Painter’s comments

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Had a chance to talk with former Florida 2009 commitment DeShawn Painter, who signed with North Carolina State on Thursday. During the brief conversation on his cell phone, Painter said he left Florida on good terms.

“Coach (Billy) Donovan and I, we’re straight,” Painter said. “We still talk every now and then. He was the one that told me if I wasn’t going to be happy, than maybe it was a good idea (to part ways.)”

Painter, a Norfolk, Va., native, said that being closer to home and playing time played a role in the decision. Florida released Painter from his letter of intent last month.

“I wanted to play as a freshman,” Painter said. “I wanted to know if I wasn’t going to play much. We had a mutual agreement. It wasn’t just one thing.”

Painter said he wasn’t initially academically qualified when he signed a letter of intent at UF last November, but he was on track to qualify in April. “I’m qualified now,” Painter said.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound Painter said he received assurances from Coach Sidney Lowe that he’ll play at North Carolina State next season. Growing up in Virginia, Painter said he’s fulfilling a dream of being able to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Painter said he’s aware that Florida will play at N.C. State season.

“It should be exciting, two great basketball programs,” Painter said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute.”