"It just felt right," Degand told Pack Pride. "It just felt like it was a great opportunity, and I decided to jump all over it and go for it."
He notified the Wolfpack coaches of his decision on Wednesday, and as expected they were happy to hear the news.
"They sounded excited," said Degand. "They are grown men, so I don't know how excited you can expect them to be, but they were happy about it."
Degand stated that a major factor in his decision was playing for a coach in Sidney Lowe that has an impressive background. A starting point guard on NC State's 1983 national championship team who also played in the NBA, Lowe's potential to develop him as a point guard was critical. It also didn't hurt NC State having Monte Towe, the starting point guard for NC State's 1974 national championship team, and Pete Strickland, one of the finest point guards to ever play at Pittsburgh, on the coaching staff as well.
"Playing for coach Lowe was big," said Degand. "What's not to like about him? He won a national championship playing my position, and he's a great guy. He's humble and easy to talk to.
"The whole staff is almost all point guards, so I feel they can take me under their wings and develop me as a player."
Growing up in Boston (Mass.), Degand also wanted to get back to the East Coast. Rutgers, UMASS and Oregon were under consideration, but playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference at a school close enough for his mother to watch him play was important.
"I really had it down to [NC] State, UMASS, and Oregon," Degand said. "It was tough. All three had great coaching staffs and great players. It just seemed like North Carolina State was a better fit for me."
"My mom thinks it's great," he added. "She enjoys leaving the state to come and see my play, and I'm even closer to her now. Everybody around us feels it's a good decision, but it's basically me and her. She's happy for me."
Part of the reason was because of his slender frame, but it also didn't help that he played in the Boston public school system.
However he was able to showcase his skills playing on the AAU circuit for BABC, a Boston-based AAU program. Because he is young for his class, Degand played last spring with BABC after inking with Iowa State. Starting at point guard alongside Anthony Gurley, a Wake Forest signee, he played well in some major tournaments, including the Peach Jam. He won't be playing with Gurley anymore, but the two friends will stay in touch as both take their games to North Carolina next season.
"[Anthony] is here with me now," Degand said. "We're good friends, and it's going to be cool to have a Boston connection down in North Carolina. We're both going to try and make it happen."
Next up for Degand is enrolling at NC State and trying to figure out when he will actually be allowed to play. He enrolled at Iowa State at the age of 17, young for a college freshman. He just turned 18 in January, and currently he will be playing in 2007 as a 19-year-old redshirt sophomore.
Because of the quality depth at point guard at Iowa State, Degand chose to redshirt as a true freshman and is hoping he can appeal the NCAA rule that forces him to sit a year when transferring to another school.
"I'm trying to go down for the second summer session," he said. "I think it starts on July 5th.
"With the appeal, I had to choose the school first and now that I've done that we are going to be able to draw the papers up. I hope the NCAA lets me play, but if they don't I will take next year and get stronger and improve my game."
Whenever he suits up, Degand expects to play and play a lot for the Wolfpack. Engin Atsur graduates after this season, and Degand should be heavily in the mix for the starting point guard position. What do the Wolfpack coaches expect from him?
"They expect me to come in and do what I do," he said. "They want me to run the team and help them win a lot of games. That's what I'm going to do."