Caulton Tudor

Gottfried, Pack no longer living for the moment

Posted October 2, 2013

Dating back to late last winter, even before it became official that point guard Lorenzo Brown and talented forward C.J. Leslie would leave early for the pros, N.C. State basketball coach Mark Gottfried on several occasions reiterated his commitment to an up-tempo offense in the program regardless of personnel.

That stance made perfect sense.

Gottfried then was in the process of attempting to keep some players – promising freshman Rodney Purvis (8.3 ppg) transferred – while bringing aboard several more.

Unstated but clearly written between the lines is the fact that Gottfried knew this season would be, and now is, as much about the ’14-’15 season (and beyond) as last season was about seizing the opportunity of the minute.

Although the ’12-’13 team with Brown, Leslie, Rich Howell, Scott Wood and Purvis won 24 games and went 11-7 in the ACC, Gottfried couldn’t capitalize on what was seen regionally and nationally as a prime chance to have a breakout season — an ACC title, a top 10 ranking, maybe even a trip to the Atlanta Final Four.

It ended well short of those goals.

Successive losses to Miami in the ACC Tournament and then to Temple in the Wolfpack’s opening NCAA Tournament game in effect marked the true launching stage of Gottfried’s Wolfpack venture.

With only sophomore forward T.J. Warren, sophomore playmaker Tyler Lewis and senior center Jordan Vandenberg back, the roster is basically barren of Sidney Lowe recruits.

This is entirely Gottfried’s show now.

The construction of the program envisioned by the coach and State’s administration upon his arrival essentially will begin on Oct. 30 in Reynolds Coliseum against UNC Pembroke and carry through a new-look ACC schedule that will include games at Notre Dame (Jan. 7), Syracuse (Feb. 15) and Pittsburgh (March 3).

The lineup nucleus will start with Warren (11.2 ppg last season) and LSU transfer Ralston Turner, a 6-5 wingman who averaged 9.1 points with the Tigers in ’11-’12.

From there, it’ll likely be a continuing chemistry experiment throughout November and December.

Freshman point Anthony Barber will play, of course. So will classmates Lennard Freeman (6-8 235), BeeJay Anya (6-9, 300-ish) and Kyle Washington (6-9, 225), as will guard transfer Desmond Lee (6-4, 200), who averaged 20.3 ppg last season at New Mexico Junior College.

Other than the 6-7 Warren, there’s no reason to believe anyone on this roster will be ready for the NBA this season or probably next.

This group will be the Gottfried foundation and will go far in etching his impact on a program that has struggled to recover the national glory it once took for granted.

The immediate expectations will be modest. Anything higher than a preseason pick for sixth in the ACC would be surprising. But remember, this season isn’t about living in the moment. It’s about the future.


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  • olivechapel1000 Oct 3, 2013

    Elon is ranked higher than NC State?

  • Ken D. Oct 3, 2013

    View quoted thread

    On the other side of the coin, it appears that Anya reported in at 337 pounds - some 60 pounds more than he needs to be to get significant playing time. In my mind, State needed to get a lot of minutes - approaching 30 a game - from Anya to field a conventional lineup, given that I only expect 10 minutes at best from Vandenberg.

    If Anya can't cut it as a freshman, I think State will have to go small, with both Lewis and Barber in the backcourt at the same time for at least 10-15 minutes a game. That significantly hurts their prospects for this season, IMO. If Anya waited until September to start trying to lose weight, he's too late by at least five months.

  • HeelHater Oct 3, 2013

    View quoted thread

    That's pretty much the most baseless thing I've ever read on the internet.

  • braskaw Oct 2, 2013

    Hey, Wolfpack Fans

    I went to a wedding back in June and ate dinner with some AAU basketball coaches in the Newport News-Hampton area. They told me that Cat Barber is the real deal! He will probably beat out Lewis to start at point guard. I'm excited. With two good to great point guards, I believe that we will surprise some people.

  • heelsforever Oct 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    When you have young talented players, you usually lose some you should win and win some you should lose. That's what I expect from State this year, so people shouldn't start wringing their hands if they drop a few most thought they would win.

  • seedofdoubt Oct 2, 2013

    Lewis is a VERY good PG and should have seen more floor time last year, but somehow the Pack was locked into "playing the stars" Expect the Pack to be solid by Jan. and fighting for 4/5 or better in the ACC.

  • scmae36 Oct 2, 2013

    NBA Bound.......someone better tell warren to learn to play some defense!!!!!

  • TVs_Deceit Oct 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    If the officials are like the sixth man in basketball... does that make them like the twelfth man in football?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    And I'm pretty sure State didn't get any "style points" for playing Clemson as an equal, and they couldn't win it without the refs taking away three of our touchdowns.

    We haven't played any other tough opponents. Of course our SOS is going to hurt us in these kinds of polls. All I care about is how we play in the next 10 games this season.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Or we could lose every game but one... if we play the way Carolina's football team PLAYS.




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