Today’s news started with a whisper- well actually it was a tweet. I just wanted to see if I could get that song stuck in your head again, now a month after the conclusion to the NCAA Tournament (you’re welcome).
News broke early this morning on Twitter that NC State freshman forward Tyler Harris would transfer away from the program. Making him the third transfer in the past couple months, joining junior forward Deshawn Painter and freshman guard Jaqawn Raymond.
Harris, a lengthy 6-foot-9 power forward from New Jersey, averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 2011-2012 off the bench- even seeing time in the NCAA Tournament. He was expected to be an important role player off the bench for the Pack this season, and a possible starter two seasons from now.
Painter was the Wolfpack’s first man off the bench and really improved throughout the season, but all indications are that he will head to Old Dominion University to be closer to an ill relative. Raymond’s departure leaves a lack of depth in the front court for the Pack, and is most likely a playing time issue.
So what is going on in Raleigh? Three transfers after a Sweet 16 run is odd, but with a stellar recruiting class coming in that contains three McDonald’s All-Americans, some of the Pack’s bench players may just be clearing out searching for somewhere that they can play big minutes.
It happens a lot, actually. When John Calipari took over at Kentucky, current players jumped ship knowing their spots would be filled. In at least one incidence, Calipari yanked a scholarship from a current athlete recruited by the previous staff to make room for newcomers- total douchebaggery (yeah, I made that word up but you get my drift) if you ask me, and I’m glad that is not the case at State.
It is just a part of college athletics that we have to live with. Hell, this year alone there have been over 375 transfers following the 2011-2012 college basketball season. A list of these transfers can be found here.
State is very lucky that sophomore power forward C.J. Leslie has decided to come back to school for his junior season. His returnalone has the Pack listed a pre-season top-10 team in the country and a favorite to win the ACC.
Leslie, a 6-foot-8 power forward was projected as a late first round to early second round pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He led the team in scoring at nearly 15 points per game and trailed only junior Richard Howell in rebounds, snagging 7.3 per contest. As long as Leslie doesn’t regress this season, he should be at the top of the discussion for ACC player of the year and a sure-fire lottery pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
The Pack is still waiting for Friends’ Central (PA) power forward Amile Jefferson to make his college decision. With the recent transfers away from State’s program, quality minutes are available for Jefferson during his freshman season if he chooses the Pack. He has narrowed down his choices to State, Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, and hometown Villanova. NC State feels good about their chances with the five-star prospect, but no one knows when a decision will actually come from him. This recruitment could run ‘til August before a school is chosen.
Jimmy V Classic
In other news, it was announced today that NC State will play Connecticut on Monday, Dec. 3, in the Jimmy V Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It is only fitting as this season will mark the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Valvano’s Cardiac Pack’s run to the 1983 national championship.
That’s all I’ve got for today, an update on NC State football recruiting for the 2013 class will be up soon. As always, for up-to-date news about NC State athletics follow me on Twitter @TheJJGreenstein.