Ken Medlin

NC State dealing with life in the hoops fast lane

Posted April 1, 2013
Updated April 2, 2013

— NC State is now dealing with life in the fast lane.

Back in the 1970's, the Eagles suggested such a life would “surely make you lose your mind.” But for NC State, I’ll propose a different reaction: This is the standard initiation fee when you try to join college basketball’s best.

In less than a week, State has lost five of their top six players: Richard Howell and Scott Wood to graduation, CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown to the NBA draft, and Rodney Purvis to transfer. That’s a devastating set of losses for a team that dropped its opening-round game in the NCAA tournament.
But it comes with the territory… Just ask the folks in Durham and Chapel Hill.

After all, that’s the level the Pack is aiming for – and talented players tend not to stay in school for four years. The nation’s top programs have been dealing with this phenomena for more than a decade now, and NC State is now getting their taste.

State has more talent on the way for next season - ranks the Wolfpack’s recruiting class as the 9th best nationally. Incorporating that talent alongside returning players like TJ Warren and Tyler Lewis will be the challenge for Mark Gottfried, and the level to which he succeeds with a mostly-clean slate next season will likely give us much insight into State’s future.

Like a lot of people, I miss the days when top players stayed in college. Teams had more clearly-defined identities back then. But those days are gone – and talking about them is about as constructive as shopping for pagers or debating the best games on Atari.

In today’s college basketball world, the window of opportunity with a particular group of players is much, much smaller. When Georgetown lost to Carolina in 1982, the Hoyas had three more cracks at winning a title with Patrick Ewing. A scenario like that would be unlikely at best today.

This brings us back to NC State. The 2012-13 Wolfpack season will likely be remembered as disappointing, given the expectations. But I’ll argue it’s better to be in the conversation than not. State was outside of the conversation for a long time. You have to walk before you run, and this team put in a lot of good strong laps.

The Pack got a taste of the fast lane this year. Now they’re paying the bill in terms of a roster reset - and it’s generally a price worth paying.


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  • jmccrickard Apr 4, 2013

    I want to see how Gottfried deals with a young team of his. The team that he took to the sweet sixteen was not his. I think Debbie will fire him after next year.

  • bobbyj Apr 4, 2013

    really best programs I was thinking it was the rats abandoning ship....

    good luck I hoe that all works out for you.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Apr 3, 2013

    View quoted thread

    He wasn't a 5-star point guard. He was a 5-star shooting guard, that wanted a shot to try PG. Gott gave him his shot, he failed, and he's transferring.

  • Objective Scientist Apr 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Actually - this is a "kid" who should not have been admitted to NC State or any other University.

  • ttaylor58 Apr 2, 2013

    how ungrateful even after state stood by him and his imaginary HS.

  • ttaylor58 Apr 2, 2013

    Cat Barber(Calvin II) will be an academic casualty. Anya #63 , Washington #80 something , not UNC and Duke's idea of reloading!!

  • YourConscience Apr 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I don't think a five star player would sign on for a 'shot' at point guard if he thought it was his only way to the NBA. We don't know what he was 'promised'. He knew Tyler and Cat Barber would be here in his sophomore year, as they have been signed on a long time ago. I think that he was hoping for a one and done, and when that didn't pan out, he thought this was the way to try it again (in two years when he can play again). Problem is, it will come at great cost to him as I mentioned in first post. I think he had a great opportunity at State in his Sophomore year, when your a premier player, size does not matter.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Apr 2, 2013

    Sorry, a couple of posts back, I intended to past the link to ESPN's recruiting class rankings. I inadvertently posted the Scout class rankings twice.

    ESPN's rankings:

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Apr 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I won't go as far as to call it selfishness. Purvis has to do what is best for him. To make it in the NBA, someone his height pretty much HAS to be a PG. From what I understand, we "promised" him a shot at PG duty. Problem is, he failed miserably when he got that change (when Zo was injured). With Tyler Lewis and Cat Barber on the team, Purvis was NOT going to get another chance to play PG. So he pretty much HAD to transfer somewhere else. I believe our coaches knew this, and that is why they went HARD after Desmond Lee, knowing that was recruiting "over" Purvis.

    Read the initial post here. It makes a very logical and reasonable explanation of all this: don't blame Purvis. I still think he's a great kid. I wish him well at UConn or Missouri, wherever he ends up. The way things went, State just wasn't the best fit for him any more. We could have used him as a role player or a backup, but he wants more than that. So I can't blame him.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Apr 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Assume for a minute that the tweet is true..... WHERE IS THE TWEET???




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