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.