Kevin Keatts’ first recruiting cycle has added its fifth member to the class, as Derek Funderburk committed to the Pack. Funderburk is a 6’9 center who is currently playing for Northwest Florida State College, one of the better JUCO basketball schools in the country. He will join the team next year and has three years of eligibility remaining.
Funderburk was at Ohio State for one year and spent that year redshirting. New coach Chris Holtmann dismissed him from the team for “failure to meet team expectations”.
Funderburk was teammates with Braxton Beverly at Hargrave Military Academy where AW Hamilton was the head coach. Hamilton surely put in a good word to Keatts who trusts Hamilton’s evaluation and decided it would be worth it to add a third big man to the class.
Out of Hargrave, Funderburk was a four-star recruit and was ranked as the 49th overall player in the 2016 class by ESPN. This year, he is rated as the top JUCO recruit in the country.
State now has five players signed who will join the team next year, and with only four players exhausting their eligibility after this season, somebody will have to leave. I can’t imagine State is actively recruiting anybody else for 2018, because they’re already over the scholarship limit, but obviously depending on how many people leave, they could still add to the class in the spring
With CJ Bryce and Devon Daniels joining these five signed this fall, Keatts will have seven new players to play next year. The transfers, including Funderburk, aren’t accounted for in team recruiting rankings, but if they were, I think State would have, if not the best, one of the best recruiting classes in the country.