Day of roster changes for Wolfpack BBall (3/24 Update @ 12pm)

RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State head men’s basketball coach Sidney Lowe has announced that redshirt juniors Brandon Costner and Trevor Ferguson will forego their final year of eligibility, and not return to the Wolfpack in 2009-10.

Joe Giglio at ACCNow has a more on the roster changes at this link. He also discusses the Wolfpack’s new recruit – Josh Davis – that was already being discussed in our comments section.

Davis, a 6-5 forward, is a “tweener,” Telep said, who will add frontcourt depth for the Wolfpack, which lost Costner, a versatile forward who decided to go pro on Monday.

“They added a really nice player, with great character, who wanted to be a part of the program,” said Telep, who has Davis rated as a two-star prospect.

Additionally, Ken Tysiac added the following:

Davis averaged 25.7 points and 12 rebounds per game this season as a senior. He had been considering UNC Wilmington and had scholarship offers from Gardner-Webb and High Point. Seton Hall’s staff also wanted Davis to make a campus visit, Clemons said.

“He’s always wanted to go (to N.C. State),” Clemons said. “He always talked about N.C. State. That was his school. He worked hard enough, and was able to get an offer.”

Clemons said Davis can score on the block as a power forward and is skilled enough to play small forward.

As our readers pointed out in the comments section, there are some pros and cons to offering/accepting Davis’ commitment. I must admit I am a little perplexed by the use of the scholarship and also a little concerned at the message of potential desperation that the scholarship sends. To be very clear – I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – but, the addition of a local kid (Athens Drive HS) that is clearly not ACC caliber talent could potentially mean that the use of the scholarship is ‘flexible’. I can only hope that *potentially* Davis gets to use the scholarship as long as the program does not need it for another, highly-rated player in this class or the future.

By all accounts, Davis is kid of high character who wanted to be a part of the program. He loves NC State and exhibits true heart and passion on the court. (Certainly something that has been lacking from our program for a long time). He averaged over 25 points a game in high school and was considered as good or better of a player than the two ‘stars’ in his conference – Earnest Ross (Auburn signee) and Garrius Adams (Miami signee).

Davis is described as a very athletic, but undersized ‘hustle player’ akin to a Simon Harris &/or Johnny Thomas (who is already on the Wolfpack’s roster). He has been recruited to play the wing forward position at State.

But, at 6’5 he not a ‘tweener’ for the only position that existing skills set supports – power forward – as his outside shooting is weak. There seems to be some debate if Seton Hall was truly looking at Davis and it appears that State ‘beat’ Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern and High Point for Davis.

There is most definitely a fit for a Josh Davis within NC State’s Basketball program; but, I am not necessarily convinced that there is an ideal fit for Josh Davis within the current state of the Wolfpack’s program with the current composition of our roster and scholarship spacing. In light of Johnny Thomas’ presence on the roster and sophomore status, it is fair to ask the question if we have ‘over-recruited’ the ‘undersized, high character, sleeper role on the wing’. As one of our readers said, “I hope someone knows more than anybody else here or gets this kid on the juice but this seems strange even by our standards.”

Much is made about State’s struggles and needs at the point guard position…and, Ryan Harrow may be scheduled to arrive in Raleigh one year too late for Coach Lowe. But, I see an even more glaring deficiency on the Wolfpack’s roster after the departure of Brandon Costner – NC State desperately needs some size, heft and toughness in the post. Despite the addition of Richard Howell in the 2009 recruiting class, an ‘ideal’ candidate for one of the Wolfpack’s remaining scholarships would be a junior college big man – preferably a true center of close to 7 feet – who can defend, block shots and rebound. Additionally, this would be ideal for current and future scholarship spacing needs.

Of course, there is still a very small chance that NC State pulls a rabbit out of the hat and can land the nation’s top remaining recruit, John Wall. Wall’s presence may not only help boost next season’s performance, but it would also send a message to other top recruits that NC State is a place to be. (Not to mention its potential impact on re-solidifying CJ Leslie’s commitment. Oddly, landing Wall may not only be great for next year’s performance, but also for the importance of long term spacing of scholarships for the program.

