NC State's recruiting class received a lot of attention, and it was completely warranted. They landed three consensus top-50 recruits who were all McDonald's All Americans. But the star of that group – SG Rodney Purvis (consensus No. 17) – is still in limbo as the NCAA investigates whether his high school was actually a school. He's already missed the team's overseas trip, and now he's not enrolled in classes.
@wxmoose no I'm not. I can't attend them !
— Rodney Purvis (@rpurvis_0) August 16, 2012
If he were to enroll and the NCAA does not clear him, he'd have to pay for the semester.
So to be fair to Purvis and the Wolfpack, the NCAA needs to make up their minds. The last day to enroll in August 29th.
What I'm interested in the worst case scenario. NC State is landing in just about everyone's preseason top-10 – but how good will they be if Purvis cannot play?
Related: Worst case: UCLA without Shabazz Muhammad
For starters, Purvis is a special talent. He's a high volume scorer who can get to the rack. And of the freshmen, Purvis is the most important because he was penciled in to the starting lineup. The only starter NCSU lost from last year's team was guard CJ Williams, and Purvis should take his spot. This is partially due to his talent, but also due to the fact that coach Gottfried doesn't have many options. Last year's team was thin, and this year's team might be thinner.
Four players are back from last year's 7-man rotation, and then there are the three freshmen. Doing the math, that's another 7-man rotation before you hit the same players who didn't earn any minutes last season. To be fair, one of those players was 7-1 center Jordan Vandenberg who missed all but seven games with an injury. But in the seven games he did play (including one start) he averaged 2.0 points a game.
So it's also completely fair to suggest that there's a big dropoff from the first seven to anyone who comes after.
And if Purvis cannot play, then they're not only losing a starter, but it's also that many more minutes where lesser players are going to be on the floor. His VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) is big, to state the obvious.
In short, losing Purvis (or any of the other six) could very well be the difference between a legit top-25 team and one that will be on the bubble.