For a team that lives by its defense, a little scoring goes a long way.
The Tigers showed that against N.C. State Tuesday night, supporting coach Brad Brownell's notion that if the Tigers get consistent scoring from three players on any given night, they're a tough 'out' for anybody they play.
There was good news for the Tigers on more than one front on Tuesday. While K.J. McDaniels, Damarcus Harrison and Rod Hall were posting double-digit scoring performances against the Wolfpack, Tiger signee Gabe DeVoe was putting on show in his final regular season home game at Shelby (N.C.) High.
DeVoe, who'll join fellow signee Donte Grantham and redshirting freshman Patrick Rooks in bringing scoring punch to the Tigers next season, scored 51 points in Shelby's 119-56 rout of Draughn.
It wasn't even a season high for the high-scoring future Tigers, who hit 11 three-pointers and scored 52 earlier this season against Statesville.
DeVoe's not finished yet, as he'll lead the 21-1 Golden Lions into the state Class 2A playoffs.
DeVoe, who is averaging more than 30 points a game this season, is the highest-rated player to come out of the Shelby area since David Thompson, DeVoe's cousin, starred at Crest High in the 1970s.
Shelby Star sports editor Alan Ford has closely followed DeVoe's career, and in a recent column surveying the area's top players over the past 35 years, concluded that no one has had a greater impact for his team than DeVoe.
"There have been better shot blockers and pure rebounders than DeVoe, who is largely a guard playing the frontcourt by necessity when the team switches to defense," Ford wrote. "When you factor in the ‘intangibles,’ that’s a plus as well. The confidence this Shelby team has in DeVoe is huge. When he goes on a hot streak and nails several 3-pointers in a row, it’s nothing they haven’t seen before.
"When he seems to be having an off night shooting, they know he’ll still get points by driving, rebounding and, most importantly, knocking down free throws."
Jamie Shaw of Phenom Hoop Report writes that the Tigers are getting a gem in DeVoe.
"At 6’4 and 190 pounds, Gabe has a physically mature body and excellent size for his position," Shaw wrote. "He is a strong kid that has a slowed down, cerebral approach.
"Gabe is a dogged defender. He really gets after you on the perimeter. He takes view of the court, seeing lanes and then finds ways to exploit those lanes. Has a nice dribble, doesn’t put the ball into trouble, and he likes his three-ball ball. Gabe does a good job rebounding the ball with strength and positioning.
"He is a model citizen in the Shelby community and has received as many academic honors as basketball honors. He's an Honor student with a 4.4 GPA and has been the President of his student body since his freshman year."
With K.J. McDaniels likely facing a decision about his NBA future, the Tigers will soon be looking to DeVoe as one of their next generation of scorers as they attempt to carve out a niche in the upper half of new and improved ACC.