Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Resurrection of Brandon Costner

We knew coming into this year that if Brandon Costner didn't return to his Freshman form that we were not going to be a NCAA Tourney caliber team. We could not afford for him to not play up to his potential. I mean let's not forget that this kid was a 5-Star McDonald's All-American out of high school. He held offers from Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia Tech, and Virginia along with the obvious offer from the Pack. He was the #6 ranked Power Forward in the Nation and the #9 Small Forward as a senior in high school.

He arrived in Raleigh and was hit with a blow because he got a stress fracture in his leg and had to redshirt his Freshman year.

He came back the following year to average 16.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. He was elected to be on the ACC All-Freshmen team as well as the Third-Team All-ACC Team. He didn't go unnoticed nationally as he also was voted onto numerous Freshmen All-American Teams.

His sophomore year was an utter disappointment. He averaged 10 minutes less a game and his stats were crunched in half as he averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.6 rpg on the season. The entrance of J.J. Hickson left Brandon in a strange place and the chemistry between J.J. and the rest of the Pack's Bigs never really happened. Also, Brandon never fully got in the athletic shape that he would of liked to have been in because he was kept out of the gym nearly all of the summer before due to a knee injury.

Brandon came into this year determined and in shape. He leaned down by losing 15-20 pounds. He is averaging a strong 14.2 ppg and 8.3 rpg. In fact he has really emerged as of late. In the past three games, against East Carolina, Lipscomb, and Marquette, Brandon has averaged 20.33 ppg and 11 rpg. In this three game span he has also shot 63% from the field and a psycho 60% from Three Point Land. Brandon is playing like a man possessed and doing it unselfishly at that. His passing this season is one of his greatest improvements of his game. He is emerging into the star that he should be. This is the All-ACC Brandon Costner that we have missed and gladly welcome back to the fold. With Brandon Costner playing like this, it makes our team a NCAA Tournament caliber team.


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