He was looking for a new beginning with a team that was starting over fresh themselves. With new head coach Sidney Lowe at the helm, Degand saw an opportunity to compete for serious playing time at a school that was playing at the top level of college basketball. After sitting a season, due to transfer rules (and in effect, losing a year of eligibility), Farnold was ready to show the NC State fans exactly what he was capable of.
It had been two years since Farnold Degand played a competitive game of basketball, but it all came back quickly. It looked as though the Wolfpack had found their point guard, as he led them to a 7-3 record. Through the first ten games he was leading the team in assists (29) and three-point percentage (8-16, 50%). However, the feel good story came to an end soon after that. On December 23rd, playing against Cincinnati, Degand went down with a torn ACL, ending his season and forcing him to watch from the sidelines once again.
After an off-season of intense rehab, Degand returned to the team last season to help fill a point guard role that had haunted the Wolfpack the two years prior. Around mid-season there were reports being made that Farnold's knee was healed and that he was close to 100% again, however, you could tell by watching that he was not his old self. The down court speed was apparently there, but his lateral movement looked forced and awkward. As the season wore on, Degand saw less and less floor time, putting a damper on his confidence.
Fast forward to the present. Farnold Degand is entering his senior season and it has been two years since his surgery. With a healthy knee, and one more chance to make an impact, he feels good about his situation.
"Last year I wasn't necessarily in the best condition. I was going through a lot of pain with the knee and I was struggling with it at times, but this year I feel as confident as ever. My knee shouldn't give me any problems at all." he told us.
A healthy Degand is exactly what the Pack will need this season as they once again are looking for a player to emerge who will be able to handle the guard duties. Degand hopes he is that man, and is ready to take the reigns."This is probably the best I've felt since the injury. I feel real confident in my knee and real confident in my ability right now." he told us.
While Farnold has historically been used as the point guard, the coaches have moved him over to the 2 this season, in hopes to improve ball handling in the backcourt and to help alleviate some of the pressures that the point guard will face. Making this change in his senior season has been a transition Degand has met with a great attitude and a new mindset.
"I've definitely improved my focus. This year I've made sure to correct things that have been wrong in the past. I haven't necessarily had the best success doing it the old way, so I figured I should go about it a little different this year and I've decided to take that route."
A healthy knee is not the only thing that was keeping Farnold from reaching his potential. The perennial class clown and team jester was never one to miss a joke and was known for his quick wit and sharp sense of humor. However, this new increase in focus has him joking less, and working more.
"I think just being able to focus on any task I'm doing with the team. The last couple years I was a bit of a jokester which took away from the focus I had. This year I put an emphasis on focusing on whatever I'm doing. I think that is the biggest improvement in my game."
In a career that has been anything but smooth, Degand is making sure that he goes out knowing he gave all he could give. He is taking the lead, working hard and cutting out the cutting up, in hopes that this year, he gets the last laugh.