Strategic Scholarship Spacing

In the big picture, NC State’s Basketball program desperately needs more strategic spacing of scholarships to insure balance in the program’s future. As you will see in a moment, the addition of a junior college player this season would play a major role in helping the Pack balance our roster for future seasons.

SFN discussed State’s thin roster for the 2006-2007 season in this entry, but we didn’t lay out the scholarship spacing picture as clearly as we could have. The 13 scholarships spots on next year’s roster are as follows:

Senior Class
(1) Engin Atsur (G)

Junior Class
(2) Andrew Brackman (probably playing his last season) (F/C)
(3) Gavin Grant (G/F)

Sophomore Class
(4) Courtney Fells (G)
(5) Ben McCauley (F/C)

Freshman Class
(6) Brandon Costner (hopefully gets redshirt) (F)
(7) Trevor Ferguson (eligible in spring) (G)
(8) Dennis Horner (F)
(9) Potentially Dan Werner (F)
(1o) N/A
(11) N/A
(12) N/A
(13) N/A

So, next^ year looks tough enough in its own right…but, consider that Andrew Brackman is most likely going to be a high draft pick in next year’s Major League Baseball draft and will not return his senior season. That will effectivly make him a senior next year and make his scholarship available a year prematurely. So, take a look at the projected roster spacing for 2007-2008:

Senior Class
(1) Gavin Grant (G/F)

Junior Class
(2) Courtney Fells (G)
(3) Ben McCauley (F/C)

Sophomore Class
(4) Brandon Costner (hopefully gets redshirt) (F)
(5) Trevor Ferguson (G)
(6) Dennis Horner (F)
(7) Potentially Dan Werner (F)

Freshman Class
(7) Potentially Dan Werner’s scholarship
(8) N/A
(9) N/A
(10) N/A
(11) N/A
(12) N/A
(13) N/A

General NCS Basketball

40 Responses to Strategic Scholarship Spacing

  1. vtpackfan 06/06/2006 at 9:33 AM #

    I have mentioned this before, and it may sound like an easy assumption, but the conditions are favorable for transfer prospects. I used the UMass exaple previously, where Bruiser Flint left a lopsided roster simuilar to this and Travis Ford took over and right away picked up three tranfers, one being a UVa gaurd with alot of upside. JC kids are out there for the taking. Problem is that the recruiting style is different. It seems that a coach like Bob Huggins, or Cal Sampson have vast networks scouting these guys and have had some great success finding talent. It must take alot of resources that differ fom your traditional recruiting set-up. A transfer on the other hand, does not take a great deal of changing, since he was recruited and signed out of high school recently, or has played Div. I and therefor would be easier to project as pontential player. It’s just a theory, maybe someone see’s lots of hole in this reasoning. I have seen my fair share of Juco games, and know that there are outstanding players throughout the country.

  2. redfred2 06/06/2006 at 11:37 AM #

    Skeletal remains of a supposedly improving NC State basketball program. When players leave without wanting to hear from the new staff, it is the fault of the former coach, and the AD who allowed him to sell them on a scheme, and not the university itself.

  3. Dan 06/06/2006 at 11:48 AM #

    I am far less concerned about scholarship balance than I am about maximizing the scholarships that we have.

    Chapel Hill is having some problems this year because they only have one scholarship, but, with the roter they have, most teams would love to have the same problem.

    Using a scholarship on a lesser player to achieve balance is a bad idea. You have to use each scholarship to get the best player you can get with it.

  4. Rick 06/06/2006 at 11:57 AM #

    “Skeletal remains of a supposedly improving NC State basketball program”

    This year was going to be brutal no matter what. There is some talent but it is all at the same position.

  5. Mr O 06/06/2006 at 12:53 PM #

    I did find it odd the last few years that Herb wasn’t using all of his available scholarships.

    The next few years will be very interesting with a lot of newcomers to the program.

  6. BillyTheKid 06/06/2006 at 12:55 PM #

    Pack Pride is saying that Iowa State’s Farnold Degand is coming to see us today. Does anyone know anything about this kid? I guessing he is a pg.

