Winthrop adds an extra player

[B]Hit and Run, July 1, 2008[/B]

I’ve often heard the comment that a mediocre basketball player in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be a superstar in a lesser league.

We’re about to find out.

Cameron Stanley, a 6-foot-7 forward who played sparingly in three seasons at Wake Forest, has transferred to Big South Conference power Winthrop. The Rasleigh native will be able to play this season because he has already has graduated from Wake and plans to study for his master’s degree in a program not offered by the Winston-Salem school.

As a walk-on at Winthrop at 2008-09, expect Stanley to make a solid contribution to the Eagles’ goal of reaching the NCAA Tournamentfor the fifth straight season.

“I’m not coming in to be the man,” he said.

At least he’s realistic. Stanley won’t be Big South Player of the Year or anything close. He’ll do better than his career averages of 1.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 7.6 minutes oer game at Wake, but he won’t be the second coming of Arizona Reid or even Taj McCullough.

McCullough was one of four key seniors for Winthrop last season, a solid player who averaged about 11 ppg while providing excellent size and athleticism in the frontcourt. Stanley probably won’t even be that good. While Stanley has the size and quickness to be a defensive stopper, he never played that role at Wake.

In fact, coach Dino Gaudio often talked last season about how Stanley would perform great during practice but always looked nervous and rarely seemed to feel comfortable during games. Perhaps Stanley’s nerves will be calmed amid the smaller crowds of the Big South, but he’ll find the league much tougher than he expected.

Stanley will fight for playing time on a large Winthrop roster that already includes talented young forwards such as Charles Corbin, Mantoris Robin and Greorge Valentine.

Expect the Wake transfer to find his way into the rotation. But don’t expect him to become a superstar in the Big South. Not even close.

– Tom Berry, Enterprise Sports Columnist