WATCH: NC State’s best 2018 commit might be the guy no one is talking about, 6’9 Derek Funderburk
When 6’9 forward Derek Funderburk committed to NC State, he did so without much fanfare.
Pleased to announce Derek Funderburk has signed with NC State!#WPN join us in welcoming Derek to the Pack! pic.twitter.com/zF70M9H7aj
— NC State Men’s Bball (@PackMensBball) November 14, 2017
That’s pretty unusual for a 6’9 guy with this type of skillset. However, it’s understandable based on the circumstances.
Funderburk was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school. He was actually the #56 player in his class that year. He committed to Ohio State and after redshirting a season, he was dismissed by Thad Matta this past summer for “failing to meet team expectations.”
Instead of transferring to another D1 school and sitting out another year, he enrolled at Northwest Florida State College (a junior college) so he could play right away. In early November, he committed to join NC State next year as a part of their 2018 recruiting class. He had played at Hargrave under NC State assistant AW Hamilton, so the relationship was already there.
Meanwhile, as a freshman at Northwest Florida JUCO, it appears he’s doing pretty darn good. It’s hard to track down stats for JUCO teams since they play so many games that aren’t ‘official’ league games, but near the end of January we found this article, stating that:
Derek Funderburk, a freshman forward, contributes 14.3 points per game on 57-percent shooting from the floor and a 39-percent clip from beyond the arc for 2.5 3s a night. He also adds 5.5 rebounds per game.
EDIT: We found his full stats. Check them out here…
Those are some great looking stats, but really what is jaw-dropping is this video. (above)
Funderburk was kind of a mystery because there really aren’t many highlight reels of him floating around. The ones that are out there are just of him dunking. That was until this video surfaced today (found by my brother, and PI contributor Greg Pascucci), which had a total of 3 views on it when we received it.
It’s 7 minutes of Funderburk playing at Northwest Florida State College, and dear lord, it’s amazing. Funderburk is so agile, has a tight handle, he can beat you off the dribble, above the rim or (and this is where we were so surprised) from 3 point range.
NC State fans had constantly questioned what their frontcourt would look like in 2018, but if the Ian Steere video from earlier today, the Manny Bates clips from a few weeks ago and this one above are any indication, the NC State frontcourt might be in a lot better shape than we thought.
4-Star SF Jahki Howard Takes an Unofficial Visit to NC State
4-Star 2024 Small Forward Jahki Howard (6’7″/180) took an Unofficial Visit to NC State yesterday alongside 4-Star Shooting Guard Paul McNeil, who verbally committed to run with the Wolfpack yesterday.
🐺🐺nation ? Unofficial visit❤️🤍 #notcommitted pic.twitter.com/NxNncnptkm
— Jahki Howard (@showtime_ki) February 20, 2023
Howard is ranked as the #51 overall player nationally in the 2024 class by Rivals, and the #4 player in the state of Georgia according to ESPN. Howard plays for Overtime Elite in Atlanta, where 2023 NC State signee Trey Parker plays.
He also holds offers from Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Providence, Auburn, Rutgers, Illinois, Texas A&M, Mississippi St, Wake Forest, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Arizona St, Kansas, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and others.
As far as I can tell, Howard doesn’t hold an offer from NC State at this point.
Jahki Howard earns Player of the Week honors after a big performance vs. Hillcrest dropping 25 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST 🚀 @showtime_ki pic.twitter.com/yPD5psrm2m
— Overtime Elite (@OvertimeElite) November 29, 2022
4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Paul McNeil Commits to NC State!
What a day! 4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Paul McNeil (6’6″/185) wrapped up his Official Visit to NC State today by committing to run with the Wolfpack, after watching them defeat their rival UNC in PNC Arena.
@PackMensBball #Committed🐺🐺 pic.twitter.com/AiSg5h2wCg
— P2⚡️ (@PaulMcneilJr) February 19, 2023
McNeil is the #17 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class according to ESPN, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
In 2022-23, McNeil is averaging 23.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game for Richmond High School. Last year, he became the first ever Sophomore to win the Gatorade Player of the Year Award in the state of North Carolina.
McNeil also held offers from Clemson, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Miami, Georgetown, St. John’s, LSU, Virginia Tech, Missouri, and others.
Top-25 2024 SG Paul McNeil is Taking an Official Visit to NC State Next Weekend
2024 4-Star Shooting Guard Paul McNeil (6’6″/185) will be taking an Official Visit to NC State next weekend.
I’m grateful to announce I will be taking an official visit to North Carolina State University this upcoming weekend. This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to spending time with Coach Keatts and the program. @PackMensBball @NCStateRivals
— P2⚡️ (@PaulMcneilJr) February 12, 2023
ESPN ranks McNeil as the #17 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina. I don’t understand how recruiting databases work, but at some point this year he will be a 5-star player according to ESPN as long as he stays in the Top-25.
McNeil plays for Richmond Senior in Rockingham, North Carolina.
This is huge for NC State to get a player of McNeil’s caliber to come in for an Official Visit this early in the process.
@ProlificPrep @thegrindsession pic.twitter.com/i7mfsLZ4jN
— P2⚡️ (@PaulMcneilJr) November 14, 2022
4-Star G Austin Swartz Picks Up an Offer from NC State on Visit
4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Austin Swartz (6’5″/180) took an unofficial visit to NC State yesterday, and he left with a scholarship offer.
2024 Cannon (NC) guard Austin Swartz will be on unofficial to NC State tonight as the Pack host Duke.
— Justin Byerly (@JustinByerly) January 4, 2023
I am blessed to receive an Offer from NC State🖤❤️ pic.twitter.com/CePMaPQPz7
— austin swartz (@austin_swartz23) January 5, 2023
Swartz plays for Cannon School in Concord, North Carolina. ON3 ranks him as the #65 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and the #7 player in the state of North Carolina.
He already holds offers from Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia, Illinois, Houston and others.
Beginning of Junior Season pic.twitter.com/6BiDwYaNDU
— austin swartz (@austin_swartz23) December 5, 2022
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end of summer UAA highlights! pic.twitter.com/TJ5Znpsdus
— austin swartz (@austin_swartz23) August 16, 2022
UAA Session lll highlights pic.twitter.com/ek9blclwTY
— austin swartz (@austin_swartz23) July 12, 2022