  7. Wolfman300 06/06/2006 at 1:12 PM #

    From the Iowa State website:

    Farnold Degand
    G, 6-3, 165, Freshman
    Boston, Mass. (O’Bryant)
    High School: A rising point guard who is just 17 years old…an excellent shooter and ballhandler who can play either guard position…one of the top players in Massachusetts…capped off his career with an outstanding senior season, averaging 17.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists…was a Boston City All-Star and a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic team member, which rates the best 12 players in Massachusetts…team won the Boston City League South Championship all four years…as a four-year starter, team was one of three in the state to make the Elite Eight in three of four years…was a 1,000-point scorer in his career…was a U.S. Marine leadership recipient winner…averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior…played AAU basketball for Leo Papile’s BABC squad, the same team that produced current Cyclone Will Blalock…averaged 10.1 points and shot 63.3 percent from the field at the 2004 Peach Jam Tournament…coached in high school by Juan Figueroa…chose Iowa State over Northeastern, Boston University, Ohio State and Nebraska.

  8. choppack1 06/06/2006 at 1:43 PM #

    “I did find it odd the last few years that Herb wasn’t using all of his available scholarships.

    The next few years will be very interesting with a lot of newcomers to the program.”

    O – I think he had seen what was happening to those last ‘ships he was giving away. With the exception of Evtimov – these never really panned out. I also think he had finally figured out what he wanted and how he wanted them. He wasn’t going to spend too many more ships on major projects – like MOD, Flatt, Guidry, and Adam Simons. They just weren’t making the kind of impact he wanted. I think it’s pretty obvious that 2007 was going to be one of his better classes – and he had positioned himself and the recruits nicely for that. Unfortunately, he had also positioned himself and the program so that next year HAD to have a great class.

    If it’s the right kid – I don’t think a JUCO is a bad addition. However, I don’t want us bringing in kids w/ questionable grades, backgrounds, or attitudes just because we lack depth.

  9. Mr O 06/06/2006 at 1:57 PM #

    Choppack1: Agree choppack. Herb was doing well managing recruiting overall. He did stop using all of his scholarships, but he went from using 13 to using only 10 or 11.

    This will be an interesting transition. Expectations will definitely be lowered for the next several years, so maybe that is a good thing for Lowe’s first few years. I can’t wait to see how the new staff is received on the recruiting trail. I think they will do quite well myself.

  10. Andy 06/06/2006 at 2:03 PM #

    Good write up on Ced in chad ford’s blog (Sorry if this is the wrong place to post it):

    “Cedric Simmons, North Carolina State: Simmons was also very impressive. So impressive that his workout raised the question, what’s the big difference between him and Tyrus Thomas?

    Simmons is roughly an inch taller (Simmons is measuring 6-10 in shoes). He has a bigger, more muscular body (235 lb. versus 220). He has a similarly long wingspan (7-3). Like Thomas, he’s an excellent athlete.

    Thomas is more polished on the perimeter. He’s a better ball-handler and perimeter shooter. And while both are athletic, Simmons doesn’t get up the way Thomas does.

    However, Simmons is more skilled on the block right now. He’s more physical and he has more experience.

    I think the comparisons to a young Theo Ratliff are dead on. Not only does Simmons look a lot like Ratliff, but he also carries himself like him.

    Simmons may never be a great offensive player, but his toughness, rebounding, shot-blocking and athleticism should keep him in the league for a long time, the same way it did for Ratliff.”

  11. wirogers 06/06/2006 at 3:41 PM #

    One thing that is missed is that State may loose a few scholarships under the new NCAA program that provides points for graduation rates. With Ced leaving, that hurts State’s rating. Which as has been pointed out was not that good to start with. It may be a good thing that State has extra scholarships since we may loose one or possible two until graduation rates increase (of those who enter as freshman, not those who stay for four or five years).

    Herb, may have seen the writing on the wall and was planning on loosing them. Not that I want to give Herb any credit.

  12. sautz 06/06/2006 at 4:26 PM #

    To me this shows that losing Davis and possibly Werner are more painful in the short term than some people may have realized. Even though they are “barely top 100 recruits” they would at least provide depth. At this point I am all for a JuCo to help out next year and hope that Lowe can work some magic for the 2007 class based on his potential.

  13. PBdafan 06/06/2006 at 4:36 PM #

    I know this is not the blog topic, but I found it noteworthy before the hockey game last night when they were showing videos of different people saying “Lets go Canes”, Roy was booed and Sidney was cheered. Music to my ears.

  14. johnny 06/06/2006 at 7:02 PM #

    This coaching change which now is a rebuilding effort will take some time to show results. We all need to take a deep breath and give Lowe a few years before we judge it. Hope Lowe hits the ground running in recruiting on july1.

