NC State walk-on guard Staats Battle charged with driving while impaired

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In the early hours of New Year’s Day, NC State walk-on guard Staats Battle was arrested on a charge of driving while impaired, as reported by WRAL television in Raleigh.

Battle, who did not dress for games against Boston College and Georgia Tech, has played in just seven games this season and played a total of ten minutes.

Head coach Mark Gottfried released the following statement on Battle’s legal situation and status on the team:

“We are aware of this unfortunate incident and have talked to Staats and his parents about it. Any further issue would result in his dismissal from the team.”

Obviously not having Battle available isn’t a major blow for the Wolfpack, who have won nine straight and host No. 1 Duke on Saturday afternoon.

The responsibilities for a walk-on are straightforward: go to class (getting good grades, of course), give the players in the rotation a good look in practice every day and stay out of trouble.

And doing those things won’t necessarily guarantee you “token” minutes at the end of games either.

Failure to uphold one’s responsibilities in the classroom or in society can lead to a shorter leash for a walk-on, because as callous as it is to say those players are essentially a dime a dozen on a major college campus.

But the most important aspect of this story is that no one was injured. No word from NC State on when Battle will be back with the team but hopefully when the time comes he’ll return having learned his lesson.

Photo credit: NC State Athletics

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.