Hurt on Pack's Radar

A coaching change led to Stephen Hurt ending up in junior college, where he will be one of the top prospects in the country this season.

Stephen Hurt had a terrific redshirt freshman season for Lipscomb University.

The 6-foot-10, 280-pound center averaged 11.5 points and 7.8 boards in less than 25 minutes while earning Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors.

"We had an okay year," said Hurt. "I started slow the first few games and then got going."

Hurt, who also shot 53.5% from the field and 68.6% from the free throw line, had double-doubles in road games at Memphis (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Kentucky (12 points, 11 rebounds).

"Those were good experiences," he said. "I thought it got me ready for our conference play."

Following the season, Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson resigned, and Hurt chose to ask for his release. If he had chosen to transfer to a high-major school he would have to sit out the season, something Hurt didn't want to do after redshirting a year earlier.

So, he decided to transfer to Northwest Florida State, a junior college power coached by former Tennessee assistant Steve Forbes.

"Northwest is a great program," said Hurt. "Coach Forbes does a great job, and I've seen what he's done with some of his other players. I think it's a great fit for me. I've been here for a few weeks now and I'm liking it so far."

Hurt already has options. He's hearing from several high-major programs.

"There have been a bunch of schools recruiting me," he said. "Indiana, Ole Miss, Alabama, Miami, Penn State, Arizona, Marquette, Tennessee, Louisville, NC State, and Georgia Tech... that's most of them.

"I'm not really sure how many have offered me. I would have to sit down and talk with coach Forbes about that."

NC State assistant Rob Moxley is recruiting Hurt for the Wolfpack.

"NC State has a great program," he said. "They've won a lot of games the last couple of seasons. They've done a real good job of building the program back up. Plus, they use their big men really well."

Because it is still early in the process, Hurt hasn't really started to focus on his recruitment. However, three programs are in hot pursuit.

"I would say Indiana, Tennessee, and Arizona are the three probably recruiting me the most right now," he said. "But, it's still early. I don't have a leader at the current moment.

"I'm just taking everything in and looking at everyone right now. I'm not focused on any certain schools. I haven't really thought too much about when I want to make a decision."

Hurt will have two years to play two seasons once he transfers back to a Division I program.

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