  15. bTHEredterror 06/06/2006 at 10:37 PM #

    Isn’t the primary reason our graduation rates are low is that so many of Herb’s “projects” transferred? I seem to recall an article in the News&Record that this played a role, or maybe I just wondered the same thing when I saw the article.

    I hope Sid uses the scholarships we have available. I’d love for State to have one of those legendary classes next year with Wright, etc.

    Additionally, if kids transfer in, it not only improves experienced depth, but also aids in changing the overall look of the program more rapidly. New players from different systems, with an equal footing against exisitng players can have a more immediate impact.
    Depp breath thought to forward. Seeing what these current players REALLY are. Perhaps they were held back and will flourish……or……gulp …….perhaps the system hid their flaws.

    Another item of note. Cedric, in one of the articles about his draft prospects, stated that the Princeton didn’t allow him to use his Face-up game which apparently is moving him into the lottery. Way to go Herbert. I felt like as a freshman, Cedric was THE dominant force in the Wisconsin loss. And I sat there broken-hearted while he sat the last dozen minutes after he sparked our last comeback. Here’s to using talent in your system and not your system on the talent.
    I expect Coach Lowe remembers that. He coached two of the youngest teams in league history, both expansion teams early on. It doesn’t reflect in his record, but he did a good job. He got both those positions for a reason and set the foundation for turnarounds. Because he is a teacher of the game. This will come across in the living room.
    Long may he Reign.

  16. brown pelican 06/06/2006 at 10:45 PM #

    junior college signees and transfers must provide the glue until recruiting territory can be established and staked out by the new staff—anyone and everyone who can play and— a big and—represent the school in the fashion that coach lowe demands must be considered—it’s on now bubba!

  17. BladenWolf 06/06/2006 at 11:03 PM #

    Excellent posts gentlemen.

    On the topics of scholarships; I submit we look very hard at giving the 2006 scholarship #10 (or #9 if Werner doesn’t commit) to Phil Jones from Laurinburg Prep. It’s time we again looked in our own back yard for good talent. It’s here. Witness what WF has done with getting the best of NC talent while Ol’ Roy and K scour the national level. I read they have the 13th best recruiting class (according to one poll) coming in next year and a good many are from NC. This site has educated us on that very fact.

    But I digress… A scholarship to Phil Jones would help out tremendously with his 6″-10 1/2″ 245 lbs frame adding valuable minutes when Brackman and McCauley start to tire -read foul out- from Hasbro’s pounding (I’ll miss you Ced). I would also add a top JUCO player, preferably a true point guard (I think Grant is a better Forward) who interested in playing time on the big stage…and LOWE and behold… we are not as bad in 2006 as some seem to think.

    When Atsur graduates the following year and Chris Wright becomes a member of the Pack, we’ll have good perimeter presence (shooting guard and point guard from JUCO) AND good inside presence with Horner, McCauley, (maybe Werner), and Jones.

  18. Dan 06/07/2006 at 8:56 AM #

    Giving a scholarship to a JUCO player is a mistake 99 times out of 100, and its a poor way to build a program. Its an especially risky decision for NC State in 2006.

    When you give a JUCO player a scholarship, it reduces the amount of high school players you can sign (duh, i know). Why settle for getting less from a scholarship just to achieve balance? Who cares about scholarship balance? If you recruit prep players well enough that will work itself out. Hopefully, you get one or two that leave for the NBA early. If not, you get yourself a team with a ton of upperclass leadership.

    If for some reason Sid struggles in recruiting preps in 2007, I would object less to JUCO players if they are needed to fill the roster. But if it comes to that, we have a lot more serious problems.

    Sid has a great opportunity in 2007. He has a ton of scholarships. He is basically going to be able to recruit an entire squad in year 1. Whatever Sid does here is fine with me. I’m just a fan of maximizing everything you have. Every single scholarship.

  19. vtpackfan 06/07/2006 at 9:20 AM #

    “I’m just a fan of maximizing everything you have. Every single scholarship.”

    So whats your take on Herb leaving scholarships on the table. I’ve always heard that a coach leaves in good standing, no matter what the record implies, if he doesn’t leave the cupboard bare. I know that his tenure at State caused a rift between many, but to me this is his legacy here plain and simple. I hope Larry Harris had some huge differences with this approach and was just being a good soldier by following Herbs wishs. I also hope Herb can find the guile to feel comfortable with offering scholarships to players out west, instead of coveting them for his next great recruiting year.