Looking Forward
If State is unable to ultimately land John Wall, I agree with Giglio’s assessment of next season’s line-up:

On paper, State’s starting lineup looks like: Javier Gonzalez at the point, Brown at the 2-guard, C.J. Williams at small forward, Howell at the 4 and Smith at center.

Off the bench State has guards Julius Mays, Farnold Degand and Wood. At forward, Dennis Horner and Johnny Thomas are the other returning scholarship players, plus Davis.

Additionally, Ken Tysiac has added a great blog entry about the Wolfpack’s prospects next year that can be seen here.

When you look at the roster the Wolfpack has returning, it’s impossible to deduce that the team will be better off without Costner and reserve guard Trevor Ferguson, who also is leaving.


As a whole, this roster will not scare North Carolina when it gets off the bus next season at the Smith Center. Against the rest of the ACC, N.C. State might hold up OK because there is a lot of backcourt talent leaving from the traditional middle-of-the-pack schools.

Toney Douglas, Tyrese Rice and Jack McClinton all were seniors, and Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez has already announced his intention to test the NBA waters.

But hoping the competition falls back to N.C. State’s level is not a where the Wolfpack hoped to be in Sidney Lowe’s fourth season.

Coach Sidney Lowe’s incoming recruiting class might turn out to be his best yet. But the members of his past classes will be sophomores and juniors next season comprising the bulk of N.C. State’s roster. Lowe’s initial difficulties gaining a foothold as a recruiter after coming to N.C. State from the NBA look like they will come home to roost next season.

Projected 2009-2010 NC State Basketball Roster

Senior Class
(1) Dennis Horner (F)
(2) Farnold Degand (PG)

Junior Class
(3) Javi Gonzalez (PG)
(4) Tracy Smith (4F)

Sophomore Class
(5) Johnny Thomas (Wing)
(6) Julius Mays (PG/SG)
(7) CJ Williams (Wing)

Freshman Class
(8) Scott Wood (Wing)
(9) Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG)
(10) Richard Howell (PF)
(11) Josh Davis (WF)
(12/13) Potential scholarships still available

2010 Commits
(12) Ryan Harrow (PG)
(13) CJ Leslie (hopeful)
(1) Departure of Dennis Horner if no other scholarships issued for 2009 class
(2) Departure of Farnold Degand if no other scholarships issued for 2009 class

2011 Commits
(1) Departure of Javi Gonzalez
(2) Departure of Tracy Smith

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217 Responses to Day of roster changes for Wolfpack BBall (3/24 Update @ 12pm)

  1. BSIE80 03/23/2009 at 7:11 PM #

    Not surprised about Brandon. Surprised by Trevor.

    I guess this is why we had 2 more open slots for the 2009 recruiting class.

  2. 61Packer 03/23/2009 at 7:22 PM #

    There goes the Sendek era.

    I’m not surprised by either of those players leaving. I feel for Trevor especially. He busted his tail for the team and look what it got him this past season.

  3. Wulfpack 03/23/2009 at 7:26 PM #

    Has anyone else been having dreams about Sean Miller and Jeff Capel?

    In all seriousness, thanks for your contributions Fergie and Brandon. I’m sorry it didn’t go the way we all wanted, but nevertheless some great memories, and you’ve got a great degree. The best of luck in your future endeavors.

  4. wufpup76 03/23/2009 at 7:32 PM #

    I agree with Wulf’s sentiments above.

    Copied from the previous entry …

    Thank you Trevor and Brandon for your efforts.

    A potential climaxing season approaches … Mettle will be tested. Hope the team (staff and all) are up to it. Good luck and go Pack.

  5. Afterglow 03/23/2009 at 7:43 PM #

    I kind of feel like BC would never return to his freshman form which is sad, because we all know what he’s capable of. For two years, he never could get it moving in the right direction and honestly, I didn’t see that happening next year either. I wish him luck in any event.

    As for Fergs, he’ll probably end up in D2 somewhere so he doesn’t have to sit out yet another year. I feel for the kid, I mean he went through a lot and busted tail among other things while getting to where he is currently. I believe for him, it was all too clear where things were going with the rotation. He could have come back and may have made some headway, but he seemed limited in what he could do.

