Painter Has Moves to Make
March 22, 2012
St. Louis, Mo. -
DeShawn Painter originally signed with Florida out of high school, but decided to instead come to NC State. The native from Norfolk, Va., wanted to be closer to home, and have the ability to contribute right away.
The junior center has not regretted his decision to play for the NC State as the Wolfpack continues their run through the NCAA Tournament with a Sweet 16 game against Kansas on Friday.
This season, Painter leads the team with 20.1 minutes off the bench, averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. Painter talks about the season and the upcoming game against the Jayhawks.
Q: How did you feel after the team beat San Diego State and Georgetown?
A: It was amazing. People had us picked to beat San Diego State, but not Georgetown. It’s amazing that it’s the first time in six or seven years that we made it to the Sweet 16. It’s just an amazing feeling and I’m truly blessed. I thank God. I’m proud of my teammates, we have sacrificed so much. We always had the talent and now we’re putting it together.
Q: A little more sweeter to be in the Sweet 16 after sweating it out on Selection Sunday?
A: We were the last team they showed, nerve racking and for us. To be in the Sweet 16 I’m like man, it was worth it. We deserve to get in and we beat five or six teams that made the tournament, so it would have been kind of hard do to the strength of schedule we had played and that’s why it was such a great feeling to get in.
Q: Does Kansas remind you of a team you’ve played this season?
A: Kansas is pretty big. Thomas Robinson is an All-American, and they have another big that is a seven-footer, they are big on their front line. We can’t wait to play them, and we’re excited. We deserve to be here and it’s a dream come true.
Q: Playing North Carolina three times this season helps you against Kansas?
A: Yeah. Between teams like Carolina and Florida State, we've payed against some teams that were big up front and some of the best teams in the country. We’re kind of use to it, double team the big guys and all kind of stuff. We know we have got to come to play, and work inside.
Q: What is your role on your team?
A: I started off starting, it was good and I played really well. But for the better of this team, I coach (Mark Gottfried) made a decision that it was better for me to come off the bench and give some energy. I just embraced that role and it’s all about sacrificing with this game and that’s what I do for the better of this team. That’s what I did. My role is to get in there and knock down open shots, rebound, play hard, be a great defender and just help my team to win a ball game.
Q: Talk about the season?
A: At first it was looking all grateful because we were winning a lot of games, but then we had a tough stretch. Then we kind of bonded and got ourselves together and we said, 'look this is not how we want to end our season.’ We got it together and we got on a role and we started winning and as you can see this is a stretch that we turned into a totally different team because we all played our role and embraced our role. That’s what helped us so much. We had to sacrifice for the better of this team, and this is what happens. A Sweet 16 is pretty sweet. We just want to keep going forward. We want to get to the Final Four, and hopefully win a national championship. That’s what it’s all about.