In about a week, Stanton Kidd will visit Fort Collins, Colo., for the first time in his life. The former Edmondson star will make his trip out West as the newest member of the Colorado State men’s basketball team.
“They never pressured me to sign or pressured me for a verbal commit,” said Kidd, who is transferring to CSU from North Carolina Central. “I got tired of waiting. I knew I wanted to go there. Other schools were calling, so [I thought] ‘I’ll just go ahead. I’ll get it done early – this is where I want to go.’”
In March, Kidd wrapped up excellent first college season at NCCU, averaging 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Eagles. The first-team All-MEAC selection fared especially well against North Carolina Central’s marquee opponents, scoring 22 against Wichita State, 23 against Drake and 19 against Marquette.
But something felt off to Kidd, who landed in Durham, N.C., after two years at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.
“I shocked myself,” Kidd said of his success. “[I thought], ‘If I can do that here, I know I can do it at another level against better competition.’ More competition is going to bring more of a competitor out of me. I’m not saying I played down to my level, but if you play at [a higher] level, it brings out the best in you.”
Kidd, a former Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro player for the Red Storm, traveled down to Durham to have a face-to-face meeting with the NCCU coaching staff. After he informed them of his decision to transfer, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward quickly became one of the most coveted mid-major transfers in the country.
Kidd said Colorado State, Kent State, Mercer, Rhode Island, Towson and Utah State all offered him scholarships. He quickly eliminated Towson from his list because he “didn’t want to be home at all.” Rhode Island and Utah State, meanwhile, didn’t contact him quite as much as the others. He eventually narrowed his focus to Kent State and Colorado State.
“I did research on both teams,” Kidd said. “I felt Colorado State was going to be the best fit for me. Coach [Larry Eustachy] had a lot of history. [He was] the Big 12 Coach of the Year at Iowa State.”
Kidd, who will redshirt during the 2013-14 season and have one year of eligibility remaining, thinks the year ahead will be a humbling experience. But Kidd said that sitting out will give him an opportunity to “work on my craft” before playing against Mountain West competition in 2014-15.
“I think [sitting out a year is] going to help a lot,” Kidd said. “It’s a good conference with a lot of exposure. It’s [close to] the Denver Nuggets’ facility. Scouts are in and out of the facility. Coach has got a huge background. ... I prayed on [my decision], talked to my pastor about it. I leave it in God’s hands.”