The new basketball season has already delivered a lot of interesting changes and topics for discussion. One of the biggest story lines that has developed in the early season is the fantastic play of NC State junior center, DeShawn Painter. The following blog entry from the Fayetteville Observer is great reading today:
If you attended the Red-White scrimmage two weekends ago, what happened at the end of the N.C. State-Princeton game shouldn’t have stunned you.
Surprised? Sure. But not stunned.
There was point guard Lorenzo Brown, dribbling on the left wing with the score tied in the closing seconds, flipping the ball to an open teammate for an 18-footer from the top of the key. DeShawn Painter, a 6-foot-9 center, caught the pass and confidently released the shot, swishing it to give the Wolfpack a 60-58 victory.
“Believe it or not, he makes that shot consistently for us in practice,” coach Mark Gottfried said. “I like the fact he never hesitated. He caught it, and that’s a good shot for him.”
Painter proved that during the team’s intrasquad scrimmage on Nov. 5. Playing on the “White” team against five probable starters in “Red,” he repeatedly showed off his range in the opening 12-minute session, hitting jumpers and baseline turnarounds.
Painter looked different than the player who averaged 1.6 points as a freshman and 4.6 as a sophomore under Sidney Lowe. It was a glimpse into what could possibly transpire this season, when Painter has reached double figures in all three games. A suspension to C.J. Leslie created the opening for Painter, and he ranks second on the team with a 14.0 scoring average.
Keep in mind that ESPN ranked him the No. 64 overall prospect in the high school class of 2009, one spot ahead of Richard Howell. Painter signed with Florida in November of his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy and asked for his release in April. The Gators obliged, and he was a late signee with the Wolfpack.
The talent that made him a highly rated recruit is on display now, culminating with that game-winning shot Wednesday night.
“A gutsy play,” Painter said. “I had in my mind I was going to take that shot. As a basketball player, you can have opportunities like that. You’re going to be a hero and knock it down or you take it and miss it, people are going to get mad. It’s up to you whether you can live with it, and I can live with that.”
^This entry got me thinking about how excited we were when DeShawn originally committed to NC State. I actually remember writing the entry announcing the commitment from a hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky where I was on a business trip and trying to get the entry done before a dinner. I think you will enjoy looking back at the work by clicking here.
The recruitment of the one of the top remaining post prospects in country ended on Wednesday when Deshawn Painter chose NC State over Maryland after eliminating Virginia Tech from consideration earlier in the week.
Painter, of Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy, is a very athletic, ‘lengthy’ 6’9 power forward who has a well rounded game that includes the ability to rebound and block shots. After originally committing to Billy Donovan at the University of Florida, DeShawn ultimately changed his mind and re-opened his recruitment.
He is ranked as one of the Top 75 high school players in the country; Scout has given him four stars and Rivals has given him three stars. ESPNU ranks Painter #19 on their list of top power forwards in the country, achieving “score” of 92 as NC State’s other post commit – Richard Howell. Howell is ranked #20 on ESPNU’s list.