thomas (Wing)
(6) Julius Mays (PG/SG)
(7) CJ Williams (Wing)
(8) Scott Wood (Wing)
(9) Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG)
(10) Richard Howell (PF)
(11) Josh Davis (WF)
(12/13) Potential scholarships still available
(12) Ryan Harrow (PG)
(13) CJ Leslie (hopeful)
(1) Departure of Dennis Horner if no other scholarships issued for 2009 class
(2) Departure of Farnold Degand if no other scholarships issued for 2009 class
(1) Departure of Javi Gonzalez
(2) Departure of Tracy Smith