Friday, May 15, 2009

Wolfpack adds another big man

N.C. State's basketball recruiting class got bigger on Wednesday in both quality and quantity.

Forward DeShawn Painter, a top-75 prospect, committed to play for the Wolfpack in the 2009-10 season, increasing its incoming freshmen class to six.

The addition of Painter, a 6-9 and 210-pound power forward, puts State at the scholarship limit of 13 for the upcoming season. That means room would have to be made to sign Raleigh point guard John Wall, who is still undecided on his college future.

Like Wall, Painter was considered one of the best available prospects left in the class of 2009. He originally signed with the University of Florida but was let out of his Letter of Intent, he said. Painter, who spent the past season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., grew up an ACC fan in Norfolk, Va.

"I wanted to play closer to home," Painter said. "I love the coaching staff and I fit in with the [N.C. State] players."

With the graduation of forwards Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley, Tracy Smith is the only returning post option on scholarship.

Painter, forward Richard Howell and 7-footer Jordan Vandenberg will all add size to State's roster. Dave Telep, of, said Painter is a great addition for coach Sidney Lowe, particularly this late in the recruiting process.

Telep ranks Painter as the 69th-best prospect nationally in the class, five spots behind Howell, but said Painter has a bigger upside.

"He has a nice balance to his game at the power forward spot," Telep said. "He's another guy that you count on to contribute as a freshman and grow as a player."

Painter said the chance to play right away helped him choose State over Maryland.

"We all have the opportunity to play as freshmen," Painter said. "It should be fun."

Painter is one of six Division I signees on the Hargrave roster, Telep said. That type of competition from daily practices will help him in the ACC.

"I feel like I'm prepared from the guys on my team and we played some college JV teams and Division III teams," said Painter, who'll arrive on campus for the second summer session. "Plus, it's military school, so discipline-wise, I think I'm ready."

-- J.P. Giglio