N.C. State’s basketball program signed guard Braxton Beverly last week to add a 3-point threat and depth at point guard for the upcoming season. There’s a chance the Wolfpack will have to wait longer than originally anticipated for Beverly’s services.
The 5-11, 170-pound freshman from Hargrave Military Academy had already started classes at Ohio State before he decided to leave the Big Ten program last month. Under NCAA rules, that means Beverly’s exit from Ohio State would qualify as a transfer. As an undergraduate transfer, Beverly would have to sit out the 2017-18 season before he would be eligible to play for N.C. State.
Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts is hopeful there’s a chance, under NCAA rules, Beverly could still play for the Wolfpack this season.
“Our compliance office is working through Braxton’s eligibility status,” Keatts wrote in a text message to the News & Observer on Monday.
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The plan is for Beverly to make the trip to Italy this week with the N.C. State team. Even as a transfer, he would be eligible to play during the 10-day trip. It will likely take another month or two for Beverly’s eligibility status to be sorted.
N.C. State has had mixed results recently with the NCAA. Guard Terry Henderson lost an appeal for a sixth-year waiver in May. Before the 2016-17 season, forward Omer Yurtseven was suspended the first nine games and had to make a $1,000 donation to charity to restore his amateur status, but forward Ted Kapita was cleared by the NCAA without any issues.
Beverly’s case is not related to injury or amateur status and is different from the moves made earlier this offseason by Lavar Batts and Thomas Allen. Batts signed a National Letter of Intent with VCU but was released from his commitment after a coaching change at VCU. Allen signed a LOI with N.C. State but was released from his commitment after a coaching change at N.C. State. Neither Batts, who is now at N.C. State, nor Allen, who is now at Nebraska, had started class at the school with which they had originally signed.
Beverly, rated a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, joined Ohio State after a standout, two-year career at Hargrave for coach A.W. Hamilton. Beverly averaged 20.3 points and 7.1 assists in leading Hargrave to a 90-3 record in two seasons.
After Ohio State coach Thad Matta resigned in early June, Beverly decided to leave the program. Hamilton officially joined Keatts’ staff as an assistant coach on June 9 and Beverly decided to follow his prep coach to college.
Beverly would give the Wolfpack an added shooting and scoring threat this season while transfer guards C.J. Bryce and Devon Daniels have to sit out. Beverly also could serve as another ballhandler with sophomore Markell Johnson and Batts.
If Beverly has to sit out the season, he would still have four years of eligibility. Given Keatts added a pair of graduate transfer guards (Allerik Freeman and Sam Hunt) to this season’s roster, it would be a plus to have another player in place for the 2018-19 season, but the preferred scenario is for Beverly to be able to play right away.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio