Especially after a 1-12 start to his college career.
Thirty Division 1 schools offered Gardner a basketball scholarship, but only two came from the state of North Carolina: UNCG and ECU.
Gardner wanted to stay close to his Wake Forest home.
If the recruiting process started now, the 6-foot-6 rising star could take his pick. Fifteen points and 15 rebounds against South Florida gave Gardner his eighth double-double in 19 college games.
To put what Gardner is doing in perspective, consider that he's fifth in the nation among freshman in scoring.
Two of the guys ahead of him play at Duke.
Last spring, Gardner led Heritage High School to a runner-up finish in 4A. Now he's a Pirate and seemingly, double good.