    These are all Lowes players now, so we’ll see where it takes us. I only hope that these transfers aren’t a part of a bigger picture and that is, can Lowe connect with his players.

  6. fullmoon1 03/23/2009 at 7:47 PM #

    I hate that they are not returning but I can’t say I am surprised. Good for them for getting thier”paper” and not just bailing out. I suppose some will say thier departure is indicitive of Lowe’s inability to_______(verb of your choice here, coach, motivate or whatever). Others will say this could be a sign of Lowe’s exorcism of negative elememts. I remember prior to the season people were wondering where the schlorships were going to come from with those two remaining on the roster next year, or it least it was inferred. At any rate ,I do not think much can be read into it. It is what it is. I guess my point is I don’t think either side of any such debate can claim it. I am sure we would be better with both, and I am sure both could stand to gain from another year of development. I miss the days of having players for 4 years and watching them grow and morph.

  7. ryebread 03/23/2009 at 7:47 PM #

    I wish the best for each of these two gentlemen in their lives beyond NC State. 🙂 I hope that each will leave with a degree in hand.

  8. Sweet jumper 03/23/2009 at 7:48 PM #

    Costner and Trevor are getting their degrees, and I think that Ben and Courtney are also on schedule to graduate. I don’t know about Simon Harris. This has to help the graduation rate which has been terrible for us in the past. Thanks guys for your contributions and best of luck in your future endeavors.

  9. MA Wolfpack 03/23/2009 at 7:53 PM #

    Ok, next year will be Lowe’s team on display in the ACC. We will definitely miss Brandon’s offense, but hopefully the players filling in will give us a little more on the defensive end. Let’s face it, Ferguson was not going to see any minutes next season with Brown and Wood moving into the rotation (along with Mays and CJ returning). Also, I’m glad to hear both will graduate because that helps our graduation numbers.

    This is a big year for Sidney Lowe. He better hope Zo Brown is ready to contribute at the ACC level immediately and that the defensive intensity picks up without Fells, McCauley and Costner.

  10. NJpack 03/23/2009 at 8:02 PM #

    Dennis Horner just became the most important member of our team next year, as the guy who will be the biggest beneficiary of Costner’s minutes. He needs to live up to the tattoo on his shoulder. The one thing I liked about Horner was when he screwed up, you could tell he was mad at himself, the same cannot be said for Costner. Bottom line is Costner and Ferguson will get their degrees, which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

    Does anyone know Johnny Thomas’ status, as in, did he not play because of his knee injury, or did Lowe just take him out of the rotation? He seems like a good kid and it’s a shame we may never see what he was truly capable of.

  11. BSIE80 03/23/2009 at 8:03 PM #

    I see we just signed Josh Davis out of Athens Drive.
    He just finished competing in the NC/SC all star game and was MVP. 15 pts and 10 rebounds. So hopefully he will be a contributor….

  12. Afterglow 03/23/2009 at 8:09 PM #

    I don’t think Johnny Thomas ever fully recovered from his knee injury. Hopefully he’ll be full speed next year but I get the sense that his injury was worse than anybody wants to admit.

  13. wufpup76 03/23/2009 at 8:14 PM #

    “Does anyone know Johnny Thomas’ status, as in, did he not play because of his knee injury, or did Lowe just take him out of the rotation? He seems like a good kid and it’s a shame we may never see what he was truly capable of.”

    JT is a great kid. A friend of mine who taught and coached Thomas at West Carteret has told me many times how good a guy Johnny is and what an incredible work ethic he has both in the classroom and in the gym.

    My friend also pointed me to the article I linked below. According to Thomas per the article, the knee hasn’t been too much of an issue and he is looking forward to trying to work himself into the rotation more next season. I hope he can, because kids like this are great for your school … not to mention the undeniable athleticism he posesses. Go Johnny and go Pack.

  14. Afterglow 03/23/2009 at 8:22 PM #

    Nice find wufpup76.

