RALEIGH — N.C. States bench will have a different look next season. DeShawn Painter, the top backup forward for the Wolfpack, and Jaqawn Raymond, a reserve guard, plan to transfer, the school announced Wednesday.
Painter, who averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds as a junior, wants to finish his career closer to his home in Norfolk, Va. to be with his ailing mother and grandmother. Under NCAA transfer rules, Painter can apply for a waiver and be eligible for the 2012-13 season.
Raymond, the last recruit signed by former coach Sidney Lowe, appeared in only 11 games as a freshman, scoring nine points in 29 minutes.
With Painters departure, the Wolfpacks rotation at the forward position will change next season. Coach Mark Gottfried is still waiting for a decision from forward C.J. Leslie, the teams top scorer, about the NBA draft and N.C. State is pursuing recruits Amile Jefferson and Andrew Young, both forwards.
The Pack, which will still be among the ACCs preseason favorites after a 24-13 finish and Sweet 16 appearance under Gottfried, will have Richard Howell, the teams leading rebounder, and 7-foot center Jordan Vandenberg, who redshirted last season, in the front court.
Painter started seven games last season and averaged 20 minutes per game, primarily as the backup to Leslie and Howell. Painter, who is 6-9, scored a career-high 19 points against Morehead State, in the second game of the season while Leslie was out of the lineup serving an NCAA suspension.
Against Princeton on Nov. 16, Painter hit the game-winning shot, an 18-footer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds left. He also scored 18 points in a road win over Miami on Jan. 22. Painter has averaged 4.4 points per game during his three-year career with the Wolfpack.
With the exit of Painter and Raymond, N.C. State has three available scholarships for next season, in addition to the three McDonalds All-Americans who have already signed. With the arrival of freshmen guards Tyler Lewis and Rodney Purvis, minutes would have been scarce for Raymond next season.
Jefferson, a 6-7 McDonalds All-American forward from Philadelphia, is considered one of the best post players in the prep class of 2012. ESPN analyst Dave Telep ranks Jefferson, who is also being pursued by Duke, Kentucky and Villanova, as the No. 25 overall prospect in the class.
Young is a 6-9 junior college power forward from Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula College . He is scheduled to make an official visit to N.C. State on Saturday.
N.C. State has had six players transfer in the past three years, including guard Ryan Harrow, who is expected to be Kentuckys top point guard in the 2012-13 season.