Painter: 'The Visit Was Big'

Chatham (VA) Hargrave forward Deshawn Painter thought his college decision was over months ago when he signed with Florida but instead he'll be playing ball in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Chatham (VA) Hargrave forward Deshawn Painter thought his college decision was over months ago when he signed with Florida but instead he'll be playing ball in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"I signed with Florida, but I wanted to stay closer to home," said Painter. "It was just a situation I didn't want to go into, and they released me [from my scholarship].

"After taking the visits, I decided to commit to NC State. I had a good feel for them. Sidney Lowe was big for me, and I had a great vibe with the players. I just feel it was a great fit all the way around. It felt like home."

"With NC State, he feels he's got a chance to play right away," said Hargrave Head Coach Kevin Keatts. "There's a certain comfort level that he has with those guys.

"You're getting a guy that can come in and play right away. He's an athletic kid that can step out and knock down the open shot. He's going to bring a little bit of inside-outside to NC State they can use."

Painter's interest in NC State picked up while in Raleigh for his official visit.

"The visit was big," he said. "I went down there and saw the campus and got to play with the players... showcase my skills. The players felt comfortable with me, and I felt like I was already on the team.

"I felt like I was
already on the team."

Julius [Mays] was my host. He's a good guy... showed me what it's about at NC State. He was on my team during pickup... we played well together. I scored some inside, hit some jumpers, they were showing me different things to do on pick-and-rolls... how to pop and hedge, just different things I needed to do really."

Painter admitted he felt good about NC State following the trip, but the next weekend he headed to Maryland and that visit complicated his decision.

"I had a lot of fun at Maryland," he said. "Good place, good people. I really liked the players and coaches there too. I knew when I got back I had to make a decision though."

After initially deciding to wait until the following week before committing, Painter committed to NC State last Wednesday night.

"I was going to wait until after I graduated, but I decided to go ahead and commit," he said. "I wanted to get focused on where I'm headed next year.

"I sat down with the people helping me with the recruiting process, my uncle and my mentor, and just figured this thing out. I went over the pros sand cons with the people who have been with me since day one."

NC State won out, in large part because of Painter's connection with head coach Sidney Lowe.

"Ultimately, the decision was mine," said Painter. "It was close, but it all came down to having a better vibe with coach Lowe. I really liked the relationship we built, and I think he can help me develop.

"Coach Lowe talks about how he can help me get better as a player and and a person. He said he's going to work with me and help me get to where I need to be. Also, he said that I can go in and graduate from NC State. I think they were No. 1 in the ACC in grad. rates this year so that was big for me too."

"Sidney Lowe was real happy when I called to commit," added Painter. "He said he was glad I made the decision, and he's ready for me to get down there and help them."

With that being said, Gary Williams certainly made the decision difficult.

"Just because I had a better vibe with coach Lowe, that's not a knock on coach Williams," said Painter. "He made the decision tough... real tough. You hear all these things about coach Williams, but I went up for my visit and he wasn't anything like it. I really liked him.

"It just was a tough decision. If it was up to me I would have committed to both places, but I can't do that so I went with the best fit and that was NC State."

Checking in at 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Painter has a chance to impact as a true freshman. He is currently rated the No. 20 power forward in the country and the No. 69 player overall in the 2009 class by

"I think he has a
really big upside."

"Deshawn Painter is a guy who has a lot of raw materials," says National Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep. "He's got a little jumphook, he can play away from the basket a little bit... Deshawn has all of the skillsets. You're just waiting for him to put it all together on a consistent basis.

"I think he has a really big upside. At some point he's going to have to go out and start being consistent with his numbers and production. He's a guy who can run the floor, he's an athlete... he can board above the rim. He can do all those things. For him, it's really about building that self-confidence where he can break through and reach the upside he has as a prospect."

"I'm trying to work on getting stronger and getting more explosive, he said. "I think my athleticism and length is going to be a plus at NC State.

"They want me to run the floor and bring some energy to the team. They feel I can go in and help them by blocking shots and rebounding... scoring inside. That's what I'm going to try and do."

Painter stated that he projects as an academic qualifier and indicated he will enroll for the second summer session.

"I'll be there this fall," he said. "The coaches say I will be there for the second summer session. I'm not sure what day I move down there though. They are going to let me know all that."

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