Replacing Warren priority No. 1 for Pack
Posted July 8
Raleigh, N.C. — With TJ Warren now gone for the NBA, North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried’s first order of business is figuring out how to replace 25 points per game.
“We lose TJ, which is going to hurt us,” Gottfried said Tuesday at his annual summer press conference. “It creates different opportunities for everyone else to step forward. You are going to give guys step up, step forward and be better.”
Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey is one of the many expected to fill the void of Warren.
“Coaches like to use the term, ‘he’s got a high basketball IQ,” Gottfried said. “He really does. He makes the game easy. My expectation is going to be really high for him. I think he can be an impact guy in this league.”
While Lacey will play predominately as a shooting guard, Gottfried indicated that he may see a good bit of time at the point as well when Anthony “Cat” Barber needs a spell.
“You have two guys that have the ability to run a team and lead a team,” Gottfried said. “I like that either guy can bring the ball in the break and you have two guys that can really attack, play defense and think like guards.”
State also has something in short supply in today’s college game – depth and experience in the front-court. Kyle Washington, Lennard Freeman and BeeJay Anya all three saw big minutes down the stretch for the Wolfpack’s NCAA tournament run a season ago.
“They tasted the NCAA tournament and were able to win a game in the tournament,” Gottfried noted. “We have some young players that need to really improve this offseason, get better. A lot more will be expected of them than last year.”
NC State will be down a superstar from last year, but they have experience that may be the difference maker come winter.