Lowe Landing Recruits

In the battle of the subscription websites, Pack Pride has scooped the The Wolfpacker today in important basketball recruiting news.

Pack Pride is reporting on their front page that Sidney Lowe has secured his first two basketball recruits in Farnold Degand (point guard) and
7-foot-3, 235-pound Polish center, Bartosz Lewandowski. More information on both players is available for premium subscribers of the site.

DeGand, a transfer from Iowa State, will have to sit out the 2006-2007 season due to NCAA rules. At almost 6-feet-4-inches, DeGand is discussed more as tall “point guard” but was listed as a combo guard coming out of high school in Boston, Mass. In the 2007-2008 season, he will be a 19-year-old redshirt sophomore with three years to play three seasons (because of a redshirt season at Iowa State used to get bigger and improve his game).

Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports is also in on the action of discussing the DeGand transfer nationally in this piece. Goodman also said…

Degand, who redshirted last season as a freshman at Iowa State, committed to N.C. State after taking visits to Oregon, UMass, Maryland and Rutgers. He will sit out this season and be eligible in the fall of 2007.

Degand wound up choosing Iowa State and the plan all along was for him to redshirt. According to former Cyclones guards Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson, whom Degand went up against each day in practice, he improved more than any other player in the program last season.

Degand will give the Wolfpack a guy who can really get the ball up the floor. He’s lightning quick and has toned down the flash in his game. The next year off will also allow Degand to add another 10 pounds to his frame.

Many Wolfpackers expressed heartburn when Larry Davis announced his intentions to attend Seton Hall. However, Degand’s age, physical presence, versatility and style of play may ultimately be a much better fit for Sidney Lowe’s NC State than Davis was. Considering that State isn’t expecting much in the 2006-2007 campaign after the loss of Cedric Simmons, Davis’ eligibility this season (compared to Degand’s) isn’t really an issue in the analysis.

Don’t expect much from Lewandowski in his first couple of seasons. Anything more than a few fouls, a few altered shots, and a few rebounds will be gravy. As SFN has highlighted in multiple entries over the last few weeks, State was in desperate need of a big body to help on the front line as well as to help with some strategic scholarship spacing to allow the Pack to more effectively target key prospects in the class of 2007 and 2008. Lewandowski will be a freshman in 2006-2007.

Goodman’s piece stated:

Monty Towe recruited Lewandowski when he was the head coach at New Orleans. When Towe left UNO to return as an assistant at his alma mater, N.C. State, he continued to pursue the big man from Poland.

In addtion to these two commitments, StatefansNation has been led to believe that NC State feels very good about our position with rapidly-rising swing forward, Johnny Thomas from Greensboro. Thomas, who reminds some of Texas’ PJ Tucker, has quickly made a huge name for himself on this year’s summer camp circuit. The Greensboro News & Record ran a great article on Thomas’ emergence last week.

When Thomas stepped into the spotlight, he made the all-tournament team for the 17-and-under age group. He turned the most heads when he scored 19 points in leading his team, the N.C. Gaters, to an upset of the World Wide Renegades, a Georgia team that featured power forward J.J. Hickson, a top-25 recruit in the Class of 2007.

“I didn’t know who he was, then he comes out there and gets 19 points,” said Justin Young, a Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst. “You’re like, ‘Man, who in the world is this kid?’ “

Thomas is the same 6-foot-4, 205 pound wing player who helped lead Greensboro Day to a NCISAA state title this year, averaging 18.7 points and 10.8 rebounds along the way. He’s also the same player who helped lead the Bengals to a convincing win over eventual 3-A state champion Dudley in the Little Four title game.

A quick look at the first comment below will show you the newly projected scholarship spacing for NC State’s Basketball program. After reviewing those numbers and taking into account size of the “project” that Lewandowski represents…one may draw a conclusion that NC State does not expect to ultimately land Dan Werner in this year’s class. I would be surprised if the new staff would choose to limit themselves to just four scholarships in the highly-talented 2007 class, which would be the case if Werner ultimately chooses State. The Lexington (KY) Herald supports this thought process in this article where they report that Werner is no longer considering NC State.