And it begins.
NC State junior Brandon Costner has declared for the NBA Draft. From an NC State release:
"I really want to thank the coaches, the fans and everybody at NC State for the time I have spent here,” said Costner. “So many people have helped me while I was a member of the Wolfpack, I just feel like it is time to move on and pursue my dreams of playing professionally."Costner is a junior, and given the "testing the waters rule", which allows a player to go through the draft process once and still return to school with their eligibility intact, this seems like a pretty standard decision.
But Costner will graduate in May with a degree in communications, which would make it very difficult to convince him to come back to school should he have a chance at getting picked.
That's the issue. Costner is not a great prospect. He was a highly touted recruit (by Herb Sendek, not Sidney Lowe), and after dominating the ACC tournament and leading NC State to the title game as a redshirt freshman, a lot of people had high hopes for him. But Costner is not an overwhelming athlete, he doesn't rebound particularly well, and he plays no defense. So while he does have a versatile offensive game (he averaged 13.6 ppg as a junior), the question becomes is anyone going to use a draft pick on a homeless man's Derrick Coleman?
NC State also lost another redshirt junior in Trevor Ferguson, but not to the draft. Ferguson will graduate this summer with a degree in Science, Technology, and Society, and will be ending his basketball career.