Injured forward Hicks informs Wolfpack he’s transferring

The sophomore forward played in only four games this season before suffering a knee injury and undergoing surgery

Darius Hicks dunks during a game last November before suffering a season-ending knee injury (NC State athletics photo)

Darius Hicks, who has missed all but the first four games this season with a knee injury, has informed NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts that he plans to transfer to another school at the end of the current semester.

State’s athletic communications department has confirmed the news, saying that Hicks will not accompany the team to Brooklyn for this week’s ACC tournament. The Wolfpack will begin tournament play at Barclays Center on Wednesday against either Boston College of Georgia Tech.

Hicks, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Quitman, Miss., was a late addition to what turned out to be former coach Mark Gottfried’s final recruiting class at State.

The three-star prospect originally committed to Mississippi State before signing with the Wolfpack. He played sparingly as a freshman under Gottfried, then averaged 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per game before suffering tearing the ACL in his right knee at practice and undergoing surgery in late November.

Hicks’ departure will leave State short on experienced big men next season, with seniors Abdul-Malik Abu and Lennard Freeman graduating and sophomore Omer Yurtseven expected to leave for the NBA draft. Keatts has, however, signed three four-star forwards in Ian Steere, Manny Bates and junior college transfer Derek Funderburk. There is also a possibility he might look to recruit another freshman big man or perhaps go the graduate transfer route to add experience to the frontcourt.