  20. vtpackfan 06/07/2006 at 9:33 AM #

    Also of interest could be G, Freeman, from DeMatha. He is listed as the as the 11 best player of the ’07 class. Played against Wright in league championship this year. Listed as a solid verbal to Georgetown, but with Wright still potentially in the mix and the strong ties to De Matha it could get interesting. I also have a good feeling about McAuley’s abilities. Brackman’s energy and competive nature will help ease the pressure, but they need a JUCO, or prep player that can instantly come in and use his size and intensity to fight for loose balls and take charges underneath. McAuley seems at ease with his post moves, and I know he wants to show he can make open mid range jumpers. I think coaching Ben/Rasheed Wallace can help Lowe determine how to recruit an effective combination under the bakset.

  21. Dan 06/07/2006 at 10:03 AM #

    Well, you are asking me to speculate about why he left scholarships on the table. First off, you’d be hard pressed to find a team that consistently has 13 scholarships being used unless you are insanely successful on the trail a la Roy Williams of late. There just isnt enough basketball to go around.

    Second, Herb had a lot of misses in recruiting. Especially at PG and the low post. For some reason it appeared that Herb didnt have any back up plans when he missed on Shakur, then Gilchrist, and then Edgar Sosa. So his plan B was to just get one next year, which failed twice until he finally landed Chris Wright. Personally, I would have rather him at least fill need positions than leave a scholarship on the table three years in a row. Tyrese Rice was a 3-star recruit. There are quality players available down the list, and you cannot run any half court set without a PG and quality post player. You cant. I think Herb sort of lost confidence in his ability to find the diamonds in the rough after the Adam Simons, Justin Flatt, Mike (Frodo) O’Donnell fiasco, so he just starting saving them up for some future windfall.

    In fairness to Herb it looked like he was starting to have a nice degree of success with his new recruiting strategy. 2007 was shaping up nice. Two top 25 recruits (Chris Wright and Evan Turner) were all but signed and momentum was building. Now, I dont see a post player in that class, which was badly needed, but still. He was getting better. Herb’s gone though. And Im fine with it. I was a backer, but Im more convinced now that there wasnt any real reason to ever think he was going ever get the pieces he needed to run that offense in the way he advertised it. Its a great offense in my opinion, but Im not sure that its a good fit for Herb.

    There seems to be two different types of coaches. Those who adapt their offense to the players they have like Ol Roy. And those that force their system on the players they recruit like K. Personally I like the flexible approach. I think it takes a better coach to pull it off too. Im hoping Lowe can be more like that. Lord knows he is gonna have to be this year. I just want to see the resources available to him maximized. JUCO players are rarely successfull. For every Larry Johnson there are 100 guys who just eat up a spot.

  22. vtpackfan 06/07/2006 at 10:22 AM #

    I didn’t realize that teams were often hard pressed to fill the scholarships avail. I knew that planning was tough considering the short notice given by players leaving for differnt reasons. I have to agree with your assesment on JUCO’s, and the risky nature of that type recruiting. In this case it could be worth it, since the need for depth is urgent. If you know what your after, a character guy, someone who can give you unselfish effort for 10-15 minutes a game, then you narrow your search and thus lower the risk. What I can’t figure out is the walk-ons Herb made room for. They are also all shooting guards and small forwards. I know that your just keeping the most deserving, but please. No wonder we got worked over by great guards in the past, since there was never a ball handler to found in the gym at practice.

  23. choppack1 06/07/2006 at 10:32 AM #

    vtpackfan – It’s hard to find those kind of kids who qualify out of high school – much less JUCO. I’m not saying that kids aren’t out there, but any kid left right now has to have some kind of baggage.

  24. primacyone 06/07/2006 at 10:52 AM #

    Spud Webb. Nate McMillian.

    Even one JUCO transfers that could contribute five to ten minutes a game would be helpful.

    It they met the current acadmenic qualifiing standards to transfer, it seems to me they would already have their act together personally and that side of it probably would no be an issue.

    Andrew and Big Ben are going to need some rest.

  25. choppack1 06/07/2006 at 10:59 AM #

    Primacyone – Did those guys sign in June?

    Like I said – I don’t doubt that there are talented guys out there right now – however, I imagine most have some kid of “issues” if they haven’t signed yet.

Leave a Reply