    Next year will be a big one for Lowe. He will be coaching the Wolfpack whether we like it or not. While I can’t say (based on what I saw this year and previous) that I’m convinced this is the place for him; I will be hoping like hell that he proves me wrong next year.

    How many scholly’s do we have now, is that 3? I’m curious to know with the departure of BC and Fergs how he’ll use them. I hardly think there’s any point in trying to get a point if it’s not a high caliber one. It almost feels like he wouldn’t hurt himself to just save them but what do I know.

  15. wolfpackattack89 03/23/2009 at 8:27 PM #

    I think it will be good to see all these fresh faces next year on the court. Hopefully all the young guys can contribute, because if they don’t it looks like Sidney will be ousted. Tracy Smith is going to have to contribute even more and become our star player that he’s shown glimpses of. Hopefully Javi and Mays will build on what they did this year and become even more solid at the point guard position. I don’t think Degand should play at all. He’s had his chances. Javi and Mays have both shown they can potentially run our offense like it needs to be ran. I hope we can sign a true center though.

  16. WTNY 03/23/2009 at 8:31 PM #

    I’m glad both will get their degrees!

    Regarding Ferguson: he had a tough road and is to be commended for his perseverance. I just don’t see any negatives here — he wasn’t really ACC-caliber and he now has a chance to perhaps go somewhere where he can play.

    Regarding Costner: it was just time. Plus I have understood that at least last season his father was Gerald Wilkins #2. I wish him well in Europe (and perhaps the NBA someday).

  17. turnoffthetv 03/23/2009 at 8:34 PM #

    I wish Costner and Ferguson the best on their future endeavors!

    I think the Theme for next year’s season should be “NO MORE EXCUSES”.

    You’ve got YOUR guys now Sidney, lets see if they can “Run your Stuff” and not lack in that area of “Mental Toughness!”

  18. wolfpackattack89 03/23/2009 at 8:47 PM #

    Great point turnoff
    We have to play better defense too. Defense is all heart and hustle. There are NO EXCUSES for not playing hard defense.

  19. ncsufan23 03/23/2009 at 8:56 PM #

    If Tracy Smith and Dennis Horner do not step up even more next year, it could very well get Sidney Lowe fired.

  20. phillypacker 03/23/2009 at 8:57 PM #

    Can any of you Raleigh area people give us more of a sense of Josh Davis. Is he a massive sleeper or more of a “who’s left to pick up” get? Have any of the recruiting services said much about him? Fergie, you played your heart out. Thanks for that. Brandon, good luck.

  21. wolfpackattack89 03/23/2009 at 8:58 PM #

    yeah, I think Horner will have a larger impact next year than what everyone thinks. He was one of the teams more consistent players towards the second half of the season. I think he’ll be among our top 3 leading scorers next year.

  22. wolfpackattack89 03/23/2009 at 9:02 PM #

    I heard Josh Davis was the MVP of the NC/SC All-Star game
    Idk, it sounds like he could be a sleeper with some definite upside.

  23. Afterglow 03/23/2009 at 9:14 PM #

    Josh Davis? Who knows. It feels like a late grab to me. I’m guessing that he wasn’t on our radar before and probably wasn’t on too many other division one radars either. I don’t know anything about the NC/SC All-Star game but my guess is that this is a player that will develop over time. We probably won’t see the fruits of his labor until his junior senior year-but that’s just what my gut tells me.

  24. WV Wolf 03/23/2009 at 9:16 PM #

    Fergie seemed like one of those guys that knew what he was supposed to be doing out on the court but didn’t always have the physical tools to actually do it against ACC caliber players. Although late last year he was the only guy that could feed Hickson the ball in the post and at times played some solid D. Sorry that it didn’t work out for him here.

    We’re really going to miss Costner’s scoring, especially with Fells and McCauley graduating, but maybe this will be addition by subtraction.

  25. jwrenn29 03/23/2009 at 9:17 PM #

    Well, Fergie busted his butt, but I wouldn’t say that Costner did. I do wish him well, but I also wish he had actually been here mentally while he was here. He has talent, but that lack of discipline is going to follow him and hurt him in the long run. Here’s hoping that in the next level he doesn’t quit again when things don’t go the way he wants.

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