The NC State Wolfpack has definitely experienced a (not unexpectedly) tough basketball season this year. The pill that is hardest to swallow, however, has been Engin Atsur’s injury. To this point of the season, NC State has compiled a record that is almost exactly what many fans expected. But, that expectation included Atsur’s presence on the court. When the two things which the team is most deficient are two things that Atsur does best – handle the ball and play perimeter defense – we are left with just a little twinge of ‘what if’?
A thread on one of the NC State message boards got me thinking about another ‘what if’ this morning.
What if…Larry Davis had kept his commitment to NC State and suited up for the Wolfpack this year?
I think that it would have been quite interesting to see Larry Davis on this year’s roster. Davis’ presence in this year’s backcourt would have been a huge boon for our talent and our depth. It also would had other impacts on the future of the program – Farnold DeGand would have most definitely not been recruited to transfer in.
Davis play at Seton Hall has improved since the beginning of the season. He currently averages almost nine points a game in 20 minutes of time. He has a 1:1 assist/turnover ratio, but is shooting a nice 44% from the three point line and 85% from the free throw line.
I was disappointed – not necessarily – heartbroken when Davis reneged from his commitment to State. But, I was not so indifferent to some of the ancillary issues related to the situation. For example, at the time I didn’t necessarily like the way that State acquiesced to Davis’ request to back out of his committment. I explained my position using some business analogies in this relevant entry.
I wish that I would have known more about the situation at the time as I would have been more sympathetic to Davis and less supportive on NC State.
Since the situation unfolded in April/May, SFN has learned that NC State had extremely limited contact with Larry Davis during the Pack’s search – oops…sorry…I mean “Lee Fowler’s search” – for a basketball coach. In fact, SFN got it on extremely good authority that Lee Fowler called Larry Davis all but ONE TIME during the month long search. Of course Davis was going to listen to other options when Bobby Gonzalez is in his ear every day (actually his AAU coach who ultimately took a job with Gonzalez) and Fowler has zero transition plan in place.
Folks, it takes some serious talent to simultaneously botch a both coaching search and ruin a recruiting class while all the while losing almost 30 pounds because you are note built to handle the responsibilities and stress of your job.
Sure. There will be some people argue that Davis would have flown the coop anyway. That is your perogative. I really have no clue. All I know is that other coaching searches and transitions at NC State – Les Robinson to Herb Sendek; Mike O’Cain to Chuck Amato; Amato to Tom O’Brien seemed to be executed with far less turmoil and turnover of recruits. Thank God NC State hired the ‘consultant to do the work’ so that Lee Fowler could just be quiet for the recent change in football.
(Don’t misunderstand my mea culpa on the Davis situation. I still think that Davis and his people could have handled their side of the situation with more dignity, and I don’t back away from these comments related to